Missoni My Way


I cannot begin to explain how much I have always wanted to own a Missoni dress. Those chevron stripes in wacky colors simply speak to me.

missoniUnfortunately, Missoni is  w a y  out of my price range. I was willing to settle for the one-time Missoni for Target line, but guess what? The event was held during my ready-to-wear fast….. sad, indeed.

Just suppose I could buy the +$1,000 dresses as I pleased…… Something tells me the size 4 on the 6 foot model would look like a different dress on 5’2″ me…… to be young, tall, thin and rich :)

Since my return to sewing clothes 17 months ago, I realize I can have my cake and eat it too, and I just completed my first Missoni dress.

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What’s even more exciting to me is the dress suits my lifestyle and my shape.

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Using this simple McCall’s pattern,  I took several precautions to avoid the potential disasters associated with sewing loosely knit striped fabric. Having made the pattern before (blogged here), I was familiar with the fit and cut a size smaller.

I selected my fabric from  d o z e n s  of Missoni knits at Mood Fabrics (write to info2@moodfabrics.com for more information on Missoni fabrics).   The crochet knit was sheer so the bodice of the dress was underlined with this cream silk knit from Mood Fabrics.

I cut fashion fabric and underlining together which I immediately basted together on the cutting table.

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Rather than cutting the pieces on the fold I opened the fabric to a single layer, cutting one side of the pattern, flipping the pattern piece over and cutting the other side. By doing this I was able to make sure the stripes were perfectly straight – my biggest fear.

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It took twice as long to cut out the pattern as it did to sew it, but once I finished cutting and basting the fabrics, the dress came together very quickly.

You can imagine my relief to see the matching stripes.

IMG_0501 I consider this dress a milestone in my sewing as I’ve always wanted to sew Missoni knits but never felt ready until recently.

Well, now I’m ready to make another one -

m y  s t y l e ,  m y   p r i c e  a n d   m y   w a y  !

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Until soon!

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105 Responses to Missoni My Way

  1. Sarah says:

    Gorgeous! What an amazing dress! I love it!x

  2. Rachel Busby says:

    This looks great. I would love to see how much you spend on the the fabric and supplies for each dress.

    • Many thanks, Rachel! You are so right…… I talk about saving money and looking good by sewing, but just how much does it cost and how much do I save? I’m going to think about how to present this information consistently. For this dress I used two yards of fabric @ $40/yard plus the lining – one and a half yards @ 18/yard. I owned the pattern which I bought at a discount and bought elastic at .25/yard. This dress costs slightly over $100 to make – a wee fraction of a RTW Missoni. :)

  3. Mimi says:

    I LOVE THIS DRESS!

  4. Jane W. says:

    I *love* Missoni, and that dress is stunning. I bow before your stripe matching!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I love the print you chose. Sometimes Missoni’s color combos are a little off to me, but I just love this one. You and the dress looks stunning.

  6. I have been seeing these chevron stripes everywhere that I fabric shop and have them on the brain, then I saw your cute version this morning. Now I must have one. I agree with the comment above, the color palette you chose is perfect, Love it.

  7. Just perfect for you! Best Missoni I’ve seen.

  8. Ruth says:

    Beautiful. The colours suit you perfectly. Gorgeous.

  9. Rachel says:

    That is lovely. I have sewn one Missoni knit and I was a basket case until I got it finished. I was so worried I would destroy it. Those colors look really nice on you.

  10. Jeyco says:

    Wow! Your Missoni dress looks gorgeous!! And yes, the stripes are perfectly matching. Can’t wait to see next one!

  11. angela says:

    I love the dress! I have also been afraid to do horizontal stripes because I am also 5’2″ tall, but now that I know you are the same height and have made two very flattering items in a horizontal stripe of sorts that look amazing….I may just give it a try. Thanks for giving me the courage to try something like this on my 5’2″ frame.

    PS…your killing me with the shift patterns. I love this style of dress and have bought every shift pattern I have seen on your blog. Missed this one, but now I have to go out and get it…its way too cute :) I love the last dress you made with this pattern too.

