Saturday, June 1, 2013

Completed: I'll Fly Away Dress

You know the hymn "I'll Fly Away"? It's one of my all-time favorites. My great-grandmother was a member of a tiny country church in Kentucky, and they had no piano or musical instruments. Their song leader would start the hymn, and we'd all join in.

"I'll Fly Away" makes me think of old leather seats that flipped up when I stood up to sing; watching my grandmother's crooked, weathered fingers pass me a communion cup filled with grape juice; hearing her proud introduction of "Jean's granddaughter"; knowing I was surrounded by good people who had known my family for generations.

I'm calling this the "I'll Fly Away" Dress because it makes me happy and comfortable, like the times I listened to voices sing the song in the Bell City Church of Christ.

Oh, and because it has birds on it.

Fabric: Knit from Spiritex, Liberty of London from Etsy, Bemburg Rayon from Joann. (Oh, my goodness. That lining is as dreamy as the Internets promised. With a 50% off coupon from Joann it's only $5 a yard.) I had less than a yard of the bird fabric.
Pattern: Modified Renfrew and self-drafted skirt
Size and Mods: 4 and none other than cutting off the shirt
Thoughts: This dress is the same one I made with all knit, but this time I dropped the waist and used cotton for the bottom. Also, I lined it -- sewed up the skirt and lining separately, and then attached the two RST at the bottom. Once joined, I edge-stitched around the bottom and serged the top to have a clean, lined finish. I used elastic thread to gather the skirt and to attach it to the bodice. It's too loose this time, so it definitely needs a belt. But this black one's so comfortable I don't mind wearing it all day.

I stuck with the neckband from the pattern and just rolled the sleeves under twice to finish. The neckband isn't perfect. Ugh. Knit neckbands are just humbling for me. It's that simple.

Next time: I've got one more to finish in this style -- it's all knit and the bodice will have bulls on it. Bulls. I can't wait.


  1. Try foldover elastic for a collar finishing for a knit shirt. :) It's my favorite.

    1. I've not seen that-- I'll have to try it! Thanks for the tip!

  2. So cute. You are amazing. Is that a Charlie Harper bird print? I love it. It looks very "antrhopologie".

    1. Thanks! It's called "Pauley Parrot" by Liberty of London. I should've put this in the post -- I originally spotted this fabric in Waechter's back in 2010 when it came out. I wasn't confident enough to spend that kind of money on fabric, so I got a sample and vowed to improve my skills. When I went back for it, it was GONE! It was "the one that got away" until I found it on etsy recently after a LONG time of looking! (I still have that 3-year-old sample in my sewing things.)


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