Finishing Techniques For Knit Garments. Plus, Sneak Peek!

McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.

Happy Friday! Here’s a sneak peek of a new McCall’s pattern I just love. It’s a Plenty by Tracy Reese dress pattern and it will be available very soon, along with the rest of the new Fall collection for McCall’s. The reason I’m sharing it here is one, it’s really cute and flattering. Two, the torso is lined with power mesh (tricot)—love this idea!

Here’s the original designer dress turned inside out. The fabric is a textured knit jacquard that’s ivory and black on the right side and solid black on the wrong side. See how there’s a neck facing attached to the black power-mesh lining on the bodice?

Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.

I have several knit dresses planned for my fall sewing and I want to borrow this finishing idea. I’m gravitating to the thought that a power mesh lining could help smooth things out, like a layer of lightweight Spanx. And finishing the edges with facings makes me happy, because I’m never really pleased with the knit bands I make at the neck and arm hole (they’re lumpy). So I am definitely going to borrow these two finishing techniques for the knit dresses I have planned.

Have you been using facings and power mesh/tricot linings on your knit garments, and I’m just really late to the party? Do tell. I think this concept works better on more stable knits, like ponte and double knits. Speaking of fabric, I went to my local Jo-Ann’s this past weekend to buy some craft supplies and ended up leaving with three cuts of knit fashion fabric, including this gray textured knit. Very pleased with my purchase.

Here are some more photos of this Plenty by Tracy Reese dress, because we know you like these kinds of detail shots. Coming next week: the new fall collections video. Stay tuned!

Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
The bodice and the lining are serged or stitched together as one to the flared skirt.
Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
Want, want, want this textured jacquard knit the designer used.
McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
Gotta love a v-neck for a flattering line. We feature this dress in the soon-to-be-released fall collections video. It’s even cuter worn in real life.

Wrap Dress Sewalong: Inside a DVF Wrap Dress

DVF wrap dress on sale at Neiman Marcus Last Call
DVF wrap dress on sale at Neiman Marcus Last Call

Let’s take an inside peek at a DVF wrap dress, shall we? I went to Century 21 on my lunch hour and snapped some photos of a DVF wrap dress that was on sale there and is the same as the wrap dress pictured above. (The great thing about Century 21 is that it’s basically a huge outlet store where you can examine pricey designer clothes without wasting the time of sales staff on commission. Add it to your NYC must-sees the next time you’re here.)

Check it out:

Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
The front edge is a self-facing that is simply folded to the inside.
Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
Here you can see the inside of the front self-facing. It is interfaced with very lightweight fusible interfacing. Barely perceptible, so watch that your fusible interfacing isn’t detectable from the right side. The edge of the facing is turned under just slightly and stitched in place.
Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
The back neck facing is fused with interfacing, turned under and stitched at the edge, and understitched at the seam to keep it from rolling out.
Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
The skirt front edge is a self-facing too, and treated the same way as the bodice facing. It is invisibly stitched in place at the edge to keep it neat and in place. The skirt hem is serged at the edge and then invisibly catch-stitched in place.
Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
The cuff at the sleeve is one pattern piece, folded in half.
Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
The inside of the cuff. Edge turned under, stitched, and then invisibly stitched in place.
Inside a DVF wrap dress. McCall Pattern Company Wrap Dress Sewalong.
Here’s an inside view of the front bodice, where you can see how the self-facing is just folded inside.

We hope this inside peek at a DVF wrap dress helps! I know taking the time to look at this dress really helped me.

A couple of sewalongers mentioned they’d like some more tips for sewing knits. Here’s an article Sandra Betzina wrote in 2011 for Vogue Patterns Magazine; hope this helps!

Knit Knowledge VPM

Sewing a wrap dress? Take a look inside this DVF dress.