    • Thank you for this nice comment, Angela! I’ve read that the issue with horizontal stripes depends on the size and placement of the stripes. This time I just took my chances :)
      I am always looking for the perfect shift pattern – please let me know when you find one!

  12. Carolyn says:

    Great looking dress! I just purchased a beautiful Missoni Sweater knit from The Sewing Workshop on sale and will complete a cardigan this weekend. I think I will enjoy my $450 cardigan for less than $50.

  13. artattack024 says:

    This is one of the prettiest Missoni colorways I have ever seen. Beautiful job and great look!

  14. Carolyn says:

    Stunning! You did a fabulous job on this…love that you chose a simple silhouette to highlight the awesome fabric!

  15. Naomi says:

    It’s beautiful and you’re amazing! Technique + experience is always a good combination. Enjoy your new dress!

  16. Donna says:

    Beautiful! I think you could make a dress out of a feed sack and still look like a “hot momma”!!!! You do such a nice job selecting your fabrics and sewing your garments. :-)

  17. Lauren says:

    I love this pattern. We used to wear ooodles of the Missoni fabric prints made into tops in the 70′s. Nice reminder. I did look back on this pattern you made in a black and white print. Loved that one. Such a great border fabric. I find with McCalls patterns the neck openings are about an inch or so to short all around the opening and I don’t know how to alter that. I don’t like it when it gapes open when you are leaning over, or sometimes the bra straps will show. Did you alter the neckline and if so – how?

    • Thank you, Lauren. I had the gaping neckline issue in the b/w version. I was fairly new back to sewing clothes when I made it and it caught me by surprise. Cutting a size smaller this time around thankfully took care of the problem for me.

  18. Victoria says:

    You look absolutely spectacular!!!!!!!!! What a gorgeous draft. I love beautiful prints with uncomplicated patterns!!!! This truly is a winner Lady!!!!

  19. What fun – and gorgeous colors on you! Enjoy!

  20. Pauline Droy says:

    what a lovely dress – enjoy it

  21. Becky says:

    Fabulous pairing of fabric and pattern, and the fit is perfect! I only hope I get to this stage of sewing eventually! You are an inspiration, truly.

  22. Karin says:

    The simple dress shape was a smart choice. It really shows off the fabric. Which, by the way, looks super on you!

  23. Kacie says:

    I love this dress! It’s so beautiful on you!

  24. Another stunner. Gorgeous stripe matching. Thanks for the 5705 tip. Always looking for good knit patterns. You look beautiful.

  25. Susan Klein says:

    Congratulations on having it your way! I, too, love Missoni. I wish I had the bicycle, and my skills fall short of making a Bicycle. You look wonderful and you are an inspiration to all your readers who fall into the petite and attempting to grow old gracefully!!!

    • You know, I could have bought that bicycle on my RTW fast :) though I really loved the Liberty bicycle too!
      Thank you, Susan for your very nice comment. ATTEMPTING is the operative word here!

  26. What a beautiful dress, I love it. Last year, Missoni designed a collection for the Swedish company Lindex which has stores in almost every city in Scandinavia. I bought nothing even though I love Missoni, but there was nothing in that collection that appealed to me. But Missoni your way I really like!

    • Thank you, Ann-Britt for your nice comment! This sounds similar to the Missoni/Target collaboration. There was such a demand for the Missoni on opening day that its website crashed !
      It’s wonderful to have garments “our way” by sewing, isn’t it :)

  27. Velosewer says:

    The colours in the print really suit you. Now the dress – you’ve done a brilliant piece of work!

  28. Karen says:

    Oh, I like it! With such a distinctive fabric, your use of a simple pattern is excellent. Also, what a great idea to use the silk knit as your underlining. I would imagine this dress is very comfortable to wear, too!

    • Thank you, Karen! I have never lined a knit garment before and wasn’t sure what to use, but I’m very pleased with the choice for this dress. It is quite comfortable – receiving its public debut today! :)

  29. laurahoj says:

    Love the dress! I’m glad you were able to finally get a Missoni.

  30. Joy says:

    Fabulous dress! I LOVE IT?

  31. Joy says:

    No question mark mistake, really love the dress, suits you well!

  32. Janet Wheeler says:

    Looks fabulous on you. Great job!

