Metalicus swirl panel dress

Back in November I went to my first sewing bloggers meet up (Rachel blogged it here – sadly I had to leave before the drinks bit!) and found this fabulous Metalicus knit at The Fabric Store in Fitzroy. I have always liked the look of Metalicus clothing but have never bought any as it only comes in one size! (which is utterly, utterly ridiculous). When I saw two colours of Metalicus knit for $6/m I bought 4m of each!


This fabric is really unusual. It is a two way stretch and has 50% stretch if pulled lightly and up to 100% if you really pull hard. It has alternating rows of black and white threads and a subtle stripe as well. I’m not sure the fibre composition but if feels synthetic, perhaps it’s polyamide? I normally refuse to wear polyester/nylon etc but this stuff is nice, very light, completely matte and not as clingy as you would expect.


When Kwik Sew 3873 first came out, it immediately appealed to me.  The scoop neck is great, the fitted bodice and full skirt and I love the swirling skirt panels. I overlocked the skirt panel and waist seams to the outside and overlocked the sleeve and skirt hems. I like a deconstructed look!


I made a size L which I chose by comparing the bodice pieces to my favourite tshirt. Bust for size L is 40-41.5″, I am bust 42″ and it is a loosish fit at the bust in a very stretchy knit. I added 2cm length to the bodice below the bust, 3.2cm length to the sleeves, and 5cm length at the hem of the bottom skirt panel. That is very minor alterations for me. It is quite a body conscious style and definitely looks better worn with a slip. Just a note, this pattern does use all the fabric requirement listed. I made view B with long sleeves and I used almost all of 4.0m of 141cm wide fabric. I could not get view A out of this amount of fabric, I did try.


The neck binding piece was a bit long and the neck gaps a bit which I am disappointed with. I didn’t use their knit facing and top stitch method for the neck but made a traditional knit binding. Unfortunately the fabric strip was not quite wide enough for this and it was a real pain to sew.

I’m sharing this photo for sewists educational purposes only. Sadly I cannot look at that photo of my upper back without lamenting the sun damage that is pretty unavoidable as a fair skinned person living in Australia.


I am very pleased with my finished dress.  I wore it out last night (even though it really was too warm for a long sleeved dress) and had many compliments! It’s so nice when a good pattern and interesting fabric actually come together.

So I have 4m of a this same fabric but in a light grey.


It’s a lighter shade than I would normally choose, especially for a skirt or dress. So what should I do with it? Slouchy top, cardigan? Have you worn Metalicus-style knits? I’d love suggestions of what to make with it!


6 thoughts on “Metalicus swirl panel dress

  1. You know that if it’s the nylon Metallicus fabric, you can dye it with Landscapes dyes? Wool and nylon both take acid dyes 🙂

    Tie-dye Metallicus dress! I wish I’d thought of that when I passed over the grey (I got the red and the blue).

  2. Oh, you were lucky to nab some Metalicus fabric! Maybe this was sold when they moved production to China recently (was one of the last made in Australia brands I think). I believe that fabric is a cotton synthetic blend – looks the same as a skirt I have.
    Anyway, great dress! I can see why you got lots of compliments.

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