Friday, August 23, 2013

Lady Skater Dress


 I first found out about the Lady Skater dress when working at camp a few weeks ago. It was nap time for the kids and I was really missing my sewing machine. While catching up on reading blogs I came across this pattern from Amanda of Kitschy Coo! I really liked the style and I've been wanting a casual dress for everyday wear, so I bought the pattern.

It's a pdf pattern and there are 3 different styles you can make - cap sleeve, 3/4 sleeve or long sleeve. After I bought the pattern I went on Girl Charlee and bought enough fabric to make myself a dress. I don't think it's in stock anymore, but it's called Silver Pin Dots on Charcoal gray and it is cotton lycra.
It's hard to tell from the picture, but the silver dots are raised, so I had to be careful when pressing seams. For the trim on the collar and sleeves, I just used the wrong side of the fabric.

The pattern was very easy to follow. Amanda was very helpful when I had a question about sizing because my bodice and waist measurements weren't the same. She also helped me figure out how to lengthen the skirt. As is, the skirt is meant to hit at knee length for someone who is 5'5". I'm a couple inches taller than that and I prefer my skirts/dress to fall below my knee. The skirt has a 1 inch hem and the length is perfect on me.

The dress uses clear elastic in the shoulders and waist seams to help with stablizing. This was my first time using clear elastic, but it was super easy to put in. One tip though: don't put your hot iron over the clear elastic. It might melt.

The dress went together pretty quick. I finished everything except the hem in a few hours. I used a twin needle on the hem for the first time, so I went slowly. Hemming is my least favorite part of sewing and usually I speed through them, but I wanted this one to look nice! I think it turned out well. It was hard to tell if I was catching the fabric underneath since you have to sew from the top. There are spots that go a little too far in, but overall it's pretty straight.
This is about how close I stayed to the edge for the hem.

I'm wearing this dress today and the fit is great! It's the perfect dress for summer and it will be great for fall too. I wore it to visit my aunt, and when I brought my siblings to the park. It's so comfortable and I already want to make another one! Thanks for making such a great pattern, Amanda!


Friday, August 2, 2013

A New Top!

This is one of my new favorite outfits, especially the top. I drafted the pattern myself, with the help of this tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard. It was super easy to make - I just used a shirt that fits really well and traced around it onto freezer paper. The sewing was easy too - Melanie's instructions were very clear with lots of pictures!

I did have some trouble with the sleeves. I had planned to make the arm bands out of the blue knit. However, when I tried the shirt on, it was extremely tight around my arms. Part of the problem was the blue knit isn't very stretchy. Also, I hadn't made the arms wide enough when I traced the pattern.
After a lot of ripping and frustration, the shirt finally fit around my arms. I ended up using the black knit (same as my skirt) and adding a piece under the arm, as you can kind of see in the picture below.
The little extra piece sticking out is the rectangle I cut and added. Without it, the shirt was still too tight around the arms. It isn't the prettiest solution, but you can't see it at all when I'm wearing it.
This shirt is so comfortable to wear! I love the bright blue colors too! The knit is a cotton jersey that I got from The Fabric Fairy. I had been eyeing it for a long time and finally decided to buy some with a new shirt in mind.
My skirt is a simple bubble skirt. I used the tutorial on EmmylouBeeDoo. I made a bubble skirt a few years ago using her tutorial, but I like the way this one turned out much better.
These bell pictures were so fun to take too! My brother did a great job and we were lucky because shortly after we finished it started pouring. It's nice when you can find new places for taking pictures - it makes things more interesting.
Happy weekend!!

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