When I first started hearing about skater dresses, I thought the name had something to do with skateboarding, or perhaps rollerskating. But actually they are called skater dresses because they resemble the dresses that ice skaters wear- fitted bodice, and a skirt that flares out at the bust or waistline….duh. So here is my first attempt at a skater dress of my own!I decided it would be easy enough to just add a skirt to a t-shirt pattern, and it would have if I had a pattern that fit well already…I love the Briar t-shirt pattern, but this needed to be fitted, so I decided to draft my own. It wasn’t too bad, I traced a t-shirt from my closet that fit OK but needed some improvements (now that I sew I realize that all of my RTW t-shirts fit pretty awful!) After my second quick version of the bodice I thought I had it, but when I added the sleeves it was…ugh. They pulled like crazy. I made some adjustments and tried again- still no good. So I decided to grab the sleeves from my Miz Mozelle pattern, and with a little bit of adapting they worked out great! I ended up loving the looser sleeve with some gathers.The skirt is just a gathered rectangle- I used clear elastic to gather it so that it would stay stretchy. Apparently that waist needs to stay stretchy in order to be able to put it on…ask me how I know, hehe. Things that don’t occur to you when sewing tired late at night 🙂 Looking at these pictures it looks a little short to me- maybe add an inch or so on the next one…The fabric– I’ll be honest, when this arrived in the mail I was fairly disappointed. I thought the stripes were woven when I ordered it, but they are the painted on kind. It’s pretty thin, and the white stripes are stretchy but the gold stripes are not…I figured I would just use it as muslin fabric. But I have to say, now that I have this dress, I love it! It has softened up quite a bit with washing, doesn’t wrinkle, and I love the color. It is a little annoying that I have to wear a slip under it, but I can live with that. I really want to make some nice slips to wear, I have quite a few fabrics in my stash that would otherwise require lining. I made the necklace too, out of one of my husband’s old ties. There are lots of tutorials out there on how to make these, I used this one. I have made a bunch, they are quick and fun! You can get ties super cheap from the thrift store, just make sure you wash them (by hand) first- neck ties are usually pretty dirty! I also made some of these for my sister-in-law whose father had passed away (out of his ties), it is a nice way to be able to wear something that belonged to a loved one.
Here are the obligatory detail shots of the dress:I recently got a coverstitch machine, and this was my first chance to use it on a real garment…it is the coolest! I need to get the attachment that helps sew binding on, I did this the regular way and then used the coverstitch to finish it off. Still getting the hang of it 🙂
Look at those hems! And it’s soooooo easy. I think for a lot of sewers it seems like an extravagance, but I don’t buy ANY clothes these days. The last time I shopped was December. So I think it is totally worth it to get a professional finish if you sew all of your own clothes, especially if you sew with a lot of knits. Here are the innards… There is the clear elastic in the waist seam, you can’t really see it…And the back side of the hem…I think I may need to adjust the tension. Still learning! 🙂
So there you go, self drafted skater dress!! I love it, and I want to make probably 5 more…They will be really fun to wear in the fall and winter with tights, boots, scarves and jackets, don’t you think? If anyone is interested in more details, I could take pictures and do a little tutorial with the next one…you could use a t-shirt pattern that you like (Renfrew?), or adapt the Lady Skater pattern. Let me know what you think!