A-line Lady Skater dress

I got this fabric years ago from Fabrics Galore, at the time I had no idea what I wanted to make with it but I knew I had to have it. Its a mid weight knit? Or jersey? Or something… I’m not wonderful with my exact types of fabric. Its got lots of horizontal stretch and only a very little on the vertical. Help a girl out of her ignorance – what would you call this? Over the years I’ve had various ideas: cardigans, jumper dresses…. but nothing quite stuck.

Then I saw Kathryn’s Plantain dress and was inspired. But instead of adapting the Plantain top, I though I could alter Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater dress pattern because a) I have it and b) I love the neckline. While I do like the skirt on my first version I really wanted it to have an a-line skirt.

To adapt the pattern I laid out the bodice top front and back (size ) against my block to get an idea of how it compared. I did this because I wasn’t sure how the knit fit/cut compared. Its interesting I think, you can see the original front bodice against by block bodice in this photo. That way I could use my block bottom to design my nice A-line skirt for the dress (although I was doing the front as all once piece). It took me about 30 minutes to cut out what I hoped would be my perfect fitting dress front and back pieces.

Before I began I decided it would be wise to review a few blogs of the Lady Skater dress to get some tips. I found Lladybird’s blog particularly useful. Especially in regards to the placement of the elastic. On my first version I didn’t really see the point of the elastic. Its in the seam allowance right? But reading her blog I realised it actually is in the seam allowance, ie you sew your seam over the elastic. I missed that detail last time.

I played around with my stitches for a while to decide what I wanted to use. Again Lladybird was particularity helpful – her blog on conquering knits gives you the low down on everything you need to remember. I ended up using #10 on my stitch dial (ie the mid size zig-zag). Also for the first time ever I used a double needle to top stitch the neck, arm bands and hem.

The effect of the double needle is amazing! It looks so professional!

The dressed was started and finished in 3 hours! It came together wonderfully, and I did a much better job this round on the neck and cap sleeves. It gave me a real sense of accomplishment (plus it makes my ass look amazing)! Though perhaps I could make the back a little large next time to reduce the horizontal wrinkles and I’ll probably lengthen it for winter versions. I still have oodles of the fabric left too!



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