Pleated lavender knit dress

OK it seems I’ve got a brief respite from my fever right now (although not the headache) so I’m going to take advantage of it to finally show you the lavender knit dress I made my mom while she was staying with us this summer.

She bought the lavender interlock when she was still in America, and then had a leisurely stroll through my huge archive of pattern magazines for a style she liked and I thought would flatter her nicely. So together we decided on KnipMode Aug 2009 #20, which has a surplice top with shawl collar and pleated skirt in both back and front. We were originally going to shorten the sleeves to elbow length, but after trying on the dress, she decided she liked them long and could easily push them up if she needed to.

Once or twice a year, KnipMode produce a few patterns that come in Petite, Average, and Tall patterns, with a few of the pattern pieces changing shape, though as Arielle pointed out, Knip don’t publish their Petite or Tall body measurement charts anywhere! Any Dutch speakers care to volunteer to sort out this mystery for us? They don’t seem to understand it when we email… In any case, I just made the average height for my mom here, as she’s about 5 foot 6 with fairly normal length proportions.

With belt:

Without belt:

So, do you prefer this dress with the belt or without? I’m just so happy with how this dress turned out, I think it’s just so flattering on her, and it’s a really versatile style that will work equally well for school as it will at a nice restaurant.

Pleating detail:

Collar detail:

Like my favourite BWOF sweatshirt, this front piece has a fold-over facing and a neck edge that extends up past the shoulder seams so that the two halves meet at the centre back seam (take a look at pattern pieces #1, 2 or 3 in the layout diagram above). An integrated collar and facing means the facing gets treated as one at the back neck and keeps it from flipping out at all in the front (even when it’s not all tacked down for leaning-over-students’-desks modesty like mom requested). And on top of that, it makes a really cool corner seam at the neck!

As you may have noticed, mom has worked hard to lose a lot of weight from the last time I made her a dress at Christmas, so she’s out of the Plus range and into the bulk of the pattern magazine sizes now! We mixed and matched sizes here – 42 on top, 46 below and it was really easy with the knit and waistband. We used the “normal” height dress here (1.72m) and the length was perfect on her, though for myself I’d have shortened it a bit even though I’m a tad taller than her, just because I like above the knee dresses).

One mystery though, is that I ended up with two extra waistband pieces. Knip have you cut three pairs and I thought they must make up the central portion of the belt but the widths didn’t match and the belt with just the two pieces was plenty long enough so I didn’t sweat it.

Coming up: I worked frantically in a race against time, Project Runway-style, to finish mom’s red dress before she flew back to America!

Did I bow out for medical reasons, a’la poor Jack from Season 3? Would the little red machine withstand the rickety bedside table in my new room? Or would I finish the whole damned thing by hand, minutes before she walked in the room? Oh, the exciting conclusion is yours to ponder…

Hospital update: I really don’t want to divert attention or comments away from mom’s dress, but I am back in hospital and have been for over a week now, and will be for at least a week more. They’ve got some suspicions on what’s causing the infection, but nothing conclusive despite a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and a CT scan. But I’m in the twin ward to where I had my transplant, so it’s very comfortable here and I can see my old room through the window, ha!

Leave a Reply