Stretch Masterclass

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI treated myself last month to another fabulous course at Raystitch. This time it was the Stretch Masterclass taught again by the lovely Alice who helped me make my blocks last year. I had three fabulous evenings the result of which was one block to use for stretch dresses and one dress (and pattern) made with some lovely liberty jersey.

The block was much simpler to make than the ones we made last year. Stretch fabrics are very forgiving so the shaping is a lot simpler.

There were six of us in the class; we all chose to make very different garments and it was fun to see how to manipulate the pattern in different ways. My dress is very simple with grown on sleeves, the others made a cowl neck top, a pleated neck top, a pretty v-necked dress with a full skirt, a skirt with godets and a summer dress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe checked the sizing on our blocks by tacking up the garments. This took me ages as I wanted to match all my checks. Once they fitted we overlocked the seams which took no time at all.

This is the beauty of jersey fabrics, once you’ve got the pattern and the fit they are very quick to make; the overlocker finishes the seams as well as sews them and there are no fiddly fastenings to insert.

I finished the neckline on my dress with a facing, interlined with a stretch fusible. I hemmed the skirt and sleeves by hand using a herringbone stitch in order to give them a bit of give.

This is a great dress. Perfect for scrunching up in my pannier ready for a quick transformation when I get to work. Alice recommended some very cheap M&S slips which give a smooth line.

I’ll be making more of these!


M&S slips

A couple of people asked for more information on this. The ones I bought are these http://www.marksandspencer.com/Pack-V-Neck-Assorted-Full-Slips/dp/B001F2EA6W?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_22&nodeId=309706031&sr=1-22&qid=1376720399. They are ridiculously cheap at £17.50 a pair. The pair I bought are marked as being natural on the web site but actually you get a natural one and a black one which was perfect for me. I found the sizing true to M&S’s guide. They come in three lengths so I got the shortest. With this sort of material they would be easy to cut shorter if you wanted to. Hope this helps.

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14 thoughts on “Stretch Masterclass

  1. It’s great when you find (or draft!) one of those perfectly versatile patterns. I like your fabric.

    I’m going to have to ask your advice on cycling clothes…I’ve just started cycling to work and am struggling to find stuff that works.

    • Hi Catherine. I couldn’t make up my mind what to wear when I started the commute either. Head to toe Lycra is not really my style and, as I’m riding the slowest, girliest bike on the road, makes me feel a bit of a fraud. I tried just wearing a t-shirt and shorts but I found them a bit uncomfortable in the hot weather. So what I wear now is a Sweaty Betty Stamina sports brahttp://www.sweatybetty.com/stamina-sports-bra-prodsb305_phoenixflame/ which is possibly the most comfortable bra in the world and has wicking properties (I’ve really needed this the last few weeks). I also wear a wicking t-shirt from SW although Melissa at Fehr Trade tells me you can buy supplex from tissu fabrics so I might start making my own in future. I then top this off with a skirt and leggings or a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt on colder days. Not very stylish but very practical!

      Once it gets a bit colder and wetter I’ll dig out my cycling trousers which I bought some years ago and are water proof at the front but have some sort of stretchy fabric at the back to help them breathe. I’ve also got a horribly yellow, fluorescent jacket – possibly the least cool garment in my wardrobe but once it starts to rain visibility drops away and it’s important to be seen.

    • Thank you. Yes I really like working from my blocks. Mainly because I don’t feel confident about my fitting skills, but also because I enjoy looking at other people’s clothes and thinking I could make that

  2. What a useful class to take. It must be brilliant to live in London and be able to go to whichever class you fancy!

    Obviously you did a great job on your dress…it looks great. I love a dress that can be unscrunched and worn.

    I have a very simple m & s shapwear slip I wear if I need a smoother look under a dress. It’s just a slip shape but wow it’s tight! Did Alice mean a silky sort of slip? Maybe I should try one of those!

    I’m looking forward to seeing more dresses based on your block.

  3. How handy to have the blocks. It sounds like a great course. Can you let me know more info on the M and S slip please Jane. I don’t own one at all, but think it is something that I need to buy.

  4. Lovely dress, stretch fabrics make for such easy-to-wear garments. I read about you cycling to work, my dad does and being him, doesn’t care what he wears to cycle in or who sees him. He wears had-to-toe lycra with a fluorescent yellow nylon over jacket thing. Makes for interesting conversation when he comes home and my friends are over…

  5. This dress looks really great, and it’s terrific that you can bundle it up and take it to change into at work. Sounds like the perfect work-dress!
    I looked at the link you sent me, and yes, our dresses did have quite a similar vibe! I hope you ended up wearing it that summer, because it is lovely :)

  6. Pingback: 2013 Successes and Failures | Jane's Sew & Tell

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