10.12.2015

How about Another Skater Dress?

The Skater Dress was the pattern that initiated me into the world of sewing with knits.  Well, technically, that's not true.  I did sew the Sunki legging pattern about a million times first.  But that pattern doesn't have any ribbing and ribbing/neckbands were what intimidated me most about sewing with knits.


The Skater Dress was a perfect intro pattern into sewing knits.  I realized sewing with knits wasn't so difficult after all.  In fact, often times, it's actually easier than sewing with wovens.  You don't need to finish the seam allowances.  Also, generally speaking, knit garment construction tends to be simpler than woven garment construction since the stretch often eliminates the need for closures like buttons or zippers.


After I made my first Skater Dress, I went on to sew four more.  The comfort of knits has made these dresses some of the most beloved in my girls' closets.  They were probably worn on a weekly basis.


Indigo finally outgrew her previous Skater dresses, so it was time for a new one.


I prefer the look of this pattern best when the bodice is a bit more fitted.  I sewed the size 7/8, but I increased my seam allowance to 5/8" on the side seams.  I also took off about 5/8" from the bodice length, to shorten it just a bit.  And I added a lot of length to the skirt.


I don't like to pre-cut a neckband based on a pattern piece... ever.  I often find the piece is too short, resulting in a neckband that has been stretched so tightly that it gathers the bodice fabric.  Instead, I simply cut the width of the strip with some additional length and gently stretch as I go.  At the end, I cut off the excess.


I have really struggled to find good quality ribbing.  Often times, colors are limited.  But then I was poking around Etsy and discovered that Ottobre sells ribbing.  It is sold in 1 yard increments, however, you can choose up to 5 colors per yard.  So, that's what I did.  I don't really need much ribbing anyway, so the 1/5th of a yard increment was perfect.  This is goooood stuff and I know it will last a long time.  (Inder also recently blogged here about some ribbing she liked, if you're on the lookout for ribbing and want more options.)

The main fabric is an Art Gallery print called Wispy Daybreak Aura.


I've found it can be hard to tell how much I like a particular knit until after it's been washed and dried a few times.  Cheap knits pill.  I've had some knits fade, even dramatically.  I loved the quality of the Birch interlock knits I used for these dresses, but even though I washed and dried the fabric before I sewed them, they shrunk considerably in the second and third washes.  As in - shrunk by several inches and are now shirts. (womp womp) So now I wash and dry my knits a few times before I cut them, just to be on the safe side.


When I was taking photos of Indigo, she said, "Let's take some photo with Lulu [the chicken] again!  Lulu should have the starring role!"


So here's Lulu, in her staring role!  ;)



Since this is my sixth Skater dress, I'm calling this dress a wardrobe staple.  One that's both mom and Indigo (and Lulu) approved.  :)


11 comments:

  1. Wow, Lulu sure has grown! Indy looks gorgeous as always and I agree, ottobre ribbings are the bomb!
    Knit dresses are the perfect everyday staple, you should seriously give this a go for yourself!

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  2. Beautiful photos. My girls' favorite dresses are knit dresses (RTW, handed down). I don't know why I never thought to buy this pattern, even though I've seen it all over the place forever. Hmmm ... might do so. Thanks for the tip on Ottobre. Getting 5 colors per yard makes it a very appealing option. And finally, I also wash and dry my knits a number of times now. It is still so disheartening to see them pilly out of the wash, since I usually can't bear to toss them, I sew them up anyway.

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  3. Beautiful! You can never have too many skaters, they are so easy to wear. I love this print, I have it in a woven, but I didn't even know it came in knit...off to find some for myself!

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  4. This looks so nice on Indigo! I love the skater dress and have made several for both girls and myself. I actually made one out of this exact fabric (for myself) this summer, and used the leftovers for the skirt portion on one for my Lily :-)
    Chicks at the 'teenager stage' make me laugh, poor things are so awkward looking. Not yet a 'chicken', but no longer a fluffy Easter chick....
    happy sewing and schooling ~ Tracy

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  5. Another pretty dress on a very pretty young lady. Where did that little girl go?

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  6. Okay I've eyed that Ottobre ribbing as well, and I love the color selection! I have to try it! It's hard for me to commit to an online ribbing because I've been burned by some choices in the past, but if you say it's good, I know I won't waste my money!

    This dress is lovely, I love that fabric. Totally agree - sewing with knits can be easier, but the quality of the fabric is an even bigger deal with knits than with other fabrics, and pilling, shrinkage, and fading are major concerns. Indigo really is looking more like a young lady every day! A very lovely and thoughtful young woman.

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  7. Such a great dress! And bonus chicken pictures! If you keep making such lovely skater dresses I'll have to break down and buy this pattern! Thank you for the ribbing leads as well. I've been avoiding ribbing but between you and Inder and I think I need to get moving. I've also taken to washing my knit fabrics a few times before sewing but this is a good reminder. I just bought a yard of knit fabric that's washing and I should send it through again before cutting.

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  8. Been stalking your Skater Dress posts as I'm about to sew my first attempt. All the dresses are great -- but this one just blows me away. Gorgeous fabric/color choices. And your yard looks beautiful too -- I'm both jealous and inspired on all fronts! :) Thank you!

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  9. Thank you so much, Catey! I really appreciate that! And thanks for the kind words about our yard, too. We had some landscaping work done this past summer and they went 3 times over budget and didn’t tell us until they gave us the bill! :0 So I'm glad you think it looks nice! :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Love this dress! Where can I purchase the pattern? I have a couple of little girls who love knit play dresses & this would be perfect.

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    1. Thank you! I had linked to it above but the page moved. So sorry! I edited the link and will also include a link here, too!
      http://www.kitschy-coo.co.uk/collections/sewing-patterns/products/little-girls-skater-dress-sewing-pattern-18m-2t-3t-4t-5y-6y-7y-8y-pdf
      Happy New Year!

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