Sunday, January 29, 2017

Black Embossed Scuba Knit Dress

I have a love/hate relationship with scuba knit. On the one hand it's a really interesting fabric and the weight and slight insulation properties make it perfect for Texas winters. On the other hand it does not like to stay pressed and I like a crisp seam. Most of the time I stay away from buying it because of its challenges but this fabric was so unique that I had to have it.


The fabric is an embossed scuba knit and was purchased from Mood fabrics. It was sold out long ago so I can't link you to it. I actually made a pair of pants from the same fabric in March of 2015, but those had the annoying habit of not staying at my waist and were soon after donated. I loved the fabric, though, so I ordered another cut of it and vowed to make a dress of some sort. Inspiration struck when the new McCall's spring pattern were released in early January and I fell in love with the high neck version of 7539.


I liked the relative simplicity of the design and all the opportunities to topstitch. I also always love front pockets to add some volume to my top half. The neckline is high but not at all choking. This type of knit has a lot of body so it stands away from my skin and isn't restrictive. As a lot of my winter wardrobe is comprised of jeans or pants, this year I am adding some day dresses to balance it out.


Black is notoriously hard to photograph, and this fabric is no different. You can just make out the texture of the fabric in this photo. I found out - while I was making the pants from it - that ironing on the face made the embossed areas dull. Consequently I could only iron on the back side. I topstitched almost every seam save the center back where the invisible zipper was installed. Topstitching along a zipper is just not a skill that I've mastered. 


I cut the straight size 10, my typical size in patterns for stretch fabrics, and made no other adjustments for fit. I quite like how it skims the body but isn't tight fitting. The hemline is somewhat shorter then it appears on the envelope example. I'm 5'-6", and it hits a good way above my knees. I like a shorter skirt in the winter, though, especially with such a high neckline. The zipper I chose to end it right above the waist seam. That way I could topstitch my waist seam and also my center back skirt seam. 


You can see the fabric texture in the following close-ups. I topstitched my darts a little differently then the pattern instructions called for. Also I was planning to iron the waist seam down and do a single row of topstitching, but all that thickness proved too much for my machine to stitch through and it was skipping stitches left and right. That is also the reason my pockets have no pocket flaps.




I like this pattern a lot and can definitely see it in a ponte knit for summer. If I can think of a place to wear the long sleeve shorts version I'd make it as well. I think it's so cute (but maybe slightly impractical.)

38 comments:

  1. Beautiful topstitching and perfect fit!

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  2. Beautifully made, and it looks beautiful on you!

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  3. Very chic Amanda. Love the topstitching.

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  4. What a wonderful creation! Well done :-)

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  5. Fantastic fabric for the dress style and vice versa! Gorgeous, well done for persevering with the tricky stitcher ��

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    1. Well, I didn't cry all my eye makeup off in frustration, so I'm counting it as a win. Lol. Thanks Polly!

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  6. You have renewed my interest in scuba - after making a top out of it recently I vowed never again!

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    1. Yeah, I'm vowing a good long break after this dress. I do have some velvet backed in scuba (!!!) which is a really cool fabric but it's going to have to wait for next year. Thanks Donna! Good luck on your future scuba projects.

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  7. Perfect fabric choice for the simple lines of this pattern. I completely missed this pattern. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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    1. Thanks! And I can totally see you wearing this pattern.

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  8. Tres chic, Amanda! The fit is fabulous, and the pattern and material work so well together. Another win! Do you ever have a fail? I haven't seen one.

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    1. Thanks Beckster! And yes, I have lots of fails. I use to post them but would then get lots of "That's not so bad!" and "You can totally make that work if you'd...", and for the most part I don't love unsolicited advice. I'm sure it came from a place of wanting to be helpful, but if I've decided the project can't be saved, I'm ready to move on. KWIM?

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  9. Wow - the topstitching is gorgeous and the dress fits you perfectly.

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  10. Great use of such a cute fabric!

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  11. It's a beautiful fabric. How does it breathe? I only have one scuba outfit and I sweat and sweat in it.

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    1. I haven't gotten to wear it out and about yet but for a winter dress, I like the warmth. Hopefully it won't make me sweat. I did see some scuba knit dresses at Dillard's last summer and gave them side eye while I walked on by.

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  12. Very cool dress in a beautiful and unusual fabric. I think this sort of 60's / sci fi dress pattern works brilliantly with scuba knits.

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    1. Thanks Allison! I picked up this pattern specifically because it had scuba knit listed as a fabric suggestion. Finding suitable patterns for that type of material is a challenge for me.

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  13. Wow! Trendy and cool. I love it!

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  14. Absolutely stunning dress, Amanda!!!

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  15. This is such an amazing dress on you, I love the whole look! You would never have guessed that that is a tricky fabric to sew as it looks so beautifully made and fits you like a glove

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    1. Thank you Fiona! It's definitely a comfortable fabric, just does not like to stay ironed which bugs me.

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  16. Beautiful! This looks perfect on you!

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  17. Hola, te sigo desde España, me encanta lo bien que coses, los acabados y lo bonito que es todo

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