The Lisa dress is a pattern designed for woven fabrics. However, you can definitely make it using a knit fabric, too by taking into consideration a few things. In this installment of the Lisa and Kimberly Hacks series, I am going to tell you everything you need to know to make the Lisa dress out of jersey.
Don’t forget to check out how I made the Kimberly dress using ponte Roma fabric HERE.
Making the Lisa dress out of jersey was something I wanted to try ever since last year. As much as I love wearing cotton dresses in the summer, sometimes you cannot beat the comfort that a jersey garment is offering you.
Tip: you do NOT need an overlocker to sew this garment. Click here to see how you can sew jersey with your regular sewing machine.
Obviously, to make this dress out of jersey you will have to make some minor changes. Nothing too difficult of course!
- Firstly, consider the sizing, especially in relation to the fabric you choose. If your knit fabric has a lot of stretch, you may have to size down. I used this beautiful Art Gallery cotton jersey, which has a nice weight and stretch to it. As it was not very thin and flimsy, I knew I could get away with making my usual size 10 and was prepared to take it afterwards if needed. However, the fit was perfect without any adjustments, so it really depends on how close-fitting you want your garment to be. Knit fabrics can be very forgiving after all, but if you are unsure, I recommend going for the bigger size and adjust later on, as taking things in is certainly easier than letting them out.
- Talking about fabrics, I think it’s best to stay away from very drapey knits. Avoid viscose jersey and anything too light and stretchy. A cotton jersey is your best friend for a project like this.
- Since your garment will be made in a stretchy fabric, there is no need for a zipper on the back. So, you will have to remove the extra seam allowance on the back pieces and cut those on the fold of your fabric. The back skirt piece and the back bodice piece have a 1,5 cm (5/8”) that you will have to remove before you cut out your project.
Tip: if you don’t want to alter your main pattern pieces, you can draw a line at 1,5 cm (5/8”) and fold the paper under. That way, when you will make the woven Lisa dress again, you won’t have to add the seam allowance back.
- The Lisa dress has a fitted bodice with bust darts and waist darts. I do not recommend omitting those, as they will provide the shaping you need for a good fit.
- Lastly, let’s talk about the finish of the armholes and neckline. As I wanted to make the sleeveless version of the Lisa dress, I knew I had to find a way to finish the armholes and neckline in a different way than the facing included in the original pattern. I took a closer look at some RTW jersey dresses in my wardrobe to see how they were finished and I noticed that most of them were using a knit binding. I really loved this idea so I decided to give it a go.
To bind those edges, I used a stretch binding from Minerva. I opted for a white color but you can have fun with a contrast color as well, to make your garment a bit more special on the inside.
I followed the excellent tutorial from Closet Case patterns on how to bind a V-neck bodice and I have to admit it was much easier than I expected. There is also a very detailed blog post by Colette which I read for some extra information. I recommend taking a look at both and go for it!
It’s best to bind those edges before you attach the skirt to the bodice. So, start with stitching the bodice at the shoulder seams, then stitch the side seams and then bind the neckline and armholes. I should also mention that I kept the 1,5 cm (5/8”) seam allowance when attaching my binding as this seam allowance was included in the neckline and armholes. If you want to use a smaller seam allowance, you will have to adjust your pattern pieces as well.
Other than those small changes, the rest of the construction was the same as if I were making the woven Lisa dress, minus the invisible zipper insertion and the facings. It was a very quick and satisfying sew and I’m really happy to finally have a jersey Lisa dress in my wardrobe!
I hope you liked this hack and if you do try it, please send me an e-mail or tag me on social media. I would LOVE to see it.
Until the next time, happy sewing!
PS. Find more hacks for the Lisa and Kimberly dresses below.