My gorgeous mum, who taught me all good things about sewing, cooking and farm-wifery, has a certificate in her sewing cupboard calling her a knit-wit. True story. Years ago she did a little sewing class on sewing with knits (those stretchy fabrics a lot of sewers avoid), and so now she is a knit-wit. I used to avoid knits too, anything involving a stretch fabric I would send my knit-wit mum’s way to deal with. But in a bid to overcome my stretch fabric sewing fears, and in order to get a maxi dress on the cheap for our little tropical holiday in Papua New Guinea, I set about creating this little tutorial for you.
The thing about a lot of stretch knit fabrics is…you don’t have to hem them! Once you understand this, your mind might just explode with the awesomeness of it all. Of course, you can hem them, but if you’re super lazy like me you won’t. The edges won’t fray and will just sort of roll a bit. Arm yourself with about 2 metres of stretchy fabric, I got a nice deep purple colour…and that’s all! Brilliant.
Don’t despair when you put it on and it looks like a total sack of potatoes. Whack a belt on and it’s suddenly transformed! Genius. If you don’t want to wear it with a belt you could also shirr the middle (which I’m not an expert at, but here’s a tutorial) or stitch some elastic in the waist too (again, here’s a tutorial). I love this style of dress because with a high waisted belt my legs don’t look so short (like they actually are).
Now next time I see some stretch fabric on sale I’m going to snap it up to make these dresses, I’d like one in a stripe or pattern too. I literally made this in half an hour, it’d be quicker once you have the measurements on hand and are ready to cut and sew!