Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lady Skater - Japanese style

I made this Lady Skater dress at Christmas, but totally forgot to blog about it until I saw Jenny's gorgeous top made from the same fabric recently. As it happens, the timing is pretty fortuitous, as it's much more of a spring dress than a winter one.


The fabric I used is the most beautiful double-layered, polka dot double knit (try saying that when you've had a few!) It's from Etsy shop Miss Matatabi. The two layers are fused together at regular intervals like double gauze and it does actually feel a bit like a knit version of double gauze: very soft to the touch and super cosy. I must point out that Miss Matatabi is the most dangerous fabric shop in the world! I clicked over there just now to get a link for the fabric and saw this - an Aran-look knit fabric!! How could I possibly resist?! Answer: I couldn't, so that will be winging its way over to me from Japan soon. 

Anyway, back to the dress… I did my usual bad trick of changing bits of the pattern in order to make them fit onto the fabric available. Luckily for me, knit fabric is very forgiving! The changes I made that were different from my last version were as follows:

-  Cut a size 4 all over (last time I cut a size 5 bodice and size 4 skirt)
-  Reduced width of shoulders slightly 
-  Shortened bodice by 1 inch
-  Took 3 ½ inches from the bottom skirt curve in order to fit onto the fabric
-  Cut sleeves as a lengthened version of the cap sleeve


I was happy with the fit of my first version, but actually the changes I made this time have resulted in a much better fit all round. I'm especially pleased with the shoulders as they were definitely a bit wide. Reducing the curve of the skirt has made it more of a quarter circle than a half circle which I also prefer.
It was super easy to construct - I sewed the whole thing on my overlocker and used a double needle for the neck and sleeve bands and the hem. 

The fabric is reversible so I felt obliged to try and show off the contrast somewhere on the dress. I went with contrasting neckband and sleeve bands. But… with hindsight, I wish I hadn't made the neckband contrasting as it does give a bit of a juvenile feel. It's annoying, but not enough to make me stop wearing it!

Contrast neckband and sleeve bands

View from the inside showing the reversible fabric
What I like about this pattern is that there's a separate bodice and skirt, so the finished dress looks rather like a neat, fitted Emery or Peony dress. The added bonus is that the lack of darts and the fact that it's made from knit fabric means you can whip this beauty up in no time. Even though it's made from a knit fabric, it's actually quite light and swishy to wear, so it's going to get a second lease of life as a spring dress!  Happy Tuesday. x


46 comments:

  1. That's another totally lovely dress, Jane - I have Lady Skater envy! I too keep falling to prey to Miss Matatabi's Etsy shop - she has an amazing range of fabric and the service is great.

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    1. Thank you! Ah that shop is a killer! And I agree, the service is excellent. x

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  2. So lovely. I'm becoming a fan of Miss M, as well!

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  3. Love it! And of course I love being twins :)

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  4. I love the contrast neck and sleeve facings, not at all juvenile!

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    1. Oh thank you. Every time I see the neckband it just makes me think of a kids t shirt! x

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  5. Love it! And I agree with Fiona, not at all juvenile. I think the white contrast makes it seem even more spring-like, which is great.

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I'll now look on the white contrast as spring-like, much better than juvenile! x

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  6. This dress is adorable and it looks really good on you. I think it's one of my favorite things you've shown us.

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  7. Hello!
    I too love the contrast, fun, fresh and it lights up your lovely eyes!!!!
    Actually this is the first time someone has actually tempted me to make this dress as other versions have not caught my eye in quite the same way!
    bestest daisy j x

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    1. What a fabulous compliment! Thank you! x

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  8. Lovely! It almost looks as good from the inside too! I love that fabric, and would love some but I daren't click through to Miss Matatabi's shop as I have far too much Fabric at the moment!

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    1. I know, I was wondering if I could get away with wearing it inside out - maybe not! x

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  9. Your dress just looks amazing! It does look like it could be reversible, the fabric and the fit look great but it looks really comfortable too!

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    1. Almost reversible, but not quite! And it IS really comfortable to wear. x

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  10. I love the contrasting polka dots. Gorgeous!

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    1. They're lovely aren't they?! x

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  11. Oooh, I love this! What a gorgeous dress and fabric! That Etsy store is deadly...

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    1. Yep, truly deadly! And thank you! x

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  12. It's just perfect! Polka dot easy wearing chic. Love it xx

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    1. Easy wearing chic - I like it! Thanks Winnie. x

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  13. I adore this. want, want, want!

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    1. Make one, it's a great pattern! x

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  14. ooooh. Thanks for the reminder about Miss M. I adore that!

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    1. Always happy to lure others to new fabric shops! x

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  15. Lovely and perfect for Spring. I kind of understand what you mean about the contrast binding, but actually think it works really well. You look a similar colouring to me and I think a pop of white near to your skin really flatters it :-)

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    1. Yes, the binding could go either way I think. We do have similar colouring and I've never thought about the whole pop of white near the skin thing before. My next project has white straps so I'm hoping that's a good sign! x

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  16. I like dresses with a waistline as I am short in the body so always have to shorten here but the overall effect looks seamless. Good time to wear it now. Jo x

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    1. I think the waistline on this pattern comes out a bit long. My first one hits lower down, so I shortened this one and much prefer it. Yes, it's getting lots of wear at the moment! x

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  17. I was a bit meh about this pattern having made it once but seeing your dress makes me want to revisit it.

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    1. My first version was VERY plain, it's amazing how a different fabric can transform a pattern! x

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  18. JANE. WHY DID YOU LINK TO THAT SWEATER KNIT?!?! Argh!!! My overflowing stash! :D

    Girl, this dress is officially TOO perfect! Love it on you!

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    1. I did it on purpose Sonja, just to tempt you!! It's gorgeous isn't it? I only clapped eyes on it for about one second before I bought it, but had to physically restrain myself from also buying the blue and YELLOW versions! And thank you! x

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  19. Love it! I've been eyeing that fabric for a few days for a Coco. I think I might get it and be triplets with you!

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  20. It looks brilliant Jane. I like the contrast. I bought some navy blue ponte to make a lady skater, but now that the temp has gone up I want to make a summer dress instead. Yours seems like a great transitional dress.

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  21. Lovely dress and I like the reduced flare on the skirt too. A timely post as I have been contemplating a second lady skater myself.

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