Pop Quiz: Fix this dress #2 pt.2
Continuing from part one, we had a wide range of responses. Thank you.
Many of us (self included) guessed that the teal was a woven while the remainder was knit, contributing to the problem. The fiber description: “70%VISCOSE 25%POLYAMIDE 5%SPANDEX” and as it is fully lined, [sic] “LINING: 97%POLTESTER 3%SPANDEX” would seem to contradict a woven but this would not be the first time that product descriptions were inaccurate.
Since we don’t know, let’s play this two ways. Let’s run through a scenario that the teal is a woven and also a rundown as if it were a knit. Game?
1. Teal is woven.
A lot of people mentioned walking the pattern to compare seam lengths of the affected area. Several also mentioned an issue of material feeding whether by machine or operator. I’m also inclined to agree these two factors are the most likely culprits with one glaring absence -that of design.
Design is much more than a cute idea; it must be reproducible, cost effective to make, provide value to the customer, have reasonable wearing life, be relatively easy to care for and all that. An overlooked facet of design is making sure materials will work well together and compliment the product. You’re free to disagree but I would hesitate to use a woven panel joined to knit as it was in this dress. Summary, the seed of failure was germinating well before it got to fruition.
All that said, sewing a woven to knit isn’t going to create grave problems if the pattern and handling is done properly. I enter a closeup of the upper neckline into evidence. The teal and black is joined but the teal side of the seam is smooth.
2. Teal is knit.
Assuming the teal block is knit, difficulties could stem from a different hand. I remind you of something you all know; the hand of even the “same” fabrics can vary depending on color. Some knits are so firm they can act more like wovens. Another possibility is shrinkage. As we all know, black is notorious for shrinkage. It is possible (but I don’t think likely) that these were joined evenly and the black shrank in final pressing.
Whether the teal was knit or woven is of little consequence (in my opinion) because I think the problem was mismatched seam lengths in that the lower edge of the teal block was longer than the black it joined to. If you look closely at the lower black piecing, the center area seems to be bowing up slightly at the hem. Bowing is a consequence of stretching -the piece shortens vertically at the area of greatest horizontal stretch- that’s what knit does. I could see how a stitcher would pull the black a bit to have its seam length match the piece its joined to. At the same time, if the black was bowing up from stretch, this would explain the formation of a rather large “package” above that point. Comments?
One aside I feel compelled to mention with tender heart to my lovely friends, I think garment faults attributed to grainline problems is over used. You know, it’s something thrown in for general good measure, like the 13th roll in a baker’s dozen to cover your bases or a catch-all ailment in the event you forgot something else. That said, I did like Bente’s suggestion that bias cutting the teal/woven could reduced disparity of knit recovery (if that in fact was the problem).