My Foggy Knit Saltspring Dress

Hello and happy Wednesday everyone! Can you believe it’s already halfway through September? We are definitely starting to feel the fall weather this week in Vancouver. Grey skies and wet days galore!

Today I want to show you this knit Saltspring dress that I made. When I dreamed up this version, I was thinking of fall days. I thought it would be a great transitional piece. I figured I could wear it with flats, a little cardigan or jacket, a cute scarf… perfect for those crisp September days!


I really do love the look of this dress. It feels casual yet put together. You’ll have to forgive these photos though! We had some crazy foggy weather when I took these pictures. It was a peculiar evening!


If I’m being 100% honest, this dress did not turn out exactly as I had envisioned. Let’s just say my vision got a little “foggy” somewhere along the way. Ha! I feel this is definitely due to my fabric choice. I went with a bamboo knit from Télio. The fabric itself is lovely, soft and drapey. The problem is that it is just too heavy for the maxi dress. It may have worked for the shorter version (maybe I will cut it?), but in the maxi version, the skirt feels heavy. No one wants to feel like a dress is weighing them down, right? This dress kind of feels that way to me.


The good news is that this dress came together so quickly! This is due largely to the fact that I omitted the back zipper, and the side seam pockets. I also left my hem as a raw edge, because I like it that way! You’ll also see above that I made braided straps. I adore the look of these straps, and they were so, so easy to make.


The dress pretty much came together the same way as the original version. I cut my back pieces on fold so that I could skip the zipper. In a knit dress, the zipper isn’t really necessary, especially since this knit has great recovery (this means the fabric has a good amount of spandex, so it bounces back after stretching).

My fabric choice wasn’t perfect, but I still had a great time sewing up this dress. I’ll be back later this week with some tips for sewing this pattern in a knit fabric, and a clever trick I used when making my braided straps!

I can definitely see more maxi dresses in my future. With a lighter knit fabric, I think this dress would have been all that I wanted!

Do you have any stories to share about finished projects that didn’t live up to your sewing daydreams? Did you toss them, or try to salvage them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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34 Responses to My Foggy Knit Saltspring Dress

  1. Stephanie September 18, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Way cute! I really love all of the knit maxi versions that have been popping up. Good to know about the fabric weight – if I make one, I’ll choose a light fabric or just make the shorter version.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Thanks! Yes weight turned out to be really important! :)

  2. Trine September 18, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    This version is gorgeous. Love the maxi length and the braided straps!

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Thank you so much Trine!

  3. Sylvie September 18, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I absolutely love it!! I would buy that dress. Can’t wait to see your notes on the braided straps.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks Sylvie!

  4. Miss Crayola Creepy September 18, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Oh good, I’m looking forward to your post on knits, as I was going to make a knit version of the dress this weekend! Your dress came out beautiful!

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks Erin! Look for a post tomorrow on knitting tips. It’s thorough, so you’ll have tons of info to get your through the weekend. Have fun!

  5. lisa g September 18, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    perhaps a wider elastic for the waist would help anchor it better? looks great from here though, and i love the braided strap!

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      Thanks Lisa! That’s a great suggestion.

  6. colleen September 18, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Even though I love the way that dress turned out and I think it looks really great (love that grey in the fog!), I know what you mean about maxi’s and knits. I just made myself a maxi Anna and I used some cheap old poly knit to fool around with. The dress came out really grey but it is like wearing one of those x-ray bibs that the dentist puts around you. Oh well, it’s great for grooving around the house and curling up to knit and watch movies. Everyone should have a dress like that, right?

    • colleen September 18, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      I meant “really great” not “really grey” — I have grey on the mind looking at your lovely dress!

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      Totally. It’s really comfortable to I’m hoping to get use out of it on my couch either way :)

  7. Erin B September 18, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I adore the braided straps! I have a Tiramissu dress that I used too heavy of a knit on. It weighed down the midriff to my hips and the surplice bodice down to my waist! I ended up tightening the neckband, cutting several inches off the length of the midriff and adding twill tape to the front seam between the surplice and midriff. It’s not perfect but I managed to salvage it.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      Great ideas. Thanks Erin!

  8. Meadowsweet September 18, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Love this version of the dress! The colour is nice on you + a wonderful basic to colour up with a a cardi, scarf, boots, bags, etc. The braided straps are inspired–would never have thought of that. Also love the unfinished hem–looks v. graceful.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      Thank you!

  9. Tee September 18, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I love, love, love it!

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Thanks so much!

  10. Helen September 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    This dress looks really cute, but man, you must be cold in those pictures! Or maybe I’m just projecting the weather here in Germany on you. I really want to buy and make Saltspring, but I can’t imagine making anything sleeveless until next May at least. With regard to your question, I’m not much of a “finisher”. I wad most of the projects I start, but I never toss them. I just pull them out a couple years later and rework them.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      It was chilly that evening! We’ve had such bipolar weather in Vancouver lately. It was warm and gorgeous earlier that day, and foggy and cold that evening. Hope you have a Saltspring in your sewing future, maybe next summer!

  11. Nancy w September 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh I love it!!! It’s beautiful! You know I did something similar and cut it like you were thinking but made it a high low style and still perfect not as heavy wear with leggings and boots you are all set!! Just a thought.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Love the high-low idea! Thanks Nancy! :)

  12. Pamela @ Johnny Mango Seed September 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Very flattering, and I like the braided straps for a little bit of variety [or “pop”–along with your shoes!]. It does look like a perfect layering piece for September in the PNW!

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Yeah that’s exactly how I pictured it! Thanks for reading Pamela!

  13. Sandra September 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I really like your braided straps. They seem so fitting for a knitted dress. I agree that perhaps a wider elastic would help balance the weight of the skirt. It would be a shame to cut it off.

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Thanks Sandra! That is a good idea. A belt helps too. I’m hoping I’ll warm up to the dress, I love the look (just not the feel). :) Thanks for following along!

  14. Johanna September 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Haha, none of my projects seem to end up exactly like my vision. It’s just part of the learning curve I know. I tried making a pendrell out of a bedsheet once lol. It was horrible. I was embarrassed but I blogged it anyway. It’s good to talk about your mistakes! I think this is lovely especially the straps. I hope you make it work so you feel good wearing it. Chopping it off should do the trick right? It’s really beautiful so it would be a shame not to wear it. :)

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      I feel the same way! I think it’s important to be honest about mistakes and sewing disappointments. It’s one of those ‘grass is greener’ things. No one has 100% perfect sewing projects all the time. Why not dish about them together to make each other feel better?? :)

  15. Barbara September 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Love the knitted straps will you be telling us how to do them?

    • Caroline Amanda September 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

      Hi Barbara, yes I will! Stay tuned for a post about that on Friday. Thanks for reading!

  16. Seattle rain September 19, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Despite the sewing woes, the knit looks great! I hope the other tips about stabilizing the waist help because the length is awesome. You look like a goddess!

  17. Kim September 21, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Beautiful dress! It reminds me of my solid Saltspring, I guess great minds think alike! Now I want one in a knit fabric too!

  18. Danielle October 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Great color! I love the braided straps. This looks super comfortable! Well done :)