So if you’re looking for a basic knit dress pattern, this one is definitely worth a try. The bodice is similar to the Moneta, but the ever-so-slightly A-line skirt and box pleats give a different look to the gathered skirt, and it’s a bit easier to sew if you’re a total newbie. I whipped this up in about 90 minutes!
I’m as tempted as the next sewist to make party dresses and bright green coats (OK, maybe that’s just me), but when I took a break from Christmas present sewing, I thought that a nice piece of dress-cake* would be just the thing.
And so: a black wool knit Winter Dress. What could be more useful than a knit, scoop neck, black dress? I cannot think of a thing (admittedly that probably just shows my lack of imagination).
I’ve never sewn with wool jersey before, but this was just a dream to work with – and it’s the same fabric from Mood that Lauren Lladybird made her wrap dress with (yes, I was the person nibbling at her heels to get the end of the roll….).
The Winter Dress was designed by Deepika over at PatternReview, and it’s a simple knit bodice with long sleeves (there’s an optional flounce sleeve version but I’m not that flouncey myself), and inverted box pleats at the front and back.
I made a few adjustments to the pattern. First up, my measurements put my upper half solidly into a 3X, but when I compared it against my well-fitting Moneta bodice it was way, way, bigger. So I cut a 2X, and then once I put it together I shaved another 4 inches off the waistline to get the fit that I wanted (I also sewed this in the flat, doing the sleeve and side seams last which made it easy to keep whittling it down).
Instead of using clear elastic (which I have yet to learn to do accurately), I zigzagged regular elastic to the waistline seam allowance, although I stopped it just short of the side seams, to prevent it causing a bump.
I scooped out the neckline by another 1.5 inches – no high necklines around chez Cashmerette. Then to finish the neckline I did my trusty standby neckline technique: put Wonder Tape on the wrong side, fold over, and coverstitch. It works well on stretchy fabrics, and has even worked for me with silks in the past (because it’s such a narrow hem).
I really like the result – it’s super comfortable and a great basic dress for accessorizing. The sleeves are a smidgen too long, but I actually like being able to curl up in them on cold days, so I think I’ll leave them as is.
Can you bring yourself to sew super basic garments occasionally? I’m trying to do it more and more because nothing makes me happier than wearing homemade every day, and to do that, I probably need to not look like I’m going to a disco (though I know Oona would disagree).
* In case you haven’t heard of this before: the sewing blogging community commonly talks about “cake” projects and “frosting” projects – the first set being “boring” basics you need and wear all the time, and the second set being fun, sparkly but more special occasion garments
Disclosure: I received this pattern free from Deepika. Thanks, Deepika!