adult's clothing · sewing

my knitwit frankenpattern dress

I’ve mentioned before that back in around 1990 I did a Knitwit course where I learned to sew knit fabrics.  Actually, the knit fabrics that were available then were quite different to the knits that are available now.  Nowadays many knits (but not all) have a fair percentage of lycra or spandex.  Back then they were all cotton or poly/cotton, either jersey or sweatshirting or double knits.  Oh, let’s not forget the nylon knits – I did a short course in sewing lingerie at Knitwit as well.  So there was a variety, but now there is even more variety!  But I digress.  The point of mentioning the course is that I bought a number of the Knitwit patterns while doing it.  One pattern that I made a few times was a bodysuit pattern.  Remember those back in the late 80s and early 90s?  The attached underpants-style section kept your top nicely tucked in to your high waisted jeans/pants/skirts.

2013-05-18 08.02.14

I really liked that bodysuit. It had a lovely cross-over tucked front. So I decided to pull it out of my archives, whack a half-circle skirt from another Knitwit pattern onto it, and make it a dress. What was 1990 is now 2013!

1990 Knitwit frankenpattern dress

So, the top of the dress is Knitwit pattern 500 crossover dress and bodysuit, and the skirt Knitwit pattern 2400 gored and circular skirts. I used the full circle skirt pattern. I cut size 14 in both the top and the skirt (the top was still traced at size 14 from when I’d made it in 1990). The belt is copied from a mesop belt that I own.

1990 Knitwit frankenpattern dress

Not surprisingly considering that this was a 1990 design, this dress really needs raglan shoulder pads in it to sit nicely. Those dropped shoulders are typical of their time too!

1990 Knitwit frankenpattern dress

The fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics. It has a slight sheen and some texture to it. It was surprisingly easy to cut and to sew. The two rings for the belt are from You Sew Girl. It was super easy to make. Twice the finished width (plus seam allowances) with the length of the belt the full width of the fabric. Thread through two large rings and sew the end down with some left hanging, then to wear it thread through the both the rings from the other end, tucking the fabric back through one to secure it. That is as clear as mud but hopefully you can tell what I mean from the photo. I don’t usually wear belted dresses, but this one needed it, and since it is all in the same fabric I reckon that it works.

1990 Knitwit frankenpattern dress

That circle skirt twirls! I finished the sleeve hems with a zig-zag, but left the skirt hem raw (sacrilege!) – it hangs nicely left as it is, and doesn’t fray. Yes, it’s certainly more than reminiscent of 1990, but I am very happy to be wearing it today.  Old Knitwit patterns from this series often pop up at op-shops if you are interested.  They are great stretch fabric basics, even now.

1990 Knitwit frankenpattern dress

My husband’s comments on this dress were along the lines of “yes, Obi-wan….”


6 thoughts on “my knitwit frankenpattern dress

  1. Clever idea! I remember the Knitwit shops, too, but I never took any classes.

    I know what you mean by the sacrilege comment. I really struggle with that whole deconstructed look on garments I make. It’s fine for others and RTW but I really have to push myself to leave even the seam allowances unfinished.

    Your husband is clearly a very funny man. 😉

  2. I really quite like it. I am a fan of brown, and franken-patterning, and I think the Obi-wan comment makes me more fond of it yet 🙂 Oh yes and I certainly wore my share of bodysuits, snap snap.

  3. Another certified Knitwit here. I still have all my patterns, booklets and course notes from way back when but I rarely use anything other than the kids patterns for basic shorts and t-shirts for the boys. Perhaps I need to get them out and cast a different eye over them. Great job with the dress!

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