Wednesday, October 03, 2018

On Trial

Sometimes, a fabric is just too good to risk on an untried pattern. The fabric that was too good to risk (more on that later) was Merryweather knit, and the pattern is Butterick 5242, which looked promising -- but also had the potential to be decidedly maternity and too high-waisted.

Enter, the mock-up! I really don't like the idea of a mock-up that you can't wear afterwards, so I scoured my stash for something I'd want to wear if the pattern worked. Fortuitously, I had a small piece of a blue heathered knit -- I'd purchased it to make a maxi skirt, but realized when it arrived in the mail that I'd probably never have any tops that would match it. So there it was, waiting for me -- and it had been waiting quite a while. I was just, just able to fit my pieces on the fabric! 

As usual for me with "Big 4" knit patterns, I cut out a size smaller than my measurements (though I did grade it to the next size up in the skirt). I opted to omit the sleeves (I couldn't have fit them on my fabric, anyway!), which should give me more layering options for the fall and winter. Plus, I disliked both sleeve options in the pattern. I finished both the neck and armholes with facings, and added ties at the sides -- I thought I'd want to be able to cinch in the back, and I was right. I think I added maybe an inch to the length, and it's perfect for me. Long enough that I'm not worried about accidental "reveals," and short enough to be comfortable and easy to move in.

I'd added about an inch to the shoulders because I was so worried about the bodice length (even the pattern piece looked short!), but I think the weight and stretchiness of the knit helped. In fact, I had to unpick part of my topstitching and neckline facing so I could take that inch out of the shoulders! A bit annoying, but worth it to get a better fit.

Speaking of fit, I love it! It is one of the most comfortable dresses I own, and in a light-ish knit the pleats don't seem to be too "maternity." But, also a plus, the pleats in the skirt and the low-cut v neckline make this a perfect early maternity, post-partum, and nursing dress. Such versatility will be very useful, assuming I don't wear it out by frequent use before I need it for those purposes. *wink*

I'd planned to wear a demi-camisole with this dress, anyway, and it certainly needs one! And on the subject of demi-camisoles, this one's made with the bottom of a camisole; I'd cut off the bottom half ages ago so I could use the top half as a demi-cami, but it seemed a shame to waste the lace at the hem -- so here it is, "upside down." Waste not!

Fueled by my success, I was ready to cut into the fabric that started all of this in the first place -- but that's a story for next time! This is a story of second chances. Leftovers and rejects stuffed away, pulled out for such a time as this, and given a new lease on life. Wearable mock-ups are always a bonus, especially when they lead to greater things...


  1. Shannon, it looks lovely! You are a very talented seamstress. I love your sewing posts! I checked your blog to see if you had joined Ginny´s yarn along and lo and behold i find 4 great posts on sewing! Even better! By the way, have you read Nicole´s "Crafting on"? (
    Hope you and the littles are enjoying the fall. The weather has decidely cooled down in Madrid, perfect for long hours playing outside and hot cocoa in the afternoon. Isn´t October a nice month? :-)

    1. Elena,

      Thank you for your sweet words! Haha, I hope to join Ginny's yarn along -- perhaps today. I completely missed it last month; it sneaked up on me! Well, that and I didn't have anything exciting to show. :-)

      I just happened upon Frontier Dream's Instagram yesterday, via Ginny's blog (that pumpkin pie! I now want to knit all the play food! :-), so I will have to check out her blog, as well. You and I seem to have such similar taste that I am sure I will like it!

      Oh yes, we are definitely enjoying the fall! Some of the days are still a bit humid, but there is a promise of cooler days in the air and I'm even starting to think about sweaters... :-) Yes, October is one of the best months! We have a move coming up early next year, so I have plans to make October "see all the things before we leave" month, as it will be the last month of pleasant-but-still-warmish weather we have here in Virginia. I am so glad that you and your little ones are enjoying the fall -- and I might have to steal the hot cocoa idea! :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by! It's always a delight to hear from you.



I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for stopping by!