Tag Archives: lady skater

Space Dress

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My mama told me I should never venture into space

but I did, I did, I did.

Yes, it’s yet another Lady Skater, but making a galaxy print dress was the reason I bought the pattern in the first place. I promise I’m branching out a bit in the future, I have Kwiksew 4026 and Mccalls 6884  traced and ready to go. I’m looking forward to trying some more complex patterns.  Anyway, on to this project.

This fabric was a pain in the ass, beautiful, but a pain. I have never before had a knit ravel along the cut edge when stretched, but this one did, which made getting the neckband in nerve wracking. And looking it, I almost wish I had just turned and stitched anyway. Ugh.

It’s a thin 100% polyester interlock, white on one side and printed on the other. Normally I don’t go for 100% poly, but I’d been searching for an affordable galaxy fabric for ages and ages. I feel like this fabric was meant for some sort of athletic wear, so it’s a good thing there are not any sewing police. I’m really glad I ordered extra yardage though, as a good 5 inch area along one of the selvages is pure white, not printed at all. This made using the recommended fabric saving cutting layout impossible.

This fabric does not have as much vertical stretch as the other fabrics I have used for this pattern. This means the waist is a little higher than I would like, which also makes the skirt a wee bit short. It’s not obscene, but it’s fortunate that I prefer to always wear either leggings or tights under my dresses. Also, I have drag lines coming from the shoulder that didn’t exist in my other dresses that I believe are due to the lack of vertical stretch. It’s disappointing, but the print helps hide it a little bit.

Despite that small snag. I’m just as happy as I thought I would be to finally have a galaxy print dress. I’ve wanted one for years, but I hadn’t been able find any in my price range and my size. I guess I solved that.

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it’s silly, but the only thing that bugs me about this dress is that it doesn’t look great on the hanger. The neckline is nice and flat when worn, but bubbles when it’s not stretched around a body. I’m not sure what the solution to that is, but it honestly doesn’t matter in the long run, (Although if there’s a way to fix it, I’d still like to know.) Who is inspecting my closet to ensure that my clothing has the proper amount of hanger appeal? It’s not a show room and if my skirts end up looking upeven off my body, or a neckline looks a bit gathered when it shouldn’t. I really need to stop fretting over it.

Does anyone else fuss over their clothing not looking like RTW when hung up or in the drawer? Or am I just neurotic and alone in this?

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Boat Neck Lady Skater T-shirt

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I’m inordinately pleased with this simple modification, I really needed a grey top to replace the one that I am wearing in this post, I’ve had that thing since high school and it’s ratty and permanently stretched out, as much as I love it. And so I came up with this top. It was super easy. And most importantly, the neckline doesn’t gape. I must admit I was very nervous about it, because when I tired the top on without the sleeves it was awful, but putting the whole thing together seems to have resolved that.

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I followed some of the steps from this tutorial and also some of my own intuition, like raising the front neckline a bit beyond what was suggested. For the T-shirtification I used Kwik Sew 3036 as a side seam shaping guideline, but in a smaller size than I sew, as that top is super loose fitting when I make it up straight in the size based on my bust. I also added an inch of length.

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I feel like it could use more room in the hip, although I have ready to wear T-shirts that I like that fit similarly. However it’s not too concerning because I made it to wear tucked in to skirts, and the tightness does mean that wrinkling at the waist is minimized. The white flecks you’re seeing around the hem are from spray starch.  I still haven’t decided how I want to hem this, but I thought I should take pictures while I had decent light. I know, I’m awful about showing you guys almost finished items.

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I am in love with the fabric, it’s a cotton lyrca blend from Girl Charlee, but it feels really plush, nothing at all like the fox fabric, which while cute, really only has an okay hand. The fabric is honestly better than 95% of my RTW tees. I want it in every color. I think I need to start buying basic knits in multiple colorways so I have some reliability in what I’m working with. This top has some issues around the shoulders that I’m thinking are caused by the increased stretch factor, 60% is quite a jump from 40% and 30%.

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I stitched clear elastic to the wrong side of the neckline at the same time I used it to stabilize the shoulders and I simply turned and stitched to finish it. I’m not sure if a facing would be better but I like the way the outside looks now, and it was easy to do. The insides are a little less neat looking than I would like due to the zigzagging needed to attach the clear elastic. We continue the saga of the skewing neckline, I think it has to do with how my shoulders are set. I feel like this has been a long term issue, just one I didn’t take note of until I started sewing. I’m on the fence as if I want to start using full pattern pieces so I can compensate for one shoulder sloping more than the other. I don’t think I’m going to bother when it comes to knits, but I’ll keep it in mind for wovens.

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use sleeve cuffs on this top, but a I decided to try them out. I don’t hate them, but I do feel they take away some of the elegance of the line of the top. Also the sleeves are a little big, I think again because of the fabric being so very stretchy. I think I’ll taper the sleeves from the wrist to nothing at the armsyce if I make this again the same fabric.

My next plan is to simply use this neckline with the rest of the lady skater pattern, sans cuffs. I’m thinking that blue and green polka dot I have would make a cute boat necked dress. The only other thing I want to do is lengthen the sleeve pattern piece so that a simple hem has the sleeves hitting in a good place.

I know this isn’t a major pattern hacking accomplishment, but, it’s still a personal one, so hurray! I can’t wait to draft all kinds of interesting necklines on this base.

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A Very Vulpine Lady Skater *Updated picture*

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I don’t know what my face is doing, sorry.

This dress is mildly ridiculous.. I’m pretty sure the print is meant for small children, but whatever, it makes me happy. There isn’t much to say other than that this doesn’t fit as well as my purple version, but I was expecting that, this knit has about ten percent less stretch and I can feel it across the bust. There are some wrinkles. Other than that it’s pretty okay, the waist is actually perfect, I feel it’s a little loose on the purple and green Lady Skaters.

