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New York Minute Sew Along – Pre Sew Along Kickoff – Choosing Fabrics

We are excited to announce our upcoming New York Minute Sew-Along starting November 6! If you haven’t participated in a sew-along before, check out our New York Minute Sew Along Information page for some basic info.

You’re gonna have some choices to make! View options for this girls’ dress pattern in sizes 12 months to 9/10 years include hood, ribbing, or faced neckline, long or short sleeves, inset or kangaroo pocket, and ribbing or A-line hem. There’s also a bonus tutorial right in the pattern for creating a New York Minute Top, so if you sew for boys or just want a top rather than a dress, you can sew along too.

You’ll also need to choose some great fabric, and that’s where this post comes in as a little pre-sew-along kickoff to help you choose.

Using Stretchier Knits. The New York Minute Dress pattern is designed and sized for 25%-35% stretch fabrics, which are more stable knits, but as a sew-along bonus, we’ll show you how to sew your NYM pattern with stretchier fabrics like cotton/lycra or double-brushed polyester. Really, there’s nothing to it! A stretchier fabric will just result in a looser fit if you make your regular size, or you can size down 1 size in width (but make your usual length) for a closer fit. Instructions for sizing down in width are right in the pattern, and we’ll go over it in the sew-along too. Remember when purchasing fabric that if you size down in width, you will still need the yardage required for your length size.

Here’s an example of the New York Minute made in a lightweight cotton/lycra jersey from Cali Fabrics. Our model has a chest size of 22″, which is right on the cusp of sizes 3 and 4.  The dress on the left is made in a size 3, and the dress on the right is size 4.  The size 3 dress is a bit more fitted, and the size 4 dress looks just a bit more relaxed.  Both dresses look great though and hang with more drape than a heavier knit would provide.

Size 3 width (left), Size 4 width (right). 22″ chest.

These two NYMs by Sam and I designs are made from cotton/lycra and are both sized down in width.

These 3 below were sewn with jersey by our Sew-Along guest admin Stephanie in her girl’s regular size, without sizing down.

Double brushed poly (DBP) is another fabric that is stretchier than the pattern recommendations but still works nicely for the New York Minute dress. It’s a bit heavier than single-brushed poly and holds its shape nicely even while providing a nice drape.  Stephanie sewed the dresses below with DBP from Vintage Lace. You can see the lovely drape at the hemline!

So, feel free to pick a DBP or cotton/lycra for your sew-along dress!
More About Fleece and Stable Knits. Let’s talk a little more about the pattern’s recommended fabrics and the concept of drape.  Drape is how a fabric falls against or stands away from the body. Fabric will have the same properties in a dress that it does on the bolt, so if the yardage is bulky and doesn’t hang well, it will look the same sewn as a dress.  When testing fabrics at the store, pull out the bolt and unwrap a yard or so, then use your hand to allow the fabric to hang from it.  Fabrics that have a moderate drape work very well for this dress – you don’t want the fabric to stand stiffly away from your hand, but also not cling to the shape of your hand either.  Below are a few examples of recommended fabrics showing their drape, from least to most. See how the first stands in a large cone, and the last falls much straighter.
Left – Polar fleece, Middle – Sweatshirt fleece, Right – Cotton/Lycra
Drape is one reason that thicker, stiffer fleeces (such as that called “Blizzard” fleece at JoAnn fabrics) are not recommended for your NYM dress. This yellow Blizzard fleece hangs very stiffly with little drape. Joann’s Fleece Buying Guide provides some more information about various fleeces.
Check out these pretty NYMs made with the pattern’s recommended knits: polar fleece, sweatshirt fleece, and Liverpool.
And one more from Stephanie in a quilted sweatshirt knit:
how cute is this with the jeans? I die.
We have over a dozen more photos of different New York Minute Dresses made with fleece and other knits recommended by the pattern’s materials list (25%-35% stretch), in our December New York Minute Dress post, so be sure to check them out!


Before we go – PRIZES! We are so excited that three of our favorite places to purchase knit fabrics online have each donated a $50 gift certificate to our sew along! On the last day of the sew along, participants who have completed the sew-along can enter to win one of these generous prizes. Here’s a little about each of sponsor and the knits they carry.

Cali Fabrics. If you have been following TDD for a while, you probably know we are regular bloggers over at Cali Fabrics because we love shopping their huge selection of unique fabrics at great prices. Our sew-along will feature a NYM we made from a gorgeous DBP from Cali Fabrics. See all their many knits here: http://www.califabrics.com/knits/ Our affiliate link will save you $5 on your purchase of $25!

Imagine Gnats. Rachael has an impressive knack for choosing classy, on-trend, quality fabrics for her online shop. Great pics you can find for NYM include french terry, interlock, jersey, sweatshirt fleece, and more. Here’s a link to the lovely selection of knits – you can further sort the knits by type using the dropdown menu on the right. http://imaginegnats.com/product-category/fabric/substrate/knit-fabrics/

Raspberry Creek Fabrics. We’ll be showing you the coziest NYM ever made with french terry from their shop! This is a great place to shop a curated selection of floral, patterned, and solid knits. I see Fall colors are featured and they all look so yummy! You can peruse the knit fabrics here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/raspberrycreekfabric?section_id=7381085.


So, grab your New York Minute Dress pattern at a discount, choose, purchase, and prewash your fabric, and we will see you in the Tie Dye Diva Facebook fan group for Sew-Along Day 1 on November 6!


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