Friday, 22 November 2013

Lady Skater dress

My November make for the Minerva Blogger Network is the Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo.  The Skater Dress was originally released as a children's pattern, but so many people asked owner Amanda  to make a larger version that she eventually caved in and drafted a grown-up version for us Lay-dees. I'm so glad she did because for me, finding this pattern was like finding the Holy Grail. I'm really not joking either - I've been on the hunt for a basic knit dress pattern forever. I mucked about with the Colette Peony pattern in the past (here and here) and to be fair, I was more than happy with the results. Both dresses get a lot of wear, the problem was that I felt I was floundering a bit during the sewing process and very much making it up as I went along. Having a perfectly drafted pattern that ticks these boxes, along with excellent online instructions, has made this dress an absolute BREEZE to sew by comparison.


You choose your size according to your high bust and high waist measurements. Annoyingly, I was slap bang in the middle of a size 4 and a size 5, so blended between the two sizes, cutting a 4 around the waist, hips and neck, and a 5 in the bust area. Amazingly, this seemed to work! Amanda strongly advises making a test muslin of the bodice fit, which for once, I fully intended to do, but the fit was pretty good so I just steamed ahead. I added clear elastic at the shoulder and waist seams as directed and they really help give the dress shape and hold the weight of the fabric. The other thing I've always struggled with when sewing knits is the neckline. They're either stretched, or too baggy, or just plain rubbish. The neckline instructions on this pattern are ACE.


The only changes I made to the pattern were to shorten the arms to allow for my T Rex affliction and to shorten the skirt very slightly. There's a super helpful bit in the pattern that indicates exactly how long the dress is in its original state. If you're interested, it's designed to just hit the knee if you're 5'5".


For fabric, I used a medium/heavy weight Ponte Roma jersey in Forest, which is a lovely quality. Soooo smooth and silky, I keep having to stop myself stroking it, it's so touchable. If you fancy making your own knit dress, then you can purchase the Lady Skater dress kit from Minerva Crafts here. The kit comprises 2m of Roma jersey in Forest, matching thread and a pack of clear elastic. This amount of fabric is enough to make a size 5, long sleeved Skater Dress and a practice bodice if you're that way inclined.

Now that I've made this once, I can see this pattern being my go-to winter dress pattern.  It's comfortable, sassy and SSOOO easy to wear, I love it! In true Lady Skater style, I leave you with my very best Jayne Torvill impression…. x



The kit was given to me free of charge as part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. All views my own.

35 comments:

  1. Hi Jane,
    What a fantastic dress - we are dress twins, as I have just this last weekend finished the exact same dress in the same fabric and pretty much the same colour! I have not worn it yet, but have all the photos etc ready to blog about it. Looks fab, well done. I have already tried to comment but it seemed to disappear so I hope you don't get two.

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    1. Ah, great minds think alike Tamsin! I love this dress, it's so cosy too in this freezing weather. Can't wait to see yours! x

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  2. Every time a see a Lady Skater, I do a little happy dance inside because I love mine so much! Yay! I love yours too!

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    1. Hoorah! I have to say, I love yours too, the fabric's fab! x

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  3. I love it and it looks super comfy, too.

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  4. Looks great, love the colour. I agree it is a great pattern and I can see it getting a lot of use in this house too.

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  5. Thanks so much for posting about this pattern - love it! I have never used a digital print pattern before - any recommendations as to what paper to use? Just ordinary old printer paper? Thanks

    http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yep, any old printer paper is fine. This pattern is very economical with paper in the way it's tiled together too. X

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  6. Lovely doll and such a nice colour. I've knocked up a few of these now for myself and a friend. Just pull them on and away you go!

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    1. I know, it's an instant outfit! I want to make seven: one for every day of the week! x

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  7. I just decided this pattern simply wasn't for me... and then you post this! Now I'm reconsidering again! Your dress is beautiful, and so practical. It can be dressed up in so many ways!

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  8. Very pretty and so on trend. That lovely shop Meandem has a dress almost identical to that only in fuchsia, forest green and black, only a bit pricey. Great when you get a fab pattern like that.

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    1. Thank you and thanks for the link, they're VERY similar aren't they? Except mine was £100 cheaper, which I'm v pleased about! x

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  9. This is the best dress pattern I own, it is so amazing and the fit is out of this world. I love mine, and seeing yours I love it even more! x

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  10. Really fabulous I will add to my long list of things to sew!

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  11. very cute dress ...it looks very nice

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  12. Jane you look gorgeous!
    Big hugs
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  13. The colour of your dress is sooo nice, and it looks megacomfy! I've just made my first one of these and love it to bits, so I'm really pleased about the hint with the nice fabric - might have to go and get myself some...

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    1. I think you should treat yourself, it's such lovely quality fabric! x

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  14. Oh Jane, I love you!! This must be my favourite blog post you've ever written...why?
    Ok, I've had a couple of glasses of wine, but your T. rex references never fail to make me chuckle, then the Jane tortilla photo? Awesome. Thank you :-)

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    1. Ah thanks love, I knew someone, somewhere would appreciate my Jayne Torvill impression! xx

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  15. I really love this dress - the colour is great on you!

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  16. The lady skater is one of my favourite knit patterns at the moment, and this ponte.. ohh i know is yummy as I made my dakota with it. Its fabulous

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    1. I agree, it's gorgeous fabric Rachel. Love your Dakota dress! x

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  17. Hey Jane, do you ever wear your Maria Denmark knit dress from a while back? I have the pattern in my stash, now with English instructions, although they don't sound as comprehensive as the Lady Skater ones. Love that colour on you. :-)

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    1. I do wear it quite a bit, but not as much as my other knit dresses. I think I prefer a separate bodice and skirt even in a knit dress, and the Maria Denmark one is just straight up and down. It's quite a good little pattern, although the instructions for the Lady Skater dress are way more comprehensive. Good luck! x

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  18. Ooh, I love it, Jane! That colour is glorious on you. I made three Lady Skaters so far, and have at least one more in red ponte knit planned.

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    1. Thanks Sarah, I think this pattern is going to be addictive! Ooooh I like the sound of a red ponte knit version! x

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  19. Love your Lady Skater Dress. These keep popping up all the time and I haven't yet seen one I don't like. You may have just made me decide that I need this pattern too. Well done.

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    1. No, I haven't seen one I don't like either! x

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  20. Such a great dress and I love the colour on you!

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  21. Oh My goodness I NEED this dress!! What a great post Jane and your impression of Ms Torvill is second to none. Keeeep dancing (wrong show but hey ho)!

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  22. Too much fun! You look wonderful in this great dress. Terrific color and you nailed the fit.

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  23. It's great! I recently made the girl one in a Kitschy Coo print jersey for my 6 year old and she loves it. It's on my pattern list for the new year as I realised I needed one in my life too!

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  24. This looks ace! Stylish but practical,the perfect combination!

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