When I made my Aliexpress fabric order for mid-weight cotton slub knits (destined to become two winter dresses), I threw in some plain cotton/spandex jersey to keep on hand. As with the cotton slub knits, I was impressed with the quality of the cotton/spandex and decided to sew it up straight away.
Although lightweight cotton/spandex jersey wasn’t a recommended fabric, I couldn’t help but cut out the In the Folds Jersey Dress. It just looked so cute and snuggly, and to be real I’m so uncreative 99% of my fabric-pattern matches are based on colour alone.
I made a few mods along the way: the first was to swap out the cut-on pattern pockets for totally separate inseam pockets. I’m sure the pattern as drafted would work well in a more stable knit as suggested, but in this stretchy cotton elastane they’d just droop and pull.
I inserted side seam pockets according to this tutorial. You basically fuse the insertion area first, before attaching using the overlocker, sewing the side/pocket seam in one go with same, then stitching up the side seams a little with your sewing machine to make a smooth opening. I also understitched the pockets to keep them from flipping out.
Then I utilised my latest trick for avoiding saggy pockets: smooth them out over a flat surface, pin, then topstitch to the skirt/dress. They’re not perfect, sagging a little in the stretchy fabric, but I can keep my hankie in them so I really don’t care.
When it was finished, there was just something off about it. It was due to my choice of fabric, I knew, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. So I threw it in a corner and
agonised for days over why I even bother sewing when 90% of my projects turn out like shit maybe I should just give up and start fishing instead thought about it.
It wasn’t until I found this boyfriend dress on Asos that I realised what I disliked about my project: it was a winter pattern, made in summer fabric. All I had to do to save it was lop off the sleeves and make it a summer dress! (Far easier than the totally-unpicking-it-to-make-a-tank-dress scenario I had in my head.)
I removed the hem band to better balance the proportions of the body against the new square sleeves, hemmed both at 1cm, and just like that, I had the perfect boxy summer dress.
This isn’t any indictment on the pattern itself or In the Folds, just a style preference dictated by my usual poor fabric-pattern match. I was actually very impressed by the drafting, style and instructions of this pattern, and really want to make a winter version up in some French terry now.
What I was pleasantly surprised by was how well this translated to a simple raglan-sleeve shift dress without the bands, and would recommend it to anyone looking to make either the dress as drafted or who are on the lookout for a basic knit dress pattern. It’s free, but better drafted than so many expensive patterns out there on the market – why not give it a go?
Pattern: In the Folds Jersey Dress
Pattern details: “The jersey dress is a simple and modern sweater dress with a comfortable and relaxed fit. It features raglan sleeves and in-seam pockets, along with neck band, hem band and sleeve cuffs.” Available as a free PDF download from Peppermint Sewing School in sizes Aus 8-16.
Fabric: 2m x 175cm wide 40s cotton/spandex knit (A0385). 94% cotton, 6% spandex, combed finish, 175gsm. 05 Charcoal grey. From Aliexpress.
Other materials: Washaway stabiliser to stabilise hems when zigzagging. Lightweight fusible interfacing strips for pocket insertion.
Mods: Size 12
– Added maybe 12mm to hem, then omitted band and hemmed at 1cm
– Trimmed sleeves approx. 9cm down from underarm seam, hemmed at 1cm
– Lowered front neck a couple of cm’s, widened whole neckline a little too
– Used own narrow neckband piece, finished width 1cm
– Added inseam, topstitched pockets using this tutorial