In the Folds Jersey Dress for summer

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.

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears a short-sleeve, grey knit boxy tee dress with pockets, black leggings and black ankle boots. She is smiling.
It was REALLY windy when we tried to take these photos, so these are the best of a bad lot. All of those drape lines basically disappear in person.

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.

 

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears a short-sleeve, grey knit boxy tee dress with pockets, black leggings and black ankle boots. She is smiling.

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.

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears a short-sleeve, grey knit boxy tee dress with pockets, black leggings and black ankle boots. Her back is to the camera.

 

When it was finished, there was just somethingย offย 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.)

Asos Tall boyfriend dress, a jersey short sleeve sweat dress in a grey marle.
ASOS DESIGN Tall boyfriend t-shirt dress with pocket

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.

 

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears a short-sleeve, grey knit boxy tee dress with pockets, black leggings and black ankle boots. She is facing side on to the camera, and a black and white fluffy cat rests at her feet.

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?

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears a short-sleeve, grey knit boxy tee dress with pockets, black leggings and black ankle boots. She is smiling.

 

The deets:
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

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

4 thoughts on “In the Folds Jersey Dress for summer”

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