KnipMode blue draped collar dress

As you read last week, I was so inspired by the December KnipMode issue that the day after I received it, I traced out dress #11, the following night bought the navy blue cotton lycra jersey and cut out the fabric, and then sewed this dress last Saturday!

This dress has got some really unique construction – the two front skirt pieces meet at the centre front to form a collar, which then goes up and around your head and comes back down to join the centre front again. Everything is sewed together, though, so there’s no chance of gaping!

The other great thing about this dress is that they’ve chosen this pattern to have the big, illustrated instructions for this issue! So you really only need to sew the shoulder seams and centre back (if you didn’t cut it on the fold like me), follow their illustrations for that really unique scarf collar, waist, neckline, and centre front, and then after the illustrations attach the sleeves, sew the side seams, and do the hems! So what could’ve been a really complicated pattern is actually made fairly straightforward. Yay! Thanks, Knip! (You can download those big illustration in colour pdfs on Knip’s site, too!)

The bad weather and early nights may have kept me from taking photos of me in the dress earlier, but we had a mammoth photoshoot session yesterday so there’s lots to show!

I’m feeling really good about my plans to sew up mostly mustard, navy, and grey this winter – an added bonus is that my tights match the winter plants on the moorings!

The back hasn’t got any darts, which is fine for pancake-butt me, but anyone more bootylicious will probably want to add some in.

Here’s that neckline. I really like how the collar lays around the neck (I’ve folded it over when I wear it), and the neckline is not too low, either.

I’ve pulled out the drape part so you can see the gathers and the pleats and that it all gets enclosed together so there’s no chance of a big reveal:

The only problem with those beautiful gathers and pleats is that there’s a LOT of fabric to sew through at the centre front so if you’re buying fabric to make your own, make sure that the fabric is

  1. Very drapey
  2. Quite thin
  3. Wide width (so you can cut the back on the fold like me OR cut the skirt pieces on the fold like Sigrid’s version)
  4. And also buy 3 meters for this. Size 42 is supposed to only need 2.6m but I definitely used closer to 3, and I always, always use less fabric than is called for by patterns. So make sure you have enough for those super-long collar pieces!

The length of this is longer than I usually like, but I chose to keep it this way as the draping and the length makes it feels really quite “arty” when I wear it. It’s super comfortable, as most knit dresses, are, too – I’d already worn this for a full day of work before these photos were taken!

Site updates:

I was very busy over the weekend and did some major backend improvements on the site (I did get some sewing in, too!). I’ve not made any major changes since I created this site 4.5 years ago, so it was due for a tuneup!

  • Upgraded to Textpattern 4.3.0
  • Switched to a totally different (and way better!) tagging plugin
  • James helped me re-jig the CSS so the central column can be way wider for bigger browsers, which means I can put bigger thumbnails in articles without it being clunky.
  • Updated the colouring of the Highlighted Projects (now Featured Projects) sidebar and made the “More” link show those projects instead of just the Gallery page
  • Added internal banners and a Helpful Posts section underneath Featured Projects
  • On the left navigation, got rid of the onMouseOver for a cleaner green colour scheme, deleted “Completed” (since it was a lesser view of Gallery anyway) and added links to Tutorials and City Guides as well as…
  • Downloads, which is a page that gathers together all the pdfs I’ve produced thus far (including the ever popular Ruffled Wristlet bag pattern!)
  • And in the RSS Feed, you should now see Tags, as well as Comments inside the feed entry, as well as a Google Adsense ad (sorry, but my hosting and bandwidth aren’t free and I’d rather this than have those horrible excerpts in feeds that make you click through for every single one!)

My only regret is that I ran out of steam before I got to insert a search bar, but hopefully I’ll get to that soon. And also big apologies in advance in case the Feed changes end up looking horrible – there’s no way for me to preview them without actually posting! So it might take a few posts to get it exactly right. If you haven’t clicked through to the site in a while from your Feed Reader, please come and have a look around (and err, you might have to click Shift-Refresh once in your browser to force it to show the new stuff)!

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