  33. Sharon says:

    Absolutely gorgeous dress and yes for this 5’2″ person this is exactly why I sew!

  34. jlundy6116 says:

    Cream silk knit? Missoni print? Wow, you have a real coutour dress there. Plus, it’s a great fit, a great color on you. You totally nailed this one!!

    • Many thanks! I almost bought a Missoni print when last year when I first started back to sewing clothes, but I knew I was getting ahead of myself and used restraint for a change. I had no idea what to line this special fabric with and knew I couldn’t go wrong with cream silk. It definitely turned into one special garment :)

  35. Sally Frick says:

    Bravo!!!!

  36. Deborah R Penner says:

    I have been looking at the Missoni fabrics on the Britex site for a year. This inspires me to make a similar dress. Even at 80 dollars per yard at 2 yards, the dress would be less than purchased garment.

  37. Javie says:

    Love your dress! Beautiful job matching the chevrons too. I always wondered about underlining knits. I have some sheer knits and I’ll have to try your approach.

    • Thank you, Javie! I have never underlined a knit garment before but I had no choice on this one other than wearing something under it. I noticed some of the Missoni dresses online were lined which helped me make my decision :)

  38. CherryPix says:

    Missoni will be wanting it your way too, once they get a look at this dress! That style is great on you…your b+w version was the first of your creations that I saw and swooned over…(there have been many swoons since… ;-)

  39. Dilliander says:

    Really lovely!

  40. Gail says:

    Stunning dress and I love the idea of underlining it. Missoni wool can be a little itchy against the skin.

  41. Gorgeous dress! I have two lengths of Missoni that I have been dying to sew up but have been scared to ruin it and haven’t been sure of the pattern to use. You have inspired me to go ahead and do it already! :)

  42. Jacqui says:

    Stunning dress as usual Sarah – I am envious of that wonderful side match. Looking forward to the next dress!!! I do so love your taste in clothes that just suit you so well.

  43. Dixie says:

    Your very own Missoni – congratulations! You did a superb job of constructing this, and it looks terrific on you. Very nice!

  44. lisa g says:

    so, so, so beautiful! great work on this one!

  45. oonaballoona says:

    may i add, your pictures are as crisp and beautiful as your stunning dress??

  46. Lizzie blatt says:

    This dress looks amazing. Did you serge it, or use the sewing machine throughout ? I would love to work with more knits but I hate using a serger. If I could get a garment to look this good by just using a sewing machine, it would be heaven.

    • Thank you, Lizzie! I reached the point where I could not sew with my old serger anymore. It was a free one that came with my Berninia 20 years ago and always gave me issues. My new serger is an enormous improvement.
      I sewed the seams on this dress with my machine but I finished all of them with the serger. I suppose I could have catch-stitched the seam to the lining but serging was quick, neat and easy.
      Sewing on knits without a serger can be done no doubt, however I am far from being an expert and can only write about what works for me. Good luck!

  47. Turned out beautiful! Perfect for spring. I’ve been eyeing a similar print and wondering if I should attempt it. You’ve inspired me to perhaps take it on.
    Happy sewing!
    Beth

  48. Alethia says:

    Beautiful job, and I love the colors!!

  49. Suzanne says:

    I just thought: “Wow!” when I saw the picture. Haven’t had time to read your post earlier. Never was much of a fan of the Missoni stripes I must say-until now. You chose the right colors for your dress. It’s really looking gorgeous!

  50. lbrundage says:

    Oh, oh, OH! I love it! It’s SO cute! Very flattering. Absolutely a flattering dress on you.

  51. Fara says:

    Could you tell me what fabric you use to make a muslin for a stretchy fashion fabric such as a Missoni knit or silk jersey?

    • Hi Fara,
      Just like in the New Look pattern, I had made the pattern I used in the Missoni dress before and was familiar with the fit. I have a hard time making muslins with knits because all knits are different. I am just now becoming slightly comfortable predicting how knits will fit and still have a long way to go. I recommend buying a very inexpensive knit (but not cotton jersey since it has little stretch,) to use for a muslin. Please let me know if you find the perfect knit muslin fabric. I’m scratching my head on this one too.

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