I would like to learn how to alter patterns for knits that have less than the recommended amount of stretch though, because the galaxy fabric has about the same amount of stretch as these foxes. I’m wondering if I can just taper to the larger bust size, then back down again at the waist.

Sorry for going so long without posting, life has been busier than usual. That’s also why I decided to post this before hemming or finishing the sleeves. I’d certainly order from Girl Charlee again, the fabric is quite bit more vibrant in real life.

Side note, do you think I should leave off the sleeve cuffs and just hem the sleeves? I feel like the cuffs can make the dress look sweatshirt-y, which isn’t a bad vibe, just not what I’m really going for in this version.

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New and improved Lady Skater

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I haven’t been blogging much, but I have been working on tweaking the fit of the Lady Skater pattern, with much need help from the lovely people over at Artisan’s Square, LynnH in particular. I think I’ve got it near where I wanted although there are a few more tweaks I’d like to make. I have fabric for two more and I feel confident enough to tackle my precious galaxy fabric, which was the reason I bought this pattern to begin with.

I did want to make a note the cutting layout is still annoying a second time, so much so that I actually doubled my bodice pieces so I could cut them out flat. Unless the fabric is pricey, I’m just buying more next time so I can do a single fold layout. As I said before the layout works, it’s just bit of a pain.

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I had a photographer for once and I decided to get silly, err studious.

Cutting out was much easier as I now have a new larger cutting mat and could entirely cut each piece without moving the mat. It’s amazing how much faster and more accurate that made things. I hope some day I can have an even larger mat, one that would cover a whole table would be lovely.

Speaking of cutting, I think I must be getting lucky with my knits because I’ve had no problems with really bad curling so far, but I have bought spray starch as a precaution. They’ve also been very easy to cut out, I honestly have had more trouble with some wovens. I’m sure my experience will change as I branch out, but right now I am enjoying sewing with knits.

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I don’t know if you can tell, but I am loving this dress.

I started my alternations on my shortened size 7 pattern. I had taken a one inch horizontal tuck from the bodice. Then after some consulting I removed 1 1/4 from the center front, tapering to 1/4 at the side seam. From the back I did similarly, taking 1″ from the center and tapering to 1/4 at the side seam. This was all based on the amount I had pinched out of the green dress to get the waistband to sit where I wanted it.

I also did my first sloping shoulder alteration , although I probably should have been doing them all this time. I took out  1 1/4″ and took a tuck out of the sleeve cap so it would match the armscye. I did not lower the armscye at all and I’m really glad I didn’t as it would have been quite low and restrictive.

I also slimmed down the dress by sewing 3/4 inch side seams after I didn’t like the look of 1/4 ones. It’s still a little loose in the waist, but not awfully so.

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I’m rather pleased with this pattern now. It is quite an improvement over my first green one, although it still needs cuffs and to be hemmed. I want to do a smidge of a sway back adjustment, but then I think I’ll be done tweaking and can move on to trying out drafting different necklines and sleeves.

I feel like I learned a lot while altering this pattern to fit me and I’m so glad I didn’t say good enough and call it quits. It’s got me fired up to make another dress and try tackling my skirt sloper again.

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Lady Skater “Wearable” Muslin

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“Wearable” because this version really needs a belt to be at all presentable.

I feel it necessary to acknowledge that after all the rigmarole of getting it together, the pattern pieces for the Lady Skater sewed together without a hitch. After looking at other people’s finished dresses and knowing my own short waisted nature, I shortened the bodice by 1 inch. I think I’ll take another inch off the next one so that it sits was at my natural waist. I also want to take the sides in a smidge and shorten the shoulder seam by half an inch.

The instructions are very in depth. I do wish I had know the dress fabric needs 40% stretch before buying the pattern I feel like that information should be available outside of the actual PDF. It would have made deciding to buy the pattern a lot easier. I also didn’t like that the fabric requirements did not state the fabric widths. I later learned knits most commonly come in 60 inches wide, but since this pattern is targeted at newbies like myself, it might be best to make that clear. I found the cutting layout a bit fiddly, although it does serve its purpose of reducing wastage and lowering yardage requirements. The instructions have you fold the fabric enough to cut your skirt pieces and then refold from the other side to cut out the bodice. It works but you’re constantly testing to make sure that you’re not placing your pattern on one of the holes left from the previous fold and cutting. I know I call a lot of things fiddly but that’s exactly what it was. With the shortened bodice, I think I might be able to do a single fold layout if I buy half a yard more. It’s little wasteful but it be easier and if I want I can always use scraps to make underwear. I’ve wanted to try doing that.

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In addition to shortening the bodice. I want to do a swayback adjustment, the center back waistline is sitting about an inch lower than the center front. I pretty much always find I need sway back adjustments. Although I was hoping I would not this case as the pattern maker mentioned having already made one on the pattern. I guess it’s just not deep enough for the particular curvature of my back. It’s not big deal though, it doesn’t look much worse than most of my RTW.

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The shoulders are kind of awful and I’m going to post for some advice on how to fix them, although I think I’ve got it. the neckband came out quite well, I think, although I’m not used to inserting a neckband into a neckline with an open shoulder seam. It and the sleeve bands still need to be top stitched but I do not have any matching thread.

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As you can see the waist doesn’t hit the most flattering area, which is why I plan to raise it. I also feel it could use a slight full bust adjustment. I plan making at least two more versions, one for my 6pac and one out of the galaxy fabric. I’m holding off on the galaxy version as I have always wanted a galaxy print dress and I’d like to get the fit better. I feel like this pattern has a lot of potential to be a staple in my wardrobe.

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