Friday, 2 September 2016

Fall Sewing: The Techno Dress

Project #2 from my fall sewing list can now be checked off.

I'm calling this one the techno dress. It is a reference to the fabric, listed as a techno knit on the label.  

I've heard of scuba knit but this is the first time I've come across anything listed as "techno knit." After coming home with this fabric I did some research and discovered that it's been around for awhile. This is a stretchy, sturdy, light-weight knit that has a sheen and drapes beautifully. This fabric is not as thick and spongey as a scuba knit, and is often compared to a double knit fabric. But it is lighter than a double knit and it does have some spongey-like characteristics evident while cutting out this project and as the presser foot moved across the fabric.  

Working with this fabric was a totally new experience even though I've been seeing more and more man-made knits in the fabric stores over the years. I usually steer away from them but this time I was really drawn to the colbolt blue colour and sheen of this fabric. I found a 2011 article that describes the appearance of this "new" emerging textile, 
as prices for pure raw materials become more and more expensive many mills have responded by mixing less-precious yarns into their compositions and using new treatments to create substantial fabrics from lighter-weight fibres. The full body of these fabrics demand less tailoring.  
I'm not completely sold on the scuba / techno fabric trend, if we can call it a trend after all these years?  It was fun and challenging to sew with a new fabric and I like my dress but I don't think I would be overly thrilled about a wardrobe full of this textile. Call me old-fashion but I like wool and cotton knits over this manufactured stuff since I tend to have bad luck with longevity of man-made fibres. But the colbolt blue colour, goodness, I like the colour. I just hope the fabric holds up to everyday wear and won't be prone to piling like some manufactured knits.

This fabric was pretreated with a tumble in the washing machine and dryer. It handled both quite well and I didn't notice any change to the hand of the fabric. I was worried about how to press this and did a test on the "silk" setting on my iron. I was thrilled that it could take more heat than the synthetic setting on my iron, it made attaching the Knit-N-Stitch tape a whole lot easier.

And some left-over lint from the previous projects. My bad.

I will admit that I did find it tricky to sew. The seams were stitched with the knit (lightning bolt) stitch and I did use the walking foot. I found that I had to slow down my sewing significantly and gentle tug at the threads / fabric to prevent it from getting caught in the plate. Which did happen twice during the construction of this dress. Thankfully, there was no need for a seam ripper because goodness, I don't think I would want to even try to take stitches out of this fabric.

The patterns used to make this dress were a combination of two favourites, Lynn Mizono's bodice from Vogue 1312 and the skirt from Marcy Tilton's Vogue 9060. After this version, I knew I wanted another for work. But now I'm thinking this is too nice for work.

The Stats:

Fabric:   2.2 metres

Lining:  0.5 metres

Patterns:  Vogue 1312 and 9060

Interfacing tape:  1.2 metres

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, thread, tweezers, brushes, screwdrivers, walking foot, cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers,  iron, ironing board, pumpkin spice coffee, wrist braces, and some tender loving care (heat pads) for my back.

Happy Sewing!


  1. HI Graca, I am in agreement, I find the colours, weight and drape of these new polyester knits so tempting. But the polyester sweater knits pilled immediately after wearing them. I am not sure about how long they will be wearable, or comfortable. Natural fibres seem to be a luxury these days!

    1. So true. I noticed that my striped top,, that I made back in July is piling when it came out of the washing machine. It was remnants but still, it is sad and makes me think it is not work my time to sew with these fabrics when they tend to pill to quickly. I'm hoping that I will get more wear out of this dress.

  2. Love the cobalt blue dress, and a big thank you for the interesting info on techno knits. I am gearing up for some fall sewing though we have 2 more months of warm temps ahead.

  3. The colors they can achieve on these fabrics are amazing but, like you, natural fabrics still feel the best on my body.


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