New dress or ways to use clear elastic

I should probably label this dress “Courtesy of the American Clear Elastic Lobby”  since I’ve never used so much clear elastic in my life.  I found about seven ways to use clear elastic in this pretty simple knit dress.  Bet you can’t spot them all!  Well you can’t see them so I’ll just tell you.  Front neck, back neck, waist seam (front and back), pocket openings and….wait for it….shoulders!

WTF!  Well it’s not all that weird to use clear elastic when sewing with knits, but I guess I’ve just never used it that much before.  I use it to stabilize shoulder seams all the damn time, but this really stretchy light fabric really needed help to make it not look like the super cheap fabric it is.

The pattern is New Look 6097 and it had a few issues, not much wrong, but a big waist that I can’t figure out why it’s got so much ease.  I took it all out.  And this is the pattern that didn’t come with instructions.  I was too lazy to go back to the store to change it out, so I just figured it out best I could.  Then end result is a wearable dress that may actually get some use since it’s still hot here (and in most places I fly).  This fabric is so not natural it can be run over by a car and still not wrinkle and it packs up into the size of tube socks.  That’s a good thing when suitcase space is an issue.  FYI, I’d wear it with flip flops and over my bathing suit.  I could dress it up but I so don’t live like that…

For more details head over to my review on PatternReview.

For the knitters in the crowd, I’ve not got much for you.  My tendonitis doesn’t let me knit much so the two new rows of stockinette on my EZ sweater tube wouldn’t thrill you much.  I still look and buy knitting patterns though so let me enable you if you’ve not come across my two newest favorites:  the sublimely beautiful yoke on this cardigan makes me squeal!  I’d use different colors for my Hiro, but love!  My other fave is of course striped.  I’m mad for stripes and Fortune Bay just checked all my boxes.  Luckily I’m going to acupuncture today to get those elbows worked on so maybe knitting progress can speed up from the present snails pace.


It’s fine if you squint

After finishing the bodice neck edges on New Look 6097 I thought I’d baste the top to the skirt and see what I’ve got.  When I first started pinning the sides shut on this dress I couldn’t help thinking it looked like a hot mess.  The bodice side tucks fall on the untucked side and make the skirt look lopsided which is exacerbated by the obvious directionality of my print fabric.

I started tugging and pinning and got the waistline horizontal to the floor and will have to fit the skirt to me, I think there may have been a bit of fabric shenanigans since it’s a tad larger than anticipated.  I think I shall add more of the miracle clear elastic to the waist seam to snug it up some.  Also I think a belt is necessary on this style with all the pleats on the super stretchy knit fabric.  I will make a self tie belt, but I did pull a belt out to test my theory.  Yup, better belted but not with this belt.  That belt is the tightest belt in the whole world.  Why is it even in my possession?  You can see me gasping for breath in the last picture.

So far I’m quite happy with the cross front of the neckline.  That neck will stay closed without a safety pin and won’t gap giving free boob shots to passersby.  Working out the tension of the serger when applying the elastic is just about the hardest part of this sewing technique, so at least I’ve learned a bit here and can think of lots of uses for serging elastic to things (sweatpants you’re next!)…

Not a tee shirt

But still a knit…

So I have a slightly larger piece of knit fabric that I thought should not be made into the lovely Kimono Tee so I eked out a dress from the two yards of cheap knit.  I managed to get New Look 6097 with cap sleeves from the yardage because I’m clever.  In fact, when I took the pattern out from the envelope to iron it into submission before cutting out I noticed that the sewing directions are not there.  I didn’t lose them since I bought the freaking pattern about 12 hours before cutting it out.  Someone filched them in the store or they were mislaid.  That said, I looked over the line drawings and figured I could muddle through without specifics.  Contrary to what you’re all thinking, so far so good.

It’s rather liberating not to have turn by turn instructions.  I have to think out the sewing up strategy as I go along while thinking a few steps ahead.  I mean if I sew the pockets down how will I topstitch the openings?  Should I finish the necklines before sewing the shoulders?  How will I stabilize this cheapo knit neckline that’s cut on the bias?  Enter the google machine.

