The perfect airplane dress

I’ve been traveling a lot lately (including a few long intercontinental flights) and I wanted a soft knit dress that would let me sleep comfortably in the seat and let me feel like myself walking through the terminal. (Yes, I know, I could just wear yoga pants on the plane like 99.99% of humanity but I don’t really feel like *myself* in yoga pants, unless I am actually Doing Yoga.)

I even considered—gasp!—buying RTW, but I could not find a knit dress that was longer than knee length, heavier than t-shirt weight, or HAD POCKETS. And we all know that pockets are NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Enter the .

So I made this up in a cotton/poly sweatshirt fabric (slight stretch and fleece-backed!) and it is really, really comfortable. I did some altering—I cut a 10, but used the size 0 neckline cutting line for more of a scoop. I cut the pocket backing out of a lighter-weight fabric, instead of cutting the skirt front and pocket backing as one. Since the whole point of pocket seam lines is to put piping in them, I really wanted a seam there and not a fold. (Also, if you cut the pocket backing separately, you can get away with less yardage of your main fabric.)

I deepened the pockets (no surprise), lengthened the skirt slightly, and shortened the sleeves. I faced the hem instead of turning it up, but did not face the sleeves or the neckline (I used knit bias binding instead). I even used a double-needle for the bias binding, which I’ve never done before (in 30+ years of sewing). Verdict: it was easy, I’d do it again.

The pockets are a bit droopy here (I was carrying a LOT in them) so next time I think I will add a little elastic to that seam to help keep them from gapping. Also, you can’t see in these pics, but it has a little bit of shaped high-low hem that dips lower in back. (Some people hate high-low hems, so I figured I’d point that out.)

The above picture was actually taken on day 2 of wearing this dress—it was so comfortable on the flight over that I washed it in the hotel room so I could wear it again on the way back!

This dress was SUPER simple to make, so I decided to make two—the version below is also in fleece-backed sweatshirt knit. This is a heavier knit so it was actually a bit warm! This also had less stretch than the other version, so I ended up taking the sleeves out and cheating on the seam allowances so that I could move my arms. (If I make this again in a less-stretchy fabric I will cut a 12 or even a 14 in the sleeves.)

So as not to have TWO nearly-identical gray fleece dresses, I decided to add a collar to version 2; it’s a single layer collar finished with bias binding.

I have already planned two more of these (including one in ). It’s just a really comfortable, well-drafted pattern that goes together quickly and has excellent pockets—what more could you want?

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8 thoughts on “The perfect airplane dress

  1. Where are you getting your knit bias binding?? I keep hearing of this magical substance but can’t find it online or at craft stores. Or did you make your own? That would take a billionty yardage, yes?

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  2. Oh, I have got to supplement my old treadle with something that does zig-zag so I can sew on stretch fabrics. These are wonderful. You look stunning in them.

    amanda

    Keith & Amanda Catanea Writes Ante-Bath Notes FaceBook group: fans de Keith Adams

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    • These sweatshirt fleece fabrics have very little stretch — they’re very stable knits. I didn’t use my zig-zag at all (not even to finish the seams, since they also don’t fray)!

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  3. I really like your two dresses – what a good idea to make them in a heavy knit, so comfortable. Also useful to have the link for knit bias – I’ve looked for this before with no luck.

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  4. These are PERFECT. I wish the RTW industry would actually pay attention to what real women want – softness, thickness, pockets, and sleeves. sigh.

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