Knit therapy

After the focused and detailed effort that went into the Gridlock* dress, I needed a quick project or three. In my sewing room, that means knits and separates.

Gathered Shoulder T-shirt

Easy sew, but doesn’t magically give me a waist or distract attention away from my tummy to those lovely gathers on the raglan shoulders. And it looks like it a bit tight over my bust.

These photos were taken after a large Sunday roast dinner, but a nice rounded tummy occurs regularly in my life and doesn’t need to have attention drawn to it, my tummy is perfectly capable of doing so all on its own merits.

The sewing blogger world is full of happy sewists who’ve used this pattern so I really should give this pattern another try, perhaps in ‘slimming’ black. My sister-in-law tried this red one on and ‘ordered’ one in black. So you see where this is going- she gets a black t shirt and perhaps a red one as well..

Missoni-ish skirt

Another very easy sew. This was supposed to be mine, but it looks a lot better on Felicity than me (see above for reason). It would also look better if it was just rectangles, not a curved skirt piece. I tried too hard!

This skirt has already garnered compliments from Felicity’s stylish older cousin on its first wearing, and it’s the most lovely feeling fabric, so it’s a winner.

Blue and white stripe top

This is a trial run (wearable toile?) of the top part of this dress (BurdaStyle 09-2011-109) for Felicity:

Four seams a neck band and hems. What’s not to love?!


Technical details


Short sleeved red top: BurdaStyle 02-2013-126

Missoni-ish skirt: BurdaStyle 06-2007-119

Blue and white stripe top: BurdaStyle 09-2011-108

Sizes: I made a 42 for the red top, 42 for the skirt and a modified 40 for the top- taken in about 4 cm at the waist both front and back and both seams. Felicity is a 38 with a FBA.


The red top is a viscose spandex knit from Gay Naffine (in the stash for at least 4 years- most gorgeous hand to this knit)

The skirt is an polyester/lycra ITY from Gorgeous fabrics (this one didn’t even hit the stash! It also has a gorgeous hand).

The blue and white stripe in a rayon spandex knit from Gay Naffine (also in the stash for at least 4 years, and with a delightful soft hand)


The red top is slightly shorter than drafted (2 cm) but could be a lot shorter- a common point made by other sewists). I didn’t sew on a neck band, just turned the allowance under and used a double needle.

The skirt is a not a balloon skirt. I didn’t have enough fabric to lose some in the turn up. Now that its Felicity’s skirt it probably would have been fine shorter, but, hey, that’s the way it is now. I still want to try this balloon style; I just need a longer yoke on me for it to be even close to flattering.

The blue and white stripe is drafted a lot longer than I made it. This one is 11 cm from the waist (was cut 14 cm from the waist, with 3 cm taken up in the hem). I didn’t stitch the neck binding down, but constructed it as if it was a neck band. I cut the binding stripe 2 cm shorter than the neck and hoped for the best. It turned out fine.

I think the therapy worked. I’m ready to draft the bottom part of Felicity’s dress now (BurdsStyle 09-2011-109).

Burda has you sew a rectangle of stretch wool flannel onto the knit bodice of this dress, gathering the flannel into the knit at the waist. That sounds like a recipe for unflattering disaster that would end up needing to be covered by a wide belt.I’m thinking of drafting a simple A line skirt instead…Apparently the sew-on-afterwards ribbon trim is non-negotiable, but I think I could manage that as a gentle curve.

* Gridlock Competition

Sandra (Dilliander) won with her ‘Lekaloru’ coat. Her coat was one of the first posted to the Pinterest site and I went ‘aha – that’s a clever and stylish way to use both sides of the fabric’. She included lots and lots of other details too. A very well deserved win!



16 thoughts on “Knit therapy

  1. You know, my eyes were drawn to the should gathers and I didn’t notice your tummy and was surprised when you mentioned it…perhaps you should keep this one and not be so hard onyourself.

  2. Elle your t-shirt is lovely, and I especially liked your retro Gridlock dress. It was beautifully made and such a fun photo shoot too. It looks lovely on you.

  3. I too am “blessed” with a round tummy, and I find that if I keep my tops short (~12cm below my waist) somehow that helps disguise things below. I agree with the others that the shoulder gathers are really nice, so maybe this is a way you can still save this one? 🙂

  4. Oh gorgeous red and I agree with everyone else …. your tummy is just fine. We all have one anyway :). I do need to nab that issue when it finally arrives here as I like the T and a few other things too.

    Gosh flannel gathered onto a knit? What were they thinking. I’m interested to see how you get on with the changes ….

  5. Nice red top, don’t be so hard on yourself! It fits you beautifully. You could shorten if you wanted to.

  6. I love your red version of the Burdastyle top! Maybe you could try tucking it in if it feels uncomfortable to have out? I haven’t made it yet but think I might need to give it a go!

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