I thought I’d use clear elastic to stabilize the neck, shoulders and pockets edges.  I’ve never really thought about techniques for this but now I had to and luckily many have written and videoed their techniques.  I must say I’m pleasantly surprised with how tidy those seams are.  Numbers above refer to #1 overlock 3/8″ clear elastic onto the wrong side of the front neck pieces; #2 turn elastic over and double needle elastic into place – press energetically; #3 admire the handiwork on the wrong side and think it doesn’t look all that darn bad.  Besides if you’re looking at the wrong side of my dress bodice, you better not be looking at my stitching.  Weirdo!  (hint – it’s the boobs you should be eying…)

Aywho, this dress may turn out and maybe it won’t but so far I’ve learned alot about clear elastic so that’s a win in my book.

Bean there

After flying around hither and yon for seven days, I’m home and crafty endeavors should begin soon.  As soon as the jetlag passes a bit.  Until then, here’s what I made for dinner.  You know it’s easy if I could make it with the brain soupiness of yesterday.

The recipe is Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew.  My version had minimal changes:  I made half the recipe since that seemed plenty, I used more ginger and garlic because they’re delicious, I used 3/4 the amount of orange juice and the rest water and I added about 5 pinches of smoked paprika.  I also ended up with a not at all spicy Hatch pepper so I added a few pinches of red pepper flakes to make it a bit spicier.  My polenta came from Trader Joes in a tube that looks like marzipan and I fried up two little slices in a nonstick pan with a bit of butter for color.  Try not to skip the polenta, it really works well with the stew.  Of course I added some ripe avocado to the bowl because they’re extremely yummy.  Hope you enjoy this easy dish!

A hot minute

I wasn’t in Freeport very long yesterday, but it was long enough to enjoy these dramatic clouds.  Aren’t they spectacular?  I come from the state of blue skies with occasional little wispy clouds.  I love that, don’t get me wrong.  But just look at these.  Of course it was hot and humid and about to rain, but hey, that’s the tropics.

Happy Sunday!

Can you see me now?

Wow.  Bright isn’t it?  Yup same tee as the rest, Kimono Tee from MariaDenmark.  I was drawn to this print and it was $3.69 at Fabrix so what could go wrong.  I placed the pattern so that the dark centered flower wouldn’t be right over a boob, but that’s about it.  I also added a band at the bottom.  This is a light fluid knit and the double band at the bottom keeps the top hanging down smoothly.  Plus it’s a nice finish at the bottom.

Yes, I have more material for yet another version of the tee.  No, I have no more time this week as the glamorous world of jet travel beckons.  I shall bring this top on my trips this week to share the summer bright love in the lower 48.  Honk if you see me coming!


I know it looks like I’m about to bust out a cheer here, but trust me.  This picture was the best I could do.  The rest are too awful to even crop my head out of.  So deal.

I made another Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark, this time from a print knit from Stonemountain.  The print is of little apples and is adorable.  When I showed my friend the shirt, she said “don’t you have another tee with apples on it?”  Damn, I do!  That one is yellow and brown and was purchased.  Nuff said.  Clearly I love me an apple tee.

I changed the tee a bit here.  I took out some of the excess at the hip so it’s about 1″ narrower at the bottom than the first one (I melded several sizes to fit my measurements and clearly I added too much to the arse).  I also added a bottom band because I wanted the tee about 1.5″ longer so I wouldn’t get plumber’s crack when I wear it with jeans.  Sorry if that’s too much for you.  I’ll change it to whale tail if you’d like.  After washing the first tee I learned that the narrow seams finishing neck and armholes were too narrow and flipped over and need more depth.  So they’re deeper and I overlocked the neck edge before I twin-needled it.

I didn’t measure how wide to make the band so I just cut a band and sewed it on.  It’s a bit longer than I wanted after I compared it to a perfect length tee as shown.  It still works but I will make a slightly narrower band next time.  Next time?  Yup.  I’ve got a few more pieces of material earmarked for this tee.  Not bored yet I hope!

I finally made something

When I got home from a week of work yesterday I had the crafty urge.  Unfortunately a week of work does a number on my tendonitis so knitting isn’t really a great idea.  Sewing then.

I’ve been itching to make Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark.  It’s an easy, wearable top and (truth be told) I’d bought a few yards of knit fabric in anticipation of this project last week before leaving for work.  There are only two pattern pieces and I sewed all the seams by serger and twin needled the hems.  One hour max is the work time on this one.

I want to make a few tweaks to the fit of the top when I make it again (tomorrow!).  It’s a bit too loose in places and flares out at the hip a smidge.  So tweak tweak tweak.  I should have a few opportunities to test the fit since I bought about 3 different knits with this top in mind.  I hope you don’t get bored looking at them.