Wren, a knit dress by Colette Patterns, has been available for purchase for about a year. In fact I purchased and downloaded the pdf pattern on October 26, 2015. So let’s pretend that I planned this post to celebrate the pattern’s 1-year anniversary, instead of focusing on the fact that my to-sew list is about a year-behind. 🙂
This knit fabric was a gift from a family friend who was clearing out her stash. She owns a casual knitwear clothing company in Oregon called Fleatwear, Inc. The cotton knit is a solid mid-weight with amazing four-way stretch with pretty good return. (Just ask my cat who got a new fabric scrap toy out of this project.)
There were a few patches of discoloration on the fabric (marked in this pictures by the pins). I’m not sure if this came from my washing of the fabric, bleaching from time and light, or maybe it was always part of the fabric. I was able to cut out the pieces that I needed, but I wouldn’t have had enough fabric for sleeves…so that confirmed my decision.
The knit dress pattern comes with two skirt options, a flutter sleeve or sleeveless option, and Colette provided longer sleeve options to pattern buyers. I made version 1 in a size x-small bodice and size small skirt.
With the exception of grading the bodice to match the larger skirt size, I used the pattern as drafted. There are plenty of opportunities to lengthen and shorten the skirt and bodice pieces, and I will likely take advantage of that on a future version.
Construction & Fit
I constructed the garment mainly with serger and twin needle. This is the first time I’ve used the serger to construct an entire knit garment and it is also the first time I used a twin needle. I was nervous, but it ended up being easier than I expected. I do have some seam puckering on the hem and I think that this would have been the time to us a walking foot.
If you haven’t sewn with a twin needle before, here are two websites that were very helpful!
I’m not quite sure how to get the 3/8″ seam allowance when my serger’s stitches max out at 1/4″ wide. Maybe I should have used the knife to cut the edges. But then again the bodice and skirt already feel a little snug in places.
With knit fabric this thick, it would have been better to pleat rather than gather. The shoulder gathers are a big bulky.
I did grade the side seams of the bodice out to a size small to fit with the skirt. The skirt may need some modifications for wider thighs (technically below the hip measurement we all take) because it pulls across my mid thigh.
The waistband falls just above my natural waist. I’m not quite sure if this is where it is supposed to sit.
I think I stretched the surplice bodice pieces a bit too much, based on these stretch marks. I will restitch the front waistband of the dress to see if I can make it smoother. I will also adjust the armhole in future versions.
Women will appreciate this: Wren has great bust coverage. There is no gaping!
The cotton knit creases a bit. I’ve also noticed that if I scratch an itch through the fabric it leaves a dent in the fabric for a while.
I need to talk to Morgan about sway back adjustments. (UPDATE: While putting away the pattern pieces, I just realized that I traced two Side Front Skirt pieces and forgot to trace/cut the Side Back Skirt piece, so the back of this skirt may not be fitting as intended.)
I really like this pattern. Yes the above comments are calling out all of my quirks of the dress, but I really like it. I wore this dress during 6 hours of driving today and it was incredibly comfortable. I know I will make more versions in the future. I already plan to use the skirt of Version 2 for the base of a long-sleeved dress.
Have any of you made Wren yet? Do you prefer Colette’s Knit or Woven patterns more?
I will leave you with a preview of my next blog post from this weekend’s sewing.