MN2002 Karri / Sewalongs

Tips for sewing the Karri dress in knit fabric

Tips for sewing a ponte knit Karri dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Last year I was so excited when my sister in law Annelise asked me to sew her a Karri dress! She chose two gorgeous ponte knit fabrics from Tessuti and asked if I could adjust the pattern for those fabrics. Challenge accepted!

This was a really fun make and I learnt a lot about what changes i need to make when sewing a knit garment from a woven pattern so I thought I would share a few tips with you for how to make the Karri dress with knit fabric!

The great thing about sewing Karri from a ponte knit is that you can skip quite a few steps AND the zipper. YES! Lets do this.

Tip 1 // Cut the pattern in a size smaller than your measurements. For example if you measure as a size medium, cut a size small! I found it really useful to look at the finished garment measurements, and ideally you want to choose the size where the finished garment measurements are the same as your body measurements or slightly smaller.

Tip 2 // You can exclude all lining pattern pieces and the zipper. You may include pockets, but I found this difficult with the thickness of ponte, so would recommend for simplicity that you leave the pockets out.

Tip 3 //If you have an overlocker/serger you can simply overlock every seam which makes sewing much quicker!

Tip 4 // If using a serger/overlocker when you line up the seams you should alternate the direction the seams lie, in order to reduce bulk. For example if lining up the bodice and the skirt, you may press the bodice seams to the left, and the skirt seams to the right, which means when you line up the seams they will slot nicely together and there won’t be a big bulky lump to sew over.

Tips for sewing a ponte knit Karri dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Tip 5 // Baste each seam intersection with a short length of straight stitches before sewing the entire seam. This will make it easier for you to line up each individual seam, as well as being much easier to unpick if you have made any errors. Once they are all perfectly aligned, then you may sew the rest of the seam with your serger/overlocker or the zig zag stitch of a regular machine.

Tips for sewing a ponte knit Karri dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary Tip 6 // Raise the back neckline and adjust it to be a round neckline instead of the included V. This will make it much easier to finish!

Tip 7 // When hemming simply turn in the neckline, sleeve edge or skirt hem by 1/2″ (1.2cm) and topstitch using a twin needle and coordinating thread.

And that’s it! You’re done! The easiest Karri dress you’ll ever make!

Tips for sewing a ponte knit Karri dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary


Here’s the full list of Karri tutorials:

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About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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5 years ago

This looks great, but I have aquestion. When doing the topstitch hemming in tip #7how do you stop the sleeve etc from stretching?