3.12.2014

And then there were two more skater dresses

I recently realized I have a thing for making my most loved patterns in pairs (or more!).

my girls

For one, it's incredibly efficient.  I can use the larger pattern for Indigo first.  Then it usually works to cut the smaller version for Tia out of Indigo's pattern without needing to reprint it.


stripey skater dress

 All of the instructions are still fresh in my mind, which means it comes together in lightening speed.

stripey skater dress

And switching it up at least a little keeps it from getting boring.

stripey skater dress

This is (again) the Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo.  For this dress, I altered the sleeves just a bit using my uber-scientific method - eyeballing it.  I sewed the dress with elbow length sleeves first, tried it on Indigo, and adjusted the sleeve length until it looked right.  Then I skipped the cuff and just hemmed it.  So easy.

flower picking

I did find that the sleeve without the cuff was a little wide for Indigo's tiny arms, so I took them in by another 1/2" per sleeve.  I also took the bodice in by about 1/4-3/8" on each side. The fit on the bodice was wider this time compared to last.  (Maybe there was a difference in the stretch of the knit?)

making wishes

Regarding that stretch, I needed to re-cut the neckband to make it about an inch longer than the pattern piece neckband.  This fabric just didn't stretch with the same ease as the last neckband did.  I could see after sewing only an inch or two with a basting stitch that it was starting to gather the bodice fabric.   Also, I had to tightly pull the neckband to make it work - and I mean t i g h t l y.  When the neckband gathers the fabric, I've read it means you need to cut the neckband a bit longer and try again.  That was easy enough and it came together quickly and nicely after that.  I might even enjoy sewing neckbands now!

stripey skater dress

 For Tarikua's dress, I used another animal print fabric from Girl Charlee.  It was (again) lightweight but that works just fine for this dress.  When ordering from this shop, I've personally had the best luck with 100% cottons or cotton/spandex blends and not so much with poly or rayon blends.  I've had more pilling with those.  Maybe it's just a personal preference.

skater dress - altered

I altered this pattern by cutting the bodice shorter - just above Tia's natural waist.   I also made the skirt by cutting two rectangles that were 1 1/2 times the width of the bodice (kind of like the instructions here) and then gathering them to fit the bodice.


skater dress (altered)


I also altered the sleeves and cuffs like I did here.


skater dress (altered)

There is something so exhilarating about making these dresses.  I'm pretty sure I made the last one in an hour or so.  Truly, they are so fast to make!  It's pretty liberating to think about how quickly you could pull together a basic playtime wardrobe (knit dresses + leggings).  

skater dress altered

These dresses are also low maintenance.   Both sat on my sewing table for over a week in a bit of a crumbled heap and yet were ready to wear without being touched by an iron.  That's one of the great advantages of knits.

skater dress (altered)

Another thing I like about this pattern is that it's so easy to customize (as I did with all three of these dresses).  I think you could easily turn the dress into a t-shirt by simply lengthening the bodice a few inches.  I'd like to play around with that sometime.

Oh, and Indigo's leggings are the Sunki pattern which I love so much for older girls.  I do like to add several inches of length to the pattern.  The fit is so perfect.  And of course, I had to make a pair for Tia, too (not pictured). There I go again, sewing in pairs!

skater dress + sunki leggings

22 comments:

  1. Love them both, but especially like Tarikua's modification. I need to break this pattern out again - it's actually one of my daughter's faves. And, as always, great photos!

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    1. Thank you, Janice! It's such a great, practical pattern and, if you like it, that modification is so easy! :)

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  2. Oh, I'm in love with the bunny-version!

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  3. I love both, but Tia's is also my favorite. I just love the color you picked for the cuffs and neck line - the combination is so perfect!

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  4. Looks like you're a convert to knit sewing all round! I love the no ironing factor too. Great modifications and gorgeous fabrics.
    I've no idea if you've been nominated before, but I nominated your blog for a Liebster award. You should see that as flattering as I love your blog, but it does have a chain mail side to it, should you choose to accept it. (I say no obligation, you can just take the compliment if you like!)
    My nomination blog post is here: http://bartacksandsingletrack.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/ive-been-very-busy-sewing-cutting-more.html

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  5. They're both gorgeous, nice mods!

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  6. And look at your stripes matching up just so. I spot that!

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  7. Oooh, I love these! I haven't been sold on this pattern ... yet ... but you might make me a "late adopter!" I love the contrasting neckline and cuffs on Tia's. Plus, they are just so sweet! Look at those loving sisters! It warms the heart.

