After watching the many versions of the Lady Skater dress pop up in my blog reader I decided I wanted one too.
The pattern is deceptively simple, but produces a very elegant dress that can look casual or dressy depending on the fabric and styling. Plus it comes in summer and winter versions with a variety of sleeve lengths. As it is still winter in Australia I went for the 3/4 length.
The pattern also states “recommended for knits with 40% stretch” and it really means it. I went with a really hideous green double knit that was a failed/misguided purchase from fabric.com – its scratchy and is 100% polyester (and not in a good way) and screams “old lady 80’s pant suit”. But hey, it was in my stash and cheap. So I decided to use it as a test version for the dress. I like the fabric much more now that it is made up, the colour is a real kelly green, brighter than it is in the photos.
|Is that my daughter in the chook shed? What is she doing?|
Based on my measurements I cut a 3 in the bodice and graded out to a 4 for the skirt. When I pinned the bodice together it was INCHES too small. My double knit has about 10% stretch, if that, not much more than a stretch woven. It made a difference. So, how to salvage the dress? With scraps left. Princess seams!!
I pulled out the By Hand London Elisalex bodice, which has princess seams and used that to recut the front and back and then cut the side pieces out of the scraps left, keeping the Skater dress arm curve and neckline. I also recut the sleeves and sleeve bands probably 2 or more sizes larger to get them to fit as well. Strangely, the size 4 skirt was fine and fit into the size 6 Elisalex bodice perfectly.
|Oh, that doesn’t sound good. Bang crash and giggles.|
The Elisalex has a centre back seam, which i just removed by folding back the seam allowance, standard stuff really. I also lengthened it to the same length as the Skater dress pattern, which ended up being roughly 1″. And I did a small sway back adjustment of about 1/2″.
I finished everything else up according to the Kitschycoo Pattern. Great instructions! I’m very happy with the finished dress. Its kinda a Elisa-skater dress I guess.
I lengthened the skirt 2.5″ before cutting but it is still about 1/2″ too short for my liking with a 3/8″ (1cm) hem so next time I will lengthen an extra 1/2″ or 1″ to get the length to where I prefer it – just below the knee. I am only 5’4″ so that is worth noting to anyone else like me (I don’t mind anyone elses knees on display, just really hate seeing my own).
The double knit was very thick and was very easy to sew. The seams did not need any finishing so that saved a heap of time and other than being a tad bulky around the waist it was fine. It was a pain to press though, I made the best of it using a pressing cloth to stop shine marks, but I couldn’t get a good crease or press the seams open very well.
I used a “lightening bolt” stitch and sewed the whole dress up on my machine and didn’t use my overlocker/serger at all – I didn’t have thread anywhere near the right colour and the fabric really didn’t need any finishing or the extra bulk from the overlocker. It made this dress extremely fast to sew up, even with the bodice fix – probably my fastest make yet.
|OK, I’ll stop taking photos now and rescue the chickens. My life is so glamorous.
I’ll probably wear it with a belt – a thin patent leather black one seems to work with it, I just wasn’t organised to put it on for the photos. In the background my 3 year old had climbed into the chook shed and emptied about two days worth of grain onto them “because they looked hungry”.