Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ottobre 04/2004-12 ruffle knit dress

While the serger was still threaded with red after making my sweater, I decided to finally sew up this sequined zebra ruffle knit that I bought for Jungle January last year.
Fabric with this much going on called for an extremely simple design with minimal seaming. I chose a basic a line dress from the 04/2004 issue of Ottobre.
The dress is drafted for woven fabrics, so I went down a size from Myra's usual. I've also found that the older issues of Ottobre tend to incorporate more ease. As you can see, this is a loose fitting dress, despite being a size smaller than she typically wears.
This was my first time sewing with ruffle knit, and I wanted to share a few things that I've learned so far. As I mentioned, it's definitely to your advantage to choose a simple design with minimal seaming. A simple one piece dress like this one is great. A skirt with an elastic waist or a basic tee or tank would also work well.
When laying out your ruffle knit, remember that you must use a with nap layout, making sure that all your ruffles are falling in the correct direction. You will also need to treat the ruffles as stripes, and match them accordingly. I found that if I cut out my pieces on the fold, I ended up cutting into the ruffles accidentally, so I recommend using a single layer layout. It is also ESSENTIAL that you baste the ruffles down in the seam allowances prior to starting construction. You do not want to end up with a ruffle going the wrong direction in a seam! I like using a zigzag stitch to baste them down, as it preserves the stretch of the knit.
For the neckline and armholes if you are making a tank, you'll need to consider an edge finish. I used a rib knit binding, making sure that my ruffles were basted in place prior to applying the binding. Another option would be a facing or lining, but you'll want to use another fabric, as the ruffles would add bulk. A soft tricot knit or swimwear lining would be perfect.
One fun aspect of sewing ruffle knit is that the ruffles provide a perfect easy hem finish! Just trim away the mesh underneath the bottom ruffle. The mesh won't fray, in fact, mine curls up nicely out of the way. The ruffles themselves are already finished on the bottom edge.
Despite the slim skirt on this dress, the ruffles give it plenty of movement, much like a flapper girl fringe. Myra loves twirling in it!
Since Myra's dress left a few largish scraps of knit left, I also made a dress for Myra's favorite doll. Myra insists that her dolls always wear floor length gowns. The ruffle knit drapes in a pretty little cape over her shoulders.
Myra and her Myra doll are both very happy with their new dresses. 
They are perfect for exploring.

25 comments:

  1. Those are some twirl-worthy ruffles!

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  2. Thanks for the tips on working with ruffles. I know I will use that info before too long :) This dress looks great, and perfect for a simpler pattern. I too find more ease in the older ottobres. It doesn't look overly big for her though and she can grow into it. I laughed so hard at the comment on her doll only wearing floor length gowns. hahaha. I picture the doll holding a tea cup and wanting crumpets too :P cute!

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  3. Thanks for the tips, and your daughter is a delight x

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  4. Wow. What a great little frock. Your little darlin' is growing into quite the fashionista! Has she started to help with the sewing for her dolls yet?

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  5. I LOVE this even more on her! Such a cute dress. Good tips on working on ruffles I will keep them in mind! I love Myra's doll too. It's super cute!

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  6. So cute! Love that dolly gets matching dresses too.

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  7. How cute. Sometime I wish my girls were still so young. I love that Myra loves the clothes you make her. She is the perfect wee model :-)

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  8. The dress is so fabulous! I love that her doll has a matching dress, too. Thanks for sharing your tips for sewing ruffle knit. I have one in my stash but haven't sewn it up yet. Now I can do it with confidence!

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  9. That's a very bold fabric choice, but Myra is totally pulling it off. Of course, you get some of the credit too. Thanks for the ruffle-fabric tips; I have a feeling I will need them at some point.

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  10. Zebra stripes and sparkles on top of ruffles! What could be more fun for a girl and her doll? Really adorable, Katie.

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  11. That girl loves her some bold! The ruffle was much less painful to sew than I thought it would be and the result definitely has big girly bang.

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  12. She is a great model. :) I'm taking full advantage of it for as long as she'll let me.

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  13. Thank you! She has, in fact. She "drafted" (AKA traced the outline of her doll) a dress for that very doll and sewed it mostly herself. I love how excited she gets about it. :)

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  14. Hahaha! She's definitely high maintenance! Myra thinks all the things should be floor length. :D

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