Michael Miller Knits for Adults
April 18, 2011
Pattern: Simplicity 2443 Cynthia Rowley
I have had my eye on Michael Miller's Interlock Knits Prints for quite some time now but I put off purchasing it for the simple reason that I had already labeled them as "kid prints". Thus without any conscious thought I had mentally removed it from my list and thus out of my shopping cart. But when I needed project ideas for this month's blog theme of "Spring Wardrobe", I gave it a second look and decided that I would help remove the stigma of "Kid Print" from these great, modern knit prints and show their glam/adult side.
Let me start out with a monologue on how gorgeous and totally awesome this fabric is. I have not been this excited while making a dress since Serendipity Monique Dress (and if you will remember this dress gave me a challenge); this dress is even better. The reason I rank this dress so high is because that it is knit. Knit = Fantastic. First, the interlock doesn't curl so it is easy to work with. Second, the print is just plain fun. The polka dot oval shape gave some definition to the waist band which was cut on the stretch. It doesn't just blend in anymore. Third, the fabric is just SOFT and gets softer with a wash or 2. The stretch is just right for this dress and adds more comfort than you would expect from such a tailored dress. I highly recommend an interlock knit for this, or really any spring knit dress pattern.
Now to the modifications that really make the dress super fun. The pattern calls for gathers around the waist but I wanted to add more structure and tailoring to counteract the whimsical nature of the fabric pattern so I opted for pleating around the waistline and it turned out even more fab than I was counting on. To make the pleats I folded each skirt piece in half widthwise and marked the center. I then marked out from the center at 1 in. increments to the edges. Working from the center, take your third mark and fold it toward the center, matching it up with your center mark and pin. This makes one pleat. Repeat for the other side of the center and all the way down toward the edges till you have reached the same measurements as your waist band (I spaced my pleats out 1 in.). I made six 1 in. box pleats and two ½ in. box pleats on each skirt piece to make my skirt pieces match the 15 ½ in. of each waist band piece. I added my ½ in. box pleats on the edges to make up for the difference. I also added a very simple and tailored ruffle at the bottom. It adds some definition to the skirt without drawing too much attention to one area and keeps the dress more tailored and sophisticated than the original pattern. To make this simple ruffle, use the same width measurements as your skirt pieces by 4 in. Mine were 31 by 4 in. pieces. Cut 2 and stitch together at the sides using the same instructions as the skirt pieces and set aside. On your skirt pieces mark a line all the way across the front of your fabric with a washable marker 5 in. above your hem line (or if you are leaving it un-hemmed like me: 5 in. above the bottom). Line up and pin the top of your ruffle with this line and stitch in place using a ¼ to ½ in. seam. Your ruffle will fray just slightly with a few washes and add some texture to your ruffle.
Now for the recommendations: I omitted the pockets in this dress to give it a sleeker look but I will go back and add them just because I love them so much in my previous versions and the pockets don't add that much bulk to justify leaving them out. I did use an invisible zipper but there is enough stretch to opt out of this as well.
I added darts to my bodice bands just under the arms to accommodate gapping due to a larger bust line. The illustration is below to make your own. My darts were ½ in.
I shortened the straps by ½ in. on each piece for a total of 1 in. shorter straps for a bit more modesty since I will be wearing this whilst carrying a 2 yr old and bending over.
This pattern can be tricky when stitching the bands to the bodice but if you clip into the bands around the curves while pinning it makes it a lot easier. I clipped about every ¼ to ½ in around the curves. Sometimes you will have to rip back and re-sew; the dress is such a wardrobe staple that an extra 30 min is worth the time investment. Oh and one last tip: Wash this fabric at least twice. Don't just do it once. Mine shrunk a bit more after the second wash.
And you can follow my projects on twitter: get sneak peeks on upcoming projects, tips and links.
TrackBack URL: https://blog.fabric.com/cgi-bin/mt5/mt-tb.cgi/4359