The Out and About Dress - my first try and the perfect simple knit!

A new dress to share today, and a truly impressive PDF pattern from a fellow blogger and friend, Caroline of Sew Caroline! She has adorable DIY creations up on her blog and is so sweet - has been a reader of this blog for a while, too! We go way back. ;) So so cool that she has a pattern line going, and I love the basic Out and About Dress--so wearable and fun, a really great starter project or simple quickie for someone like me to put together in a couple hours. No darts, no zipper, knit so easy neck binding and hemming... a joy to sew!!

I got to tryout the Out and About Dress pattern as part of the tour this week! I made it with this charcoal grey sweater knit, with my walking foot and a ball point needle. This was the first dress of this construction method I've ever made--since there's no closure at the center back or anything, you gather the front and back skirt pieces separately and attach them to the front and back bodice pieces first. Then sew the shoulder seam; then add the sleeve pieces (before you sew them together as sleeves) - definitely different than a tailored dress construction, but easier, and still turns out a great fit!

Here it is!

(Another grey knit! Can you tell I'm into them recently? Really getting more experience working with knits and loving the comfy basics like grey heather.)

So perfect that recently I got a Sewing Circle question from a reader about how to make this Madewell dress (the Sweatshirt Dress, now sold out). The Out and About pattern would be perfect for that, with some modifications! Shorter sleeves, higher neck in the front, pleated skirt rather than gathered. Hope someone tries that out!!

I did deviate from the pattern in that I didn't use the pattern pieces for the skirt at all; I did my usual rectangles-the-width-of-the-fabric-and-the-approximate-length method, which usually works great, but in this case my fabric was WAY too wide for this little knit waist, and I ended up with very dense gathers and a very full skirt. And, the knit was uneven so I had to cut quite a few inches off all the way around once it was attached to the waist, and as you can see, it's a little on the short (and full) side. OOPS. Guess I should have followed the pattern more closely... ;) Next time!

The full skirt is good for twirling, though ;)

At the end of the instructions, Caroline says,
"YOU’RE FINISHED! CONGRATULATIONS! Wasn’t that fun? Now, who wants to make another?!"

and it's so true! It was fun! I'm definitely ready to make another!! There are endless variations, so many opportunities! Such a fun basic pattern!

I'm sure there are more variations happening as we speak. The Out and About Dress pattern tour is happening this week!

3/24/2014
Adventures in Dressmaking
Four Square Walls

3/25/2014
Alida Makes
Paisley Roots

3/26/2014
Lexi Made
True Bias

3/27/2014
Sewing Like Mad
A Golden Afternoon

3/28/2014
Llady Bird
House of Pinheiro

Thanks for the chance to review, Caroline!

9 comments

  1. Cute dress! I so want to make something with knit soon. So comfy!

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  2. i would wear that dress every day. seriously. i love a simple grey dress. i may need to copy you and make myself up another version.

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  3. I've been hunting for this pattern since I've found your blog and I got super lucky at finding it on ETSY! Better yet? It was NEW and on SALE!! I ordered it a week ago and got it today!! I'm new to sewing so if there is any advice on how I can preserve this pattern or even a way to scan it or something so I could help those who don't have the pattern, please let me know! I love getting inspired by your blog, AID ! :)

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  4. Love sew carolines's out and about dress! I was lucky enough to get to pattern test this dress for her! Love your version!

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  5. I am actually surprised that this is your first knit!! Knit/jersey material is so much more softer on a woman's body and drapes perfectly. I love this dress and this pattern.

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  6. I love that you tried out my sewing circle question, it looks amazing! I still haven't gotten around to making it because school is really busy right now. I'm actually about to start a school sewing project to make an Italian Renaissance gown!

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  7. How do you know how much to take off each side? Since the bands are stretchy, I'm having a hard time measuring mine.

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