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.