T-shirt dresses are probably my favourite thing ever to sew. No darts, no zips, no buttons, four seams and a hem, job done.
Here’s two I made in 2015 and have only just got round to taking photos of. Let’s have a look and then I can bore you with my musings on jersey dresses in general.
Dress 1: Kimono sleeve monochrome madness
This dress is made from some weird houndstooth viscose jersey I bought in Fabricland in Bournemouth ages ago.
The pattern is just my trusty Burdastyle kimono sleeve top lengthened into a dress. I shortened the sleeves a bit and added another sleeve piece just above the elbow.
I’m not 100% sure about this – I think the fabric is teetering just on the wrong edge of wacky. Also it’s a bit too tight. It’s a fine line with these really thin viscose-type jerseys.
I’ve worn it quite a bit though anyway.
By the way I normally just use a straight stitch to hem these, after overlocking the bottom edge and turning it up – if you pull the fabric as you go it seems to work fine. A zigzag stitch sometimes gets weirdly stretched out on thin knit fabrics.
Dress no 2: Portuguese kaleidoscope/wormhole in space fabric
This is made from some jersey I bought in a fabric shop in Porto in June. This shop was seriously AMAZING, and the Air BNB we rented was 5 minutes away.
I went a couple of times and also bought a remnant that ended up being this skirt. I could have bought my own bodyweight in fabric but Easyjet luggage limits stopped me. 😦
This is the shop if you happen to be in Porto sometime (and I recommend going! It’s brilliant. The local delicacy is called a ‘franceschina‘, and it’s basically a cheese and meat toastie soaked in gravy, it’s something the Scots would have invented if they’d thought of it first so I felt right at home. Also they sell caipirinhas everywhere for like 3 euros).
The fabric is so great I wanted a really simple shape, so I used Simplicity 2054 which is a Cynthia Rowley pattern.
Sorry about the poor lighting on these photos, I probably could have done something about it in Photoshop but you get the general idea.
This fabric is amazingly insane. I love it.
Necklines on jersey dresses:
So the biggest thing that stands out to me about these dresses is that I finished them both with quite high necks.
I used to always cut this kind of jersey thing with a lower scoop neck, but recently I’ve been liking these higher necklines. I know I’m about a year behind the high street on this one but they seem more modern.
This is about as high as I can go though, I tried on a poloneck in Topshop the other day and it was not good. I have a long face anyway so the whole effect is of a giant rectangle perched on top of my torso. FLATTERING.
Anyway I have a big burn scar on my neck and collarbone area which I got about 11 years ago. For a year or two after it happened I was self-conscious about it (it was a lot redder and also painful then). I pretty much only wore high-necked tops and jumpers.
Now I literally don’t give it a second thought, but it almost feels strange to cover it up again after all this time. But in general I like the higher neckline. Anybody else feeling the same?
Jersey dresses in general:
I wear these a lot because they are extremely comfortable and go with my extensive collection of winter tights. However I’m not sure if they’re the most flattering thing in the world. Also the viscose jerseys don’t cope that well with being washed loads of times, but they are so quick to make it doesn’t bother me too much.
I get the most compliments on the second dress, all because of the fabric, which just shows there’s no point trying to be clever with the pattern when you’ve got an amazing print.
The black and white one has garnered no compliments. It does get quite a lot of comments along the lines of ‘I guess you made that’, which isn’t exactly the same…