Go To Dress Q & A

Have a question about the Go To Dress? You might find your answer here. If not, leave a question and I’ll try to answer.

Q: Can beginning sewists make this dress?

A: Of course! It isn’t my recommended first project for someone learning to sew, however. If you are just starting out, may I recommend starting with a Simple Skirt? If you are comfortable sewing straight lines and pinning fabric, you can move on to this dress.

Q: Where do you buy knit fabric online?

A: I love the 100% cotton knit jersey and interlock fabric from Chez Ami. Check their clearance section for some great deals. You can also find great knits at Fabric.com and other online retailers.

Q: What is interlock and what is jersey? What is rib knit?

A: The short answer is that interlock is a heavier knit fabric and jersey is lighter weight. Jersey will curl up on the edges after you cut it so you will need to iron more frequently. Most of the t-shirts you have are probably a jersey knit.

Rib knit is a much stretchier knit that has “ribs” in it. It is most often used for t-shirt neckbands to help a shirt fit over a head. It is sometimes used for other clothing or leggings because it has the most stretch out of any knit.

Q: Can I just add length to make this for a taller child?

A: Maybe. If you have a child who usually wears a 6 or 7 and is thin you could probably just add length in the body and sleeves. I am hoping to extend the pattern to larger sizes soon.

Q: What is the difference between sewing knit fabric and a woven fabric?

A: Lots. A knit fabric needs to stretch so using a regular stitch while sewing is not a great idea. You thread will probably break when trying to put a garment on (though polyester or nylon thread have a bit more stretch than cotton). Some sewing machines have a special “knit stitch”. If not, you should use a small zigzag stitch. A serger, or overlock machine is ideal for knits because it allows the fabric the most stretch, but it isn’t completely necessary. There are some great resources about sewing on knits if you are interested. Start with this great article from Sew Mama Sew.

Q: I’m confused about how to sew on the rib knit neckline!

A: There are quite a few different ways to sew a rib knit neckline. You can do it this way, or that, or many other ways. Start with one of these ways. This way might be fun with this dress.

Q: How to I “gather between the dots” on the neckline and shoulder ruffle?

A: When cutting out your fabric, use a water soluble marker or fabric chalk to mark where the dots on your cut fabric piece. The dots are marked by size. In order to gather between the dots, use a long stitch, or basting stitch to sew from dot to dot. Then gently pull one thread (the underside or bobbin thread is easiest) to gather the fabric. The more you gather it, the narrower your neckline will be. I’d recommend gathering it a lot to make the dress true to size but each child is different. A good way to figure out how much to gather is to hold the piece up to a t-shirt that fits well to check the width from shoulder to shoulder. Keeping in mind you’ll have a seam allowance at the shoulders. Once the rib is sewn on the neckline I carefully remove the basting stitch so the neck can stretch.

With the shoulder ruffle, do the same procedure but ruffle as much as you can to make a rufflier ruffle.

Q: How do I finish the hem?

A: Patty Young has some great videos explaining the different ways to hem a knit garment. I highly recommend checking them out. (scroll down to the bottom of the post for the videos)