Library dress in City Weekend

The green library dress I made for E last wear has been worn and loved so much.  It was made by modifying the Oliver+S library dress for knit fabrics, following this tutorial from Melissa at Meow Made.  She’s been after me to make another library dress for months and I finally got it made.

library dress : lizzieville 1

Her previous dress (using size 3 pattern as a base) is snug so I used the size 4 pieces this time.  I also added some length.  The main fabric is City Weekend, Liesl Gibson’s fabric released in 2010.  I found some stashed away in a fabric shop a couple years ago and have been saving it for something special ever since.  The gray contrast is Kaufman laguna jersey.  My pattern pieces didn’t quite line up in the front so I gathered the skirt piece a bit.  If I make another one I might run the band piece around the entire dress and maybe make the entire skirt a bit gathered, front and back.

library dress : lizzieville 3

I sewed each seam with my machine first and finished the edges with a serger.  I’m still working on my hemming skills, however.  Right now I’m using the double needle (with polyester thread) and wooly nylon in the bobbin.  I think the tension is still a bit off, pulling the stitches a bit more than necessary.  I’ve also been hand-winding the wooly nylon thread onto the bobbin after reading that tip somewhere, but I’m not sure if that’s making things better or worse.  I haven’t investigated using my walking foot or stretch thread yet, so those are other options to consider.  I was so close to buying a cover stitch machine but just couldn’t decide which one to get and whether it would be worth storing and bringing out another machine to the kitchen table when I sewed.

library dress : lizzieville 2

Anyway, even with less than perfect hems this is such a wearable dress and I love the colors.  If I had more time I’d be tempted to make her an entire wardrobe of these.  E would probably approve.  She grabbed this dress out of the clean clothes pile and insisted on wearing it today.  We got a few pictures before heading off to school.

library dress : lizzieville 4 library dress : lizzieville 5

Of course, O wanted in on the fun.  These two crack me up every day.

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12 thoughts on “Library dress in City Weekend

  1. I’ve had the same issues with hemming knits with the double needle. I finally decided to go old school and stick to an old fashioned zig zag. It looks just fine, doesn’t pop and never gets weird on me.
    This dress looks great 🙂

  2. This is so cute! The knit versions of this dress are my favorites. And hey, that hem looks pretty dang good to me! I need to try the wooly nylon or stretch thread …

    • Thank you, Inder! I think it’ll stand up well it just is a little more raised and noticeable than I’d like. Knit clothes really our the favorites around here, so it’s worth it to try out different methods and see what lasts!

  3. Your knit version of the dress is really cute – the colours are wonderful and it just looks so wearable! I haven’t converged on a favourite knit hemming technique yet either – my double needle hems won’t lay flat, and my daughter rips through zig-zagged hems in no time (especially on t-shirts).

    • Thank you! And yes, the double needle hem won’t stay flat! I’m going to mess around with the tension and see if that’ll help. I try to use cuffs whenever possible, but the bottom of dresses just have to be hemmed!

  4. I love this in knit! The colours are gorgeous too.
    My double needle tip is to do as you’re doing but back the bobbin thread tension right off. That allows the woolly nylon bobbin thread to zig zag fully and no pulling or tunneling of the needle threads.
    I have two bobbin casings. One at normal tension for sewing, and a loose tensioned one for double needle hems.
    Anyway, love this dress and after I’ve finally made the Library dress straight up I’ll be copying you for sure!

    • Thank you! I look forward to seeing your versions! 🙂 And I’ll have to figure out the bobbin thread tension and try to adjust it. I don’t even know how to adjust the tension on the bobbin itself so clearly I have a lot more to investigate!

  5. That’s a great dress – I love the colors and the fabric and it’s no wonder she chooses it, knit dresses are the best! Your hems look great to me, but I agree, the perfect knit hem is elusive!

    • Thanks! And agreed, knit dresses are so nice and easy to wear. So far the double needle hem is holding up except that I missed the fabric in the back in a couple place so I need to go back and repair. Next time, more careful measuring while ironing up the hem!

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