This is my first attempt at Sewaholic’s Davie dress. While I’m not sure if it’s a wearable muslin – I haven’t worn it yet – I will definitely be making it again.
The dress is easy to make – if you’re comfortable with knits. I am not. I’m still learning my way around them, and I don’t have a serger. But that isn’t necessary for this dress. All the seams are sewn with a sewing machine, then top stitched so that they lie flat. The dress is flattering, although I think it’s sized at least one or two sizes too big.
Davie dress alterations
I picked a size 10 based on the dress’ finished measurements, but took it in a lot on the sides and at the shoulders and especially under the arm. The dress pieces are sewn together, first the front, then the back, then at the shoulders, which allows you to take it in at the sides if necessary. I liked that. I just retraced the size 8. I’ll let you know how that works out.
The arm holes are quite large and low. I tried to sew clear elastic into the shoulders but must have pulled it too much because the shoulders came out lumpy. I just cut it out – probably cut at least an inch off each shoulder – and sewed them up again. You can see that it didn’t ruin the dress at all – even lifted it up a bit so that there wasn’t as much of a gap in the arm hole.
I used a woven double fold binding tape around the neckline as indicated in the instructions by following this tutorial. Rather than follow the instructions, I used the same binding method for the sleeves. I think it made them stand up a little nicer, rather than be floppy.
Davie dress fabric choices
I bought this purple ITY knit at Joanns. It was relatively inexpensive, and I could tell it was very stretchy, but I thought it would be easier to work with. It was not easy to work with. I used a ball point needle, a stretch stitch and a walking foot, and put gift wrapping tissue under the fabric, but it caught in the machine a lot. I wish I knew why that happens. It was very frustrating and made for a lot of pulls. I don’t like how it looks in the back, which is one reason I may not be wearing this muslin. I think I should have lengthened my stitch. I did lengthen the top stitching stich. I also don’t think I’ll be top stitching in the zig zag stitch. And from now on, I’m using my teflon foot for this type of fabric. It just works better for me than the walking foot.
I just don’t like all the different spots I can see on this solid where the thread jammed or the fabric got sucked into the machine. That’s especially true around the curve on the breast. A pattern review that I read said to carefully snip the seam allowance around the the curve so the fabric would lay smoother. I think that screwed up my top stitching. It bunched too much for me to feel comfortable wearing it.
I love the way the keyhole came out and I love the overall look of the top stitching. But be forewarned: all that top stitching takes a lot of time and uses A LOT of thread. I bought a small spool of matching Guttermans thread for this dress and had to go back and get another spool. If you’re going to make this dress, make sure you have a lot of thread!
All in all, I really like the way this dress looks on me, but I feel it could look better. I’m trying it again with this fabric, and just ordered this ponte from girlcharlee.com that was on sale. If I can get good at making this dress, I’m going for the gusto and ordering a ponte from Emily One Sock. I’ll keep you posted on my results!
See my second attempt here.