Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime.
In honor of Daylight Savings (which my husband hates and would lobby to get rid of)
((Spoken as a true Arizonian))…well, I’ve got sunshine and summertime on my mind.
Are you a summer lover too?
Or is winter more your vibe?—sitting by a fire, reading a good book and crocheting? Lucy wishes it would rain every day. I keep telling her she should live in the PNW when she grows up. It’s totally gorgeous. And totally that vibe.
Weather is a funny thing—like it’s part of our personality. Or rather, our relationship to weather is part of us, in our DNA. A Nature vs Nurture thing? I have a friend that grew up in Portland and never knew what it was like to see so much sunshine till she moved away as a teenager and fell in love with the sun. And then we know people who left sunny southern California this year for the giant green forests of Oregon and love it.
Whatever your weather language is, I think most of us agree that knit fabric is one of the best ideas ever. I love a good knit. And THIS KNIT IS THE SOFTEST THING AROUND. I’ve said that before. And probably before. But it really is soft!
This is the Backyard Berry knit from my Summer Side fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. There are three knits in this collection, and sixteen quilting cottons. You can browse them on my site here, or check out the AGF lookbook here.
I also added the sleeve cuffs, because that is my favorite look. It’s the version we used on the pattern cover (in picnic plaid fabric). And I smiled at this pic below (from Boden I think??) because it has a similar feel. And with the orange background, totally ties into the whole Summer Side collection!
If you’ve never sewn with knits before, DO NOT STRESS. They’re fun, they’re an adventure, but they’re not scary. I have tons of content here on my site about sewing with knits. And I have detailed videos here and here and here.
The key with knits (in this instance) is to not stretch the fabric as you sew. The nice thing with this pattern is that the bias strip binding for the neckline (when cut out of quilting cotton) will help you avoid that all together. And it looks so stinking cute when you cut the binding from a striped fabric. Watch me sew a neckline binding in this video here.
The downside to using a knit here (or rather, the “make it work” moment I experienced) is that AGF knits are a bit on the heavier side. This is fabulous when sewing a pair of leggings. But I found that it added more bulk and weight around the waistline seam. So I scaled back the width of fabric used for the peplum. And even then, the finished dress felt too “big” to me (it would feel totally different if this was sewn in a rayon fabric). So, I added a simple tie around the waist, and then I loved it!
Like I said, knits are always an adventure. Each one acts and stretches differently than another. For this waistband tie, I simply cut a long strip of fabric, yanked it on the ends so it curled up around itself and that was that! No sewing or finishing anything off, since most knit fabric does not fray at the edges.