For the past year I’ve been playing tennis about three times a week and I really needed more tennis duds, especially with warmer weather approaching. At first I worried about starting a new sport in my mid forties. I’d played a little in my twenties but never passed the beginner stage. But meeting new people and friends, pushing myself to get better, and actually seeing the results of my practice has been a lot of fun. I’ve recently started training once a week with a group of women on the 3.0 USTA tennis team. I never thought I was the competitive type, but I love pushing myself to try to win.
This is my second version of the Jalie Anne Marie pattern. The last dress I made too tight, and then I couldn’t figure out that part with the straps….But since then, Jalie has made a video tutorial. Well, I watched that video over and over and finally realized that I wasn’t supposed to sew both shoulders at the same time but sew one at a time, turn right side out, then sew the other one! Tada! I finally figured it out!This version I sewed in the size according to my full bust which put me in the size T .The last version I made was R and it was too clingy around my middle. This fabric is really amazing. It’s from Patagonia. The Patagonia headquarters are near here in Ventura and my friend’s mom worked there for years. This was a piece she gave to me. It’s very softly brushed on the inside, making it so soft, but it isn’t too hot or heavy. I wish I could find knits this nice in fabric shops, but I never have.The built in bra works pretty well. But I need more support for court play.I played a set in this dress yesterday and actually fit five balls in the back pocket!I sewed this dress with my little portable and inexpensive Janome Magnolia. My Bernina is in the shop because the motherboard fried, and the serger needs a tune up, too. I actually love how my dress turned out using just the stretch stitch on my Magnolia. It’s proof that you don’t need a fancy machine to make wearable knit garments. My Bernina pulls knit fabrics into the feed dogs every time, while the Janome behaved perfectly.
I used my Janome 1000 CPX coverstitch machine to sew the hem. There has been a bit of a learning curve to figure it out, as there is with all things technical for me, but I love the machine now. I had been looking for solutions to my skipped stitches everywhere online, but found the answer right there in the manual. I had the stitch length set much too short. It was at 1.5 when 3.0 to 3.5 is the recommended length. Problem solved!