crafts · Sewing

Fabric weight frustration

This week I tried to make the Style Arc Marita dress.  I wanted to wear it to December commencement (which was today!)   I used this ITY knit, purchased from fabricmart:
Style Arc Marita

It wasn’t clear to me from the line drawing exactly how clingy the skirt was.  I added 2 inches to the side seams below the waist, but it still turned out pretty fitted.  I didn’t take a photo, but it would have shown everything through the fabric!  I’m sensitive about this issue, especially after the time that I let Vogue use one of my photos for their facebook page and someone oh so helpfully suggested that I needed different underwear.  And then 7 people liked that comment.  Thanks a lot, internet.  I think I’d rather not wear the kind of clothing that requires careful underwear selection. (Note: I’m not still upset about this, really!)

Anyway, I decided to cut it down to a top and removed 12 inches (the skirt fell below my knees to start).  Let’s see how that looks:

First, the top part:
Style arc marita

I’m planning to paint the whole bathroom the color over the light switch this week.  I am tired of this cold blue.

Looks pretty good, right?  The draping works, although you can see just how tiny those sleeves are (they are size 8 as drafted).  But then there is the rest:

Style Arc marita

The fabric is too thin and shows the buttons/fasterners on the skirt.  It even shows the black color through.  So no, this was a bad choice for this pattern.  It actually looks worse in real life, but it’s hard to capture with a still photo.   I really struggle with fabric choice sometimes.  I love color, and that’s what I’m usually drawn to, weight or project suitability be damned!   I have learned that online descriptions only go so far – this was described as medium weight, and while most ITY knits are medium, this one is not.

Not fabric mart’s fault, and not the pattern’s fault – I just have to learn how to take a step back sometimes!

I’m not sure it was the greatest style for me anyway.  I like to experiment with silhouettes, but I still default to full/a-line skirt looks most of the time when I get dressed.  The twisted front is similar to a cowl, and I don’t like cut on cowls (ie where the cowl is part of the front, not sewn on like a turtleneck.)

Upwards and onwards – I’m off to sort my fabric collection by weight, so that maybe I can avoid these types of wadders in the future!

10 thoughts on “Fabric weight frustration

  1. I have the same problems ordering fabric online. Knits are especially difficult. You just don’t know what you are really getting until it arrives.
    That said, you were clever to turn a dress that wasn’t working into a top. It’s a nice save.

  2. I hear your frustration. It is one of the biggest challenges for me also. I seem to be blind to it. I work really hard in this area. I am starting to make really safe choices. Which is a little boring. Currently I have a “channel jacket” fabric. Is this all I can make with it?

  3. The top looks good on you..though I can imagine how disappointed you were that it wasn’t the weight you hoped for. Adding my voice to those frustrated by buying fabric online. Convenient, yes. Easy? Not so much. I have several knit fabrics purchased online that were chosen with one pattern in mind, but after receiving them, it is clear they won’t work out as anticipated. Then there is the issue of color on screen…well, live and learn.

  4. I think it looks great as a top – have you considered taking another 2-3 inches off the hem? That might help with the see-thru. I don’t sew with a lot of knits but I notice this issue with linen – I ordered one described as medium which I thought would be fine until it turned out to be almost canvas weight. Btw, how was the linen you ordered for your drapes?

  5. I think that’s one of the most challenging aspects of sewing…learning to place fabric with a pattern/design. All we can do is learn the lessons, apply them to future projects and keep chugging along. However, I do understand why you were drawn to that color because it looks amazing on you!

  6. How sad…but it happens to us all. I think the top half still looks amazing, though and maybe if you just tucked it into your skirt it would still be useable.

  7. Ah! I understand your frustration! This happens to even the best of us sometimes, even those who work with fabric everyday like me!
    Please don’t be afraid to call or email us at Fabric Mart to help you make those tough choices when you are unsure if the material will be right for your project.
    We have a lot of long-time sewers here that can give you a better idea of what the fabric is like and if it will work.

    We also have a blog where we try to help you choose fabrics that are right for selected patterns. Stop on in and visit us!

    We hope we can help!
    We love your blog!

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