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  8. I'm trying to be so good with not buying any new patterns until I sew up some of the (many) unused ones I still have . . . but you're making it so hard! I loved the first version you made, and now I love these as well! It just looks like such a fun, wear-able dress that both mom and child take pleasure in (sadly, we know this is not always the case with the things we sew!). Being a lover of all things striped, I adore Indigo's version but also love the contrast cuff you added to Tia's. And thanks for sharing how you did your modifications - it really is helpful!

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    1. well, i don't think you can go wrong with this pattern. it's less than $12 (i just did the pounds to dollars conversions) ;) and has options for long sleeves, short sleeves, and no sleeves. you could easily customize with 3/4 length sleeves or just above the elbow like i did for tia's dress. it's so easy to do the mod like i did on tia's. and i think a knit dress is perfect for when you live in a cooler climate - just so practical. i don't have any affiliation with this pattern company but i think it's one of the most practical patterns i've bought. in fact, i've ordered more knits to make more! :0 this all said, i've been a sucker for hanna anderssen dresses since indigo was a baby. i'd patiently wait for them to go on sale since they're quite pricey. i'd buy one per girl per year. so i'm pretty excited/empowered to know i could essentially make them myself now (woot!). :) and that it's easy, too!
      i think you're exactly right in that what we sew doesn't always gets worn. sometimes my sewing is fancier than our day-to-day. so adding knits into our mix has been so great -- and again, empowering!

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    2. I think your skater dresses give the Hanna Anderssen dresses a run for their money! Granted, they have the best quality cotton I've ever felt but if you can find good cotton, I'd say sew these up by the dozens! And you can justify the fabric cost by reminding yourself how much you're saving by NOT buying the H.A. dress:)

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    3. why thank you, Lucinda! that's a huge compliment! and i like the way you think regarding saving money! ;) you're definitely on to something there. :)

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  9. Lovely dresses! I love the rabbit fabric, with those gorgeous yellow cuffs. I really love this pattern too. I made the girls a long sleeved version for winter, which they are actually wearing now (I didn't think it would get cold here, but it does in the rainy season). I'd love to make them a short sleeved version, but I'll have to import the knit fabric myself. Knit dresses are such a great playtime wardrobe!

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  10. Love these, and the sister shots are just the sweetest. Indigo is looking so grown up lately!!

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  11. I'm hooked on this pattern at the moment too! I've made two dresses and made a t-shirt by lowering the bodice and flaring it our slightly. I didn't think I would- but I really like the way the neckband is added- I haven't had any bunching issues.

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    1. Ooo, I can't wait to check it out! :)

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    2. will post the pictures later- am now onto matching shirts for my little twin nephews..I love this pattern!

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  12. What great dresses and I love your modifications. The ability of knits to look good out of the dryer and when left in a heap is certainly a bonus! I think you said earlier than Indigo is starting to prefer knits as she gets older- they seems to be so true with the kids I see. Best to practice know while E is still young and willing to wear just about anything!

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  13. Ahhh, they're so sweet together!
    And these dresses are fantastic! I love seeing the two versions together...it's always great to see how you can modify a pattern!

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  14. Where is the striped fabric from on Indigo's dress? I love it. How is the bunny fabric holding up? I love that as well, but just saw on Girl Charlee that it is a cotton/poly blend. I also have had some pilling issues with some of their fabrics, but others have held up great. I just need to learn which are good and which aren't.

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    1. Hmm, I'm just not sure about that fabric. In my last post about the skater dress (in the fawn print), I had tried to find and link to that print and it was no longer in stock in that colorway. Someone else who used that same fabric wrote that it was 100% cotton. I've only washed it a few times (maybe 5 or 6) but I haven't seen any pilling at all - a poly give away! I ordered it about 6 months ago, so maybe the fabric is printed on a different kind of knit now (?), or maybe it was always printed on 50-50 poly. I rarely ever intentionally order poly fabrics, so I'm just not sure. Either way, it has washed okay so far whereas my other Girl Charlee poly blends that didn't hold up didn't wash well at all - even after the first wash! Like you said, others have held up great, though.

      The striped fabric is from an Etsy shop called Finch Sewing Studio but is no longer in stock. I was really happy with the quality of it, though. Maybe they will get more in stock. It was called Peacock Blue Stripes on White - Cotton French Terry Spandex Knit Fabric.

      I have been happy with the knits I've purchased form Banberry place. A few weeks ago, several sewing bloggers recommended Lillestoff as being a pricy but super high quality option. I have even found some nice knits at JoAnns. It's helpful to be able to feel them for yourself there, too. Good luck and thanks for stopping by! :)





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  15. Love these, Rachel! I'm Heather and I just wanted to know if you could answer a question I have about your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!

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