Sew To Grow is an Australian based pattern maker. I came across her designs with her famous Bondi Dress and Sydni Dress on Instagram. However, I really wanted to continue to explore sewing with knit fabrics. I had been hoping to find a dress that wasn’t a wrap dress or a T-Shirt dress which seems to be the most popular beginner pattern for knit. This is why I was so excited when I came across the Meridan Knit Dress. On the website, it’s described as a knit dress, “with the beginner in mind.” The design is quite classic with a fitted bodice attached to a straight skirt. It has variations with sleeve length, rounded or squared hemline and vee-neck or rounded neckline. It’s so great when you have so many variations in one pattern.
The pattern has very clear instructions to start with a toile so I decided to make a wearable toile. I’m glad for this advice because I think the type of knit fabric chosen could significantly impact the sizing. I was told early on in my sewing journey that the pattern is only a template and fitting the pattern is the skill that makes the outfit.
You can see in my toile that I chose to sew the size M as my measurements (B:37 W:33 H:38) were in the range but it was too big and I had to bring in my seams from 3/8 inch to 5/8 inch. I did not sew down a size because I felt that the fit around my neckline and bustline were comfortable and I didn’t want that tight feeling under the arm which can happen when you size down. Perhaps, if I had chosen a more stable knit fabric, there would be no need to change the seam size. A little customisation was made by shortening the elastic and only attaching the elastic to the back of the dress leaving the front flatter but gathered between the pockets.
The fabrics that I chose to sew the Meridan Knit dress were both Rayon Spandex. This fabric has great drape and is so lightweight and comfortable to wear. It’s also wrinkle free and won’t need ironing. I could not resist this beautiful Jocelyn Proust Design with beautiful honeyeater birds. Honeyeaters are frequent visitors in my garden and provide so much entertainment with their energetic flittering from branch to branch and lively chatter.
The instructions were very clear and concise in this pattern. There was some slight confusion on the order of the instructions like hemming the sleeves and skirt before attaching to the bodice. I realised later that this would have given a neater finish if I had done it this way. For efficiency, because I had to change to a twin needle for the hemming, I had left the hemming of sleeve and skirt to the end which worked out fine as well. The bias binding for the neckline stumped me a little but that’s down to my learning style as I’m a visual learner so I decided to sew a band method to finish the neckline which I was already familiar with and liked the look of. Luckily, if you need to, there are sew-along tutorials you can access if you subscribe as a Sew To Grow Club member (monthly fee applies for subscription) and there are a lot of free tutorials loaded onto the Sew To Grow site.
The Meridan Knit Dress was an enjoyable sew and knit fabric is a breeze to work with once you’ve got the hang of it. In fact, it seemed to take less and less time with my toile taking me a couple of days to complete and my last dress only taking me half a day to whip up!
I’ve been wearing them on repeat and have had so many people ask me where I bought my dress. It’s been so rewarding to be able to sew myself something as lovely as this dress and by the way, it has pockets!
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!