Wednesday, 28 May 2014

::Sewing::FO::Grey Skating Lady

I've wanted to make a knit dress for ages. I'm really drawn to knits as the weather turns cooler here in sunny Queensland. Most of my winter wardrobe is long sleeve knit tops. I was spurred on to make this dress by The Monthly Stitch Sew Stretchy challenge  for May (here are my posts over there...there's not many...yet).

 I've been eyeing off The Lady Skater dress for a long-time, especially after it exploded all over the sewing blogasphere when it was released. I eventually bit the bullet and bought it in the first Perfect Pattern Parcel.

~Pattern Adjustments~
I looked at the sizing on the pattern and it said I should cut a 7 in the upper bodice and grade to an 8 in the waist. Of course, me being me, I just cut a straight size 8. In future I will grade from a size 7 to an 8.
(Note to self: stop being silly and just go with what the pattern says)

I changed up the construction a little. I'm not a fan of sewing on shoulder seam, attached the neckband and then sewing the other shoulder seam. I attached the clear elastic as it says in the instructions; then sewed both shoulder seams. I sewed the neckband into a loop by sewing the short ends together right sides together; then folded and basted it along the long edge wrong sides together. Then attached the neckband to the neckline in the round.

Sewing this dress was a bit back and forth. As I wasn't sure about the dress I used mostly my sewing machine. I sewed up the bodice and sleeves and tried it on before unpicking the side seams. Then I overlocked the sleeves to the bodice, attached the skirt and overlocked up the side seams.

I tried the dress on and was a bit disappointed by the neck band flipping out. So I trimmed a couple of the seams in the neckline and left one to get sewed down later.

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I borrowed a coverstitch machine from my sister . I was going to use it to hem the sleeves and skirt but it was being a complete PITA so I just decided to use my twin needle.

The seams were misbehaving as I was trying to fold and press them for hemming, so I trimmed some fusible web and used it to fix the seams down in sections to stop it from flipping. It was much easier to use the twin needle to finish the hems because they weren't sliding all over the place and there wasn't any need for pins. Suweet!

After practicing with the twin needles on the sleeve hems I stitched down the neckline seam allowance I had left . Before I sewed, I pressed the neckline with heaps of steam. I didn't bother with fusible web this time because it was topstitch. When sewing, I tried to align one needle in the seam and the other over where the seam was. The neckline lies nice and flat now so top stitching with the twin needle was a winner.

I like the length of the skirt so I decided not to hem it (that and I just really wanted to wear it) I just popped some Fray Stoppa on the skirt side seams.

Kitschy Coo The Lady Skater - 3/4 sleeve

 I've had this fabric in my stash for nearly a year. I had intended on using it to make a stretch pencil skirt but I haven't gotten around to it . The fabric was lovely to handle and I would recommend it to anyone starting out in knits as it's a stable knit.
 I ran out of clear elastic while I was making this dress. I was going to resort to regular elastic, but I didn't think I be happy with that so I did end up ducking out and buying more.

~Changes I made this time~
• Attached the neckband in a different way.
• I twin needled the neckband down.
• I omitted the sleeve bands.

~What I Like~
• The shape of the dress is fantastic.
• The neckline doesn't gape!
• I think I'm in love with Ponte. I want to buy all of the Ponte. All of it!
• Twin needles are fantastic!

~What I Don't Like~
• The top of the sleeves don't fit so well
• There's a bit of excess fabric in the lower back. I'm thinking I need to do the old Full Butt Adjustment because the hem is a bit higher at the back - a usual.
• The waist seam is a bit weird

~Changes for Next Time~
• Grade from a 7 to an 8 in the bodice and sleeves
• Maybe do a swayback adjustment
• Use the overlocker to sew all seam, which might fix the weird waist seam

PatternKitschy Coo - The Lady Skater - 3/4 sleeve$5.00
Deluxe Ponte Double Knit  (Spotlight) $9.99/m * 2.5m
Notions Thread - in stash
Clear Elastic
Fusible web - in stash
Time 8 hours (* $16-ish Australian minimum wage) $128.00
Total ~$161.00
Even though it took me a while to make this dress it was worth it just for the lessons I learnt while making it.

~Final Comment~
I'm loving the Ponte fabric in this shape of dress. It will be great to wear in the cooler months with tights/stockings, a scarf and belt.  There are a few tweaks that I'll have to make when I make another. I may even tweak the sleeve heads on this dress...maybe. But, overall I'm really digging this dress. It get's two thumbs up from me.

Do you wear a lot of knits? Have you sewn with knits before? 
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you :)

Until next time,

P.s. I've read a couple of posts about taking photos for sewing blogs namely this one and this one, so I'm going to try improving pictures for this blog. Holla if you have any suggestions.

Let's connect


  1. Thanks for the link, Vanessa! Photography can be tricky if you don't have a photographer or fancy camera, but good photos are still do-able. :)

    I think your twin-needling came out great! I recently tried it for the first time, and I was surprised how well it worked right out of the gate. What a time-saver! I haven't tried adding fusible web but am making a mental note to pick some up. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Carolyn.
    I was also surprised at how good twin needling was and it looks so good.
    I would definitely recommend fusible web to keeping things in place for sewing.


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