20 October 2012

Nautical Knit Dress



Ooooooh!!! This dress is just so snuggly, I don't think I'm ever going to take it off!







It's made in a cosy double knit scored for £2 from Simply Fabrics in Brixton. The pattern is based on a combination of two dresses in Sew U Home Stretch, with a few changes. For example I added (high) waistline darts in the front bodice to give it a bit more shape as the fabric has relatively little stretch for a knit, and raised the back bodice waistline to balance out front and back. I also experimented with the sleeve caps to create a natty pleat instead of gathering, an effect I've been thinking of trying for a while. The little triangle shoulders look pretty sharp in stripes, non?



I find it so tempting as a stitcher to attach colourful details, and originally I intended to add red or mustard yellow buttons at the shoulders (a bit like on my hand-painted Breton top). However I resisted temptation and left the dress as more of a blank slate to be teamed with different coloured necklaces and tights (it looks awesome with red, navy, teal, dusty pink, yellow, grey... should I stop now?).

Would you judge me if I wore this every day?!

[Soundtrack:'Didn't It Rain' by Sister Rosetta Tharpe]

64 comments:

  1. This is such a great dress! I have some red knit languishing in my stash and I think this is just the dress I need to make. Sew U Home Stretch is awaiting..... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh yes, it'd be great in red too. I must make another!

      Delete
    2. I love your work do you have video tutorial and if not I'm sure you'd be an instant hit

      Delete
  2. Tilly your new dress is great! And I love the pop of red colour you're teaming it with. I particularly like the neckline binding and sleeve effect you've done - an all round winner!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

      Delete
  3. That's a cute dress, love the pleats on the shoulder!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So lovely! I would love to make something similar one day

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this! Made even greater by the fact you bagged a huge bargain! I'm also loving those red shoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The shoes were a bargain too! £20 from M&S - these ones.

      Delete
  6. Cuuuuuute, Tilly! Love the edging crosswise and the gathered skirt. And a bargain, too. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's lovely! I'd want to wear it every day, too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ^ Sorry for the above! My hubby was still logged in.

    Your stripe matching is PRO! I love this dress with the ruching at the waist and pleated shoulders! I definitely need to tackle more knits myself. They're so comfy and perfect for Fall!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great dress! It is so "you". I love the pleated sleeve caps, they create a lovely shape, and it looks fab with the red tights and shoes (which are fab!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like this is the most "me" thing I've made :)

      Delete
  11. I love this dress! Good effort:-) I can imagine it paired with so many beautiful colours.
    Freya May
    thedressmakingdiaries.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful dress! Kudos for taking the time and effort to line up the stripes. Your work is inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  14. you are such a doll. I'm so happy I've found your website, you inspire me to sew more often! I've told my friends about you too and we're all going to try to make a fun summer dress :) I finally sewed a skirt myself and I must say it's partly because of you! I'd be honored if you came to check it out :) it's not even close to any of your masterpieces but it was fun to make anyway! love this dress you made here!

    The House of Shoes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that's great - I'm so happy the blog inspired you :) I'll hop on over and see what you made...

      Delete
  15. Your dress looks great! So stylish. Congratulations. I've ordered Sew U Home Stretch finally. I love sewing with knits.
    Susan
    susangwerner@yahoo.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  16. love the shoulder details - it looks awesome just left simple like you mentioned!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is absolutely perfect! I don't think I would ever take this off!

    ReplyDelete
  18. SO CUTE! I love the little sleeve detail at the top :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is so pretty! I recently made a Renfrew top with a nautical stripe. I love it!
    More stripes for all! :)
    It's got a great shape too :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh god, I think I'm in love!!! This is so lovely and looks fantastic with the red tights. Nice work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Len. But you can't have it, it's mine, all mine!!!

      Delete
  21. Adorable Tilly! How brilliant to combine Breton with dress....looks so cute. I am indebted to sew u home stretch, it's my most used sewing book...

    ReplyDelete
  22. oh I love it!! and what a great idea with red tights!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love this! I will have to figure out how to do that cute sleeve pleat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's more than easy. I could do a quick how to if you like?

      Delete
    2. Please do! Those sleeves are absolutely adorable, and your tutorials always give me the "I can actually do this" nudge that gets me over to the machine.

      Delete
  24. Pati from London21 October 2012 at 16:42

    Really Really cute Tilly! I love stripes! Pati x

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is so perfect! I want one for myself!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Eeeep, how cute!!! Love the sleeve detail and leaving it as simple as possible was a great idea - you'll be able to wear it in so many different ways!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only I had seven of them so I could wear it every day... sigh...

      Delete
    2. Well, you best get busy then lady ;o)

      Delete
  27. Yes please to a pleated sleeve how-to!! Your dress is lovely and the detail on the sleeves makes it that extra bit special. Although I'm with you on the never-enough-bretontops but this dress is just as effortlessly stylish!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oo your dress looks lovely especially the sleeve detail.
    I'm itching to get going with the sew u book just need to find the time!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my goodness, I love those sleeve cap pleats. They give such a nice balance to the shape of the dress. This is such a great piece! If I were you, I'd be making another...

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love love love the way you've done the sleeves. Perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Absolutely adorable! It suits you perfectly. I love it with the red tights and shoes too :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. gorgeous! i love the shoulder detail and it looks fab with the red tights and shoes!

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is all shades of amazing!!! LOVE what you did to the sleeve heads in particular xxx

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fab dress. £2...fabric!!!!! bargain.
    Tilly, can you please recommend a simple sewing book for skirts and dresses that come with pattens. I've not sewn for a few years now - with having two babies, time is limited. But I would like to get back into it. I've been on Amazon but there seems to be so many books to choose from. Help!! Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can sew already (and don't need help with threading the machine etc), the Colette Sewing Handbook is a lovely one, which comes with five patterns. Sew U Home Stretch is great for knits if you're keen to work with them. It shows you how to mix and match the pattern pieces so you can make what you like. Enjoy!

      Delete
  35. I love this dress! I'm making the Darling Ranges dress at the moment and the high waist reminds me of that! I love stripes too - can't get enough of them. I like the styling with the red tights as well.

    ReplyDelete
  36. So perfect! Great shape with those darts addeded in and the stripes are so you.
    I love the Sew U book, it's the sewing book I turn back to most often and makes knits feel straight-forward. But your version looks even better than the illustrations in the book, so inspiring.
    Also super-tempted to pick up some of that bargainous double-knit, excellent for Autumn.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It's cute! The waist seam doesn't seem level though, which would bother me among the stripes. You may need to lower the bust darts to level it up.

    ReplyDelete
  38. So so cute, love it with the red tights! Great shoulder pleat!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Love the shape, love the stripes, love the sleeves.... Looks super comfy, yet elegant! And isn't that the best combination?

    ReplyDelete
  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This dress is beyond adorable on you! I absolutely LOVE the matchy tights and shoes combo too - a look I often go for! I've been thinking about doing some snuggly (but still pretty) knit dresses... I just never find nice enough double knit fabrics - any suggestions? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Just browsing again on your site having seen you last week on T.V. and just love what you make - you're absolutely delightful and so are your creations. I can't imagine how it must feel to be on the programme and to now be known to millions - Good luck, we're all rooting for you!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I absolutely love this dress! I've been sitting here reading your blog and am so inspired now! Must dig out my sewing machine and get back into sewing!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Tilly, any plans to produce a pattern for this one? It's so lovely and I think the shape would suit me a little better than Coco......
    Thank you in anticipation!

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to chip in! Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID. Comments on older posts are moderated for spam so won't show up immediately.