Happy March! It came in like a lion here with a crazy thunderstorm with torrential rain followed by snowfall all the next day. You be crazy, Mother Nature. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled sewing blog…
I heart me some Jalie. I think that is apparent from all of the Jalie I’ve sewn up and there’s more yet to come! The first time I used this pattern was the racerback version for a combination dress and swim cover up for our honeymoon back in 2014, which I never blogged. It took me another three years to realize just how fabulous it is in the raglan version…
OK, so you’ll note that’s not me. That’s my delightful friend Chrystal (and her chickens) of Chrystal & Lucas Photography, who has taken these absolutely fab photos of our family (1 2 3). Her also quite talented hubby (Lucas, as I bet you’d guessed) took all of these great photos of her in her dress.
Chrystal is constantly moving, crouching and leaning over while she works, so knits are kind of a must. Pockets are also very coveted: I’ve never seen someone’s eyes light up so brightly as when I said “yes, I can add pockets.”
We considered a couple of pocket options, but to keep the look chic and professional, ended up going with a…slit pocket? Zippered welt (thanks N) pocket? WTF is this actually called?
There was also a black vs. red zipper thought, but to keep things sleek, black was the choice of the day.
I’m not certain how well the pockets function, because the fabric is so stretchy, but here’s hoping they’ve been good for something! Instead of a completely free-hanging pocket, which I figured would look lumpy and weird at all times, I created the pocket bag by stitching around the pocket to the front of the dress.
For this dress (and mine as well, which you’ll see in a bit!) I used a rayon/lycra jersey pre-cut purchased from Fabric Mart. From what I can see, they bought these out from Craftsy. The fabric is really soft, but I noticed it disappointingly got a bit gray and fuzzy immediately after the first wash (which you can easily see in the zipper examples). Not cool, man. This happened with the fabric for my tunic as well. That said, not all of these pre-cuts are created equal: the ones that aren’t black have fared just fine so far.
The only fitting alternation was to lengthen this 3″ so it was more of a short dress length than a tunic. Chrystal’s definitely a legging gal, but it’s nice to be really sure your ass is (literally) covered when you want it to be!
And now for mine. This is how this tunic makes me feel.
I made the same raglan version of the pattern for myself, but without any length alternations. It doesn’t feel that short to me, but I plan to always wear leggings with it. If it looks familiar, it’s because you saw a sneak peek on Instagram when I made it at The Retreat last month!
I really love this swallow print. So glad I bit on this pre-cut, despite the aforementioned fabric quality issue. It’s just so fucking cute.
When making Chrystal’s tunic, it seemed like the neckline really stretched out when applying the binding. Strangely, I’ve never really had this problem before. I also can’t recall when I’ve ever stabilize a knit neckline (which also feels weird to me to say).
Hers ended up being OK, but I was afraid the same would happen in mine, so I used some knit fusible stay tape. However, what I didn’t take into account was the way Jalie has you apply neck binding: stitch right side of binding to wrong side of fabric, fold over seam allowance, then found ALL OF THAT over to the front of the garment and stitch again.
This method creates a really nice finish, but when it’s all said and done, you really have to be careful that none of the wrong side of the fabric is showing when you’re doing the final row of stitching. And when you add stay tape to that, you sometimes get what happened to me: it wasn’t quite fused well enough, detached from the fabric, and was sticking up, visible, after the first wash! Eep. Dumb. Not doing that again. Perhaps I’ll just try a bit of stay stitching.
I know I want to make myself at least a couple more of these, but might try a longer length in the future. It would be nice to be able to wear with and without leggings, and mama ain’t so into no mini dresses.
In any case: long live this Jalie pattern. It shall adorn my closet for many a moon.