Finished before the sewing machine gave up on me. The Mesa Knit Shift, or How I Gave a Bold Pattern a Try and Survived:


In my work in progress post I wrote about the fit adjustments I made and today you get to see for yourself how they turned out. I’m very pleased with this dress, overall. I do see room for improvement but the dress is wearable and that makes it a win in my book. I went for a patterned fabric that’s a little bit out of my comfort zone, so we’ll have to see how wearable it proves.

You can see that the back could be fitted still a bit better, but, hey, without that curved back seam there would have been lots more fabric pooling over the derrière. Note to self: keep working on it.

It was my first time sewing with ponte. I wish I had started with this fabric when I decided to venture into knits. Ponte doesn’t jerk you around like jersey. Sewing it was smooth sailing all the way, and it’s so well-behaved there was no fraying. More ponte, please. This one is from Girl Charlee.

Here’s where I decided to take a gamble: hems and finishing. I’m usually pretty skeptical about stabilizers, especially fusible ones, but I thought the stability of this fabric would make it less likely that the stabilizer would distort and stretch out the hems. So I turned up the hems, steaming into them some Stitch Witchery I had lying about, and then I catch-stitched them. Here’s what it looks like, inside and out:

The tape did stiffen the sleeve hems pretty visibly, giving them a less fitted shape than intended. I do like their shape, though, so I’ll leave it as is.


Redrafting the neckline was a good idea, and so was working out a sway-back adjustment with the added central back seam. One thing I overlooked was the armhole area — ideally, the armhole should be raised a bit for more mobility and a closer fit. That said, I like how the dress looks and feels on.

And here’s two final shots on the hanger, where it stayed for about five minutes (I keep it folded so it doesn’t stretch out).


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

2 thoughts on “Mesa”

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