I have been carefully looking at our consumption of clothing lately as a family. Not really doing anything about it, but feeling rather guilty about grabbing cheap, mass-manufactured garments as our kids grow (and grow and grow!). I walk a fine line, balancing precariously between what our budget allows, and the clear ethics in buying quality and taking more care of it. I have an automated response to kids clothing sale racks in large department stores: grab a couple for now, and a bunch for next year. Especially t-shirts, because knits are so difficult to sew, right?
Well sewing up this dress has proven to me the value and ease of sewing easy-to-wear, comfy play clothes for kids, using knits. The Chevron Dress pattern by Heidi and Finn is a fantastic design to cut your knit-sewing teeth on, and the instructions hold your hand right the way through.
The bodice is a simple shape, lined to avoid tricky bindings, and fits comfortably without gaping. I loved the clever way this pattern put the top together.
The skirt features a pieced chevron shape, utilising different coloured or patterned fabrics. I used a soft grey and white stripe, teamed with a rusty red and bright white. There was some very smug self-satisfaction as I pressed the centre-front seam open to reveal a perfectly-matched chevron.
The elastic in the waistband is probably the trickiest part, but once you master using a zig-zag stitch to sew elastic directly into the seam allowance, you will be able to use it in many applications. I like to use a three-step zig-zag stitch and clear elastic for this.
I added a couple of belt loops to the waist as I sewed the top and bottom together. I plaited together three strips of the knit fabrics I used in the dress to make a chunky tie belt. I love the nautical look the colours and the ropey belt give.
So now I am on the hunt for knit fabrics, so I can make all manner of play clothes for the kids. And a couple more cute chevron dresses for the little miss.