Athina Kakou is back at it again with a lovely knit dress pattern, just released on Wednesday! This one has a really interesting silhouette – sleek and sophisticated, certainly not the t-shirt dress we have all come to know and love in knit fabrics! The Suzy dress features multiple sleeve lengths, a boat- or scoop-neck, and a slim, midi-length skirt with a great layered slit detail. When I had my first glimpse at the dress, it reminded me quite a bit of the equally sassy and sophisticated styles of the 1960s… So when Athina asked if I’d like to try out the pattern, I was thrilled!!
As soon as I started making plans for this dress, I knew it was a great opportunity to use some of the beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics knit I’ve had sitting on my shelf. I’ve talked a lot on my Instagram stories this year about some of my goals for 2019, and one of my big ones is to focus on my fabric stash. My plan is that I can only purchase a new cut of fabric once I’ve sewn up at least 2 fabrics already in my collection. I’ve got so many great fabrics that I’ve let sit for too long! This particular knit is from the Daytrip line, designed by Dana Willard of Made Everyday. Weirdly enough, I purchased this fabric from Cottoneer Fabrics on Valentine’s Day of 2018, and I finished sewing it up into this beautiful dress on the thirteenth of February this year – just one day shy of a year!! As with all Art Gallery knits, this fabric is soft and squishy, almost like wearing a comfy blanket. It features a small floral design (including adorable little cacti!) in really pretty tones, and was the perfect way for me to finally work this lovely rust color into my wardrobe.
I used my amazing giant cutting board when cutting out this pattern, which meant I was able to get the entire length of these skirt pieces on the board without having to scooch anything around or use my scissors (rotary blades all day, right?). I can’t sing the praises of that thing enough. I love the midi-length of this skirt, but truly hate when I have to cut things out in portions in order to keep it all on my cutting mat! Luckily, I didn’t have to curse the extra length of the skirt this time around. Cutting board to the rescue, again.
I’m usually an avid champion for a twin needle finish at the neck and hems of knit garments, but due to the fact that my stitch work was likely to get a little bit lost among the flowers in this design, I decided to make life a little easier on myself and use a stretch stitch, therefore avoiding changing out my needle on my machine. I actually loved that I was able to do this without it being obvious or ugly, simply absorbed into the design. However, I was a bit disappointed that the sweet little flowers swallowed up the awesome layered detail of the two front skirt pieces leading down into the slit. If you look closely, you can see where this happens! However, I think this would look so nice if it were a bit more obvious in the fabric.
Despite the fact that spring is coming and it will soon be warming up here in Texas, I was too in love with the look of the three-quarter sleeves paired with the boat neck to choose any more warm-weather appropriate options. Though I may have ended up with a dress that will suit the autumn months a bit better than the spring months, I think I ended up with exactly what I wanted! I think this dress is incredibly chic, and I still can’t get over the fact that it feels even better than it looks, thanks to being as comfy as a nightgown.
As far as pattern sizing goes, my measurements placed me between a 10 and a 12. I sized down to a 10, and quite honestly, I do wish I’d sized down even more! I neglected to check the finished measurements before sewing, and I think a 6 would’ve given me the closer fit I wanted. Once I got to the last stages of this garment and was really able to try it on to get a good idea of the fit, I decided to omit the fabric tie included in the pattern pieces. I knew that to get the nipped in waist I am looking for with this silhouette, the fabric ties just wouldn’t quite cut it – a belt would be my best bet. And thanks to this fabric, I’ve got a lot of color options I can play with! I don’t dislike the size or fit of this version, but I do think that without the belt I’d look a little frumpy. But, I don’t intend to ever wear it without a belt, so I’m safe there!
Big thanks to Athina for another lovely pattern (and congratulations to me for finally making this beautiful fabric into something wearable!). I’ll be back to scrounging around my fabric shelves for ideas soon, but I’m also looking forward to some exciting collaborations coming up in the next couple of months.
Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: AK Patterns – Suzy Dress
Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics – Autumn Field Knit by Dana Willard
Key Ingredients: Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite) and my giant, dreamy cutting board
Though the pattern used for this garment was generously provided to me by Athina Kakou of AK Patterns, all opinions expressed are my own, as always!
- XX Elizabeth