Earlier this week I listed my favorite woven dress patterns. Now, here’s the best summer dress patterns for knit fabric!
Are knit dresses better than woven dresses? Not necessarily. They’re sometimes more comfortable. Their stretchy factor can make them secret pajamas. Which is just a funny way of saying that they’re so comfortable, they can double as sleepwear!
The difference between knits and wovens can sometimes be confusing for beginners. Knits are made on needles (think knitting needles, or a typical sweater). Woven fabric is made on a loom. For more on the subject, Dutch Label Shop has some good illustrations.
Here’s the list of my favorite dresses I’ve made out of knit fabrics. Just like the woven dresses list, I’ve included what their suggested fabrics are, and whether or not I paid attention to that part.
And I also threw in suggestions for hacks if that’s your thing!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Knits #4: Cashmerette Rivermont
The Cashmerette Rivermont was one of my top 5 favorite patterns of 2018. I love how this dress looks on my body. I’m kind of a rectangular shape, meaning there’s not a lot of difference between my bust, waist, and hips. And yet this dress gives me that hourglass look I’ve always wanted.
The recommended fabrics are mid-weight ponte knit or light-weight scuba/neoprene, with at least 40% stretch. But that’s not usually what you want to be wearing in the summer.
I made mine in floral double knit, which is polyester. Not great for the summer heat. But I also made a sleeveless version of the shirt in the same type/weight of fabric that I don’t mind wearing in the summer.
Sew it up in a cotton knit and you’ll have that same feeling in a nice lightweight dress. Or make it sleeveless, like I did the shirt, and you have even MORE options for fabric!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Knits #3: Cashmerette Turner
Another Cashmerette dress!
The Turner dress also comes in a short-sleeved version. And the twirly skirt is awesome for sashaying in. The suggested fabric list gives you a few more options to play with, too.
The recommendation is knit fabric such as rayon jersey, cotton jersey or ITY, with at least 50% crosswise stretch.
In rayon or cotton jersey, you’ll have a light airy dress (or even try a bamboo knit!). ITY (or Interlock Twist Yarn) is a very stretchy smooth fabric with lots of drape, and it’s usually a poly-lycra mix. Which can be more breathable than typical poly mixes because of the way the yarn is twisted.
My teal floral version here is actually a Frankenhack version in ITY. I made it sleeveless but also used a different skirt for a narrower look. You can achieve the same look with this hack, too.
I’ve worn this dress on dates, on interviews, and just to feel cute. I should make up another one in the leopard print rayon jersey I have from my Cashmerette kit I ordered way back when!
Because then I can just lounge around in my secret pajamas!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Knits #2: McCall’s 7591
I made View C of McCall’s 7591. It has a keyhole crossover neckline, elastic waist, and a slit up the thigh. The bodice is also fully lined, which is nice for a knit (the Cashmerette Turner also has a lined bodice). View C also has a full-coverage back, in contrast to Views A and B.
Surprisingly, this pattern is that it can be made with both knits and woven fabrics. The list of recommended fabric includes generic knits but also challis, crepe de chine, and cotton lawn. When lining, it suggests tricot (which is awesome for lining woven dresses!). There is no stretch percentage for the knits.
I used a regular cotton jersey (think t-shirts). This one has a subtle horizontal grey stripe along with a tie-dyed look. It’s a very comfortable dress in this fabric.
As you can probably tell, I didn’t do a large enough full bust adjustment to this pattern so the very deep center pulls apart. Keep that in mind if you make this dress!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Knits #1: McCall’s 6744
Remember that knit dress I hacked last week? That was McCall’s 6744 View B with the length from View A. Unfortunately it’s also out of print. Wah! And I also can’t find my own version of it. Double wah!
But at its core, it’s just a simple tank dress. These are perfect for summer! A good option for a starting point to replicate this look is McCalls 5893 instead.
Without elastic and a waist seam, the only pieces left to this simple tank dress are the front and back. Sew up the shoulders, seam up the sides, and you have a dress! What’s easier than that?
The recommended fabrics are jerseys, interlocks (a double knit), and cotton knit. The stretch percentage on the envelope seems to be about 1.5″ so about 40%.
This striped fabric is a rayon jersey. It’s gloriously soft and light against the skin. I wore it to a 4th of July pool party, which is the quintessential summer pastime. Does it get better than that?
Here is the complete list of my 9 total patterns with links on where you can buy them. These are not affiliate links, they’re just here for your convenience.
|Chalk & Notch Orchid||McCall’s 6744 View B|
|Seamwork Kimmy||McCall’s 7591 View C *|
|Seamwork Kenedy||Cashmerette Turner|
|Wearable Studio Heidi||Cashmerette Rivermont|
|*can be made in either type of fabric|
Which ones do you prefer? Did your favorite make the list? Let me know in the comments below.
All really cute. I particularly like what you did to the Turner – I didn’t like the pattern’s original skirt but with the slimmer skirt it’s really nice. I also prefer it sleeveless!
Thank you! I made it so long ago but it’s in keeping with my new approach of hacking just about everything. I do like being able to use cheap ITY in summer so sleeveless it is!