Me Made May - Cynthia Rowley Dress + Fabric HELP!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This is the second time I've used this pattern, and I really like it.  Its quick and easy to sew, and doesn't use a ton of fabric.  I was able to cut this remnant of blue and black jersey I've had for a while, trimmed with some black organic cotton jersey.

I'm really happy with the dress, and I've worn it twice BUT after washing it, the blue and black jersey is starting to "tear" along the stitching lines.  I used a ball point needle and serged my seams, so I'm not sure what's happening.  Maybe it was just a cheap fabric? Has this ever happened to you?  I really love this dress, and I'd like to be able to save it!


7 comments:

  1. Oh no, this is terrible as it's such a beautiful dress! I hope some other people can offer some wise advice, as I don't know I'm afraid! Hope you can salvage it!

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  2. Where exactly is the stitching stressed? You may need to add some clear elastic to load-bearing seams (like the shoulders, the waist) to alleviate some of the stress of stretchy fabric stretching under the weight of itself.

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    1. It's pretty much every seam. The dress fits me well - not too tight, with just a bit of ease. It's like my ball point needles are actually tearing through the fabric. I've never had this happen with a knit before... Clear elastic is a good idea. I might be able to stitch in 1/8" from my original stitching line on my horizontal seams around the waist. The side seams seem OK, but it's really bad where my gathers are around the skirt, like it just couldn't handle all of the needle pokes.

      Thanks for your suggestions :)

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  3. Maybe a smaller gauge needle? I'm not sure actually. I rarely sew with knits, only just recently started actually. They scare me. Needlessly so from what everyone tells me but they scare me nonetheless.

    However, I'll have to suck it up soon as a friend from church gifted me with a whole box of late seventies/early 80's stretch and sew patterns that I.must.make. So if you find a solution, I hope you'll post about it so I can save for future reference.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh Stretch and Sew patterns from the 70's and 80's sound great!

      I usually find sewing with knits really easy, but I think this must have just been a cheap piece of fabric and is weak or something (it was $2, so I shouldn't be complaining...) :) I will try a finer needle and Tina's suggestion of adding the clear elastic.

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  4. Aw that's too bad, I really love your dress - the black trim is so chic :) Hopefully you can salvage it! :)

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  5. Dear Sarah, It is a beautiful dress. I can see why you want to save it.

    I think Tina is right about reinforcing the seams, but I think you will want to use something more substantial than clear elastic, something like 1/8th inch twill tape. The clear elastic will allow the seams to continue to stretch and, since they are already coming apart, any stretch will continue to damage them. The 1/8th inch twill tape will stabilize the seams completely, with no stretch. Stitch it just inside the garment side of the original seams, not to the seam allowance side. And don't worry about the twill tape adding bulk to the seams. I've used this fix on silks and silkies and there was no bulk to be seen.

    Good luck, Mel

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