I have been dying to make this dress for a couple of months now, and the timing was finally right, i.e., no more wedding activities. Plus, it is so darn hot here in Atlanta, that a flowy, knit dress is just the right thing. I think I've mentioned before that I haven't done much sewing with knits in my entire sewing career, so I just want to share some observations I made while making this dress.
I used a needle specifically for knits, the Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint 80/12.
Sometimes I used a straight stitch, and sometimes the stretch stitch (#9 on my Bernina 440). For the majority of the seams, I used the walking foot. That seemed to work the best, and I think the stretch stitch should probably have been used for any seam with stress (i.e., most of them).
I only made one alteration to the pattern, and that was to add 1-1/2" down the center of the front and back skirt piece. In other words, the pieces were cut on the fold, so I just moved the entire piece 3/4" away from the folded edge. I just wanted a bit more gathering for tummy camouflage. Since I made the sleeveless version, I discovered later that I hated the way they had you hem the armscyes, which was just to turn it in and make a narrow hem. Mine looked floppy and homemade, and since the back was too wide there anyway, I used the bias tape method, just guesstimating where I wanted the top of the shoulder to be. Not terribly precise, but it worked for me.
After stitching each seam, I serged the edge for finishing. I think it makes it look more like RTW:
Finally, I had the devil of the time with the hem. Any hints for hemming jersey? I tried serging the single layer edge first, and that was a disaster, and luckily I stopped after only about 10". I ended up then trying to press down 1/4" to finish the raw edge, and pressing is pretty impossible. Next I just eyeballed the 1/4" and stitched it down. Then I folded it up 5/8" for the final hem, and pinned extensively. Still, it looked like it would shift all over the place when I pulled out the pins as I stitched.
I remembered reading this post recently by fellow sewing blogger, Carolyn, and pulled out what was probably a vintage roll of stitch witchery, inserted it between the folded up hem and the dress and pressed. Yay for stability! I then used a twin needle (any tips for using those?) to achieve the RTW cover stitch type hem.