Finished: The Kitschy Coo Lady Skater

12 Jan

I actually finished this a while ago. Like a long while ago, but I am so behind in blogging things at the moment! But it’s finally made it on here!

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Following on from my last post, another goal of mine for 2013 (that I actually completely forgot to list in my goals at the end of the post) is to get more comfortable sewing with knits. I made my Bombshell Swimsuit, and although that went brilliantly and I had no issues sewing with knits then, I seemed to have developed a bit of a fear of them since. How daft! It seems that, the more you know about how to do something, and the better you get at it, sometimes it becomes harder to do it, because you know what you *should* be doing, and get worried about getting it wrong. I really need to get over that.

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So I thought myself off on knits gently by making Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater, which is a pattern I’ve been meaning to make for a while. I have two lovely fabrics lined up to make this in – a lovely jade jersey, and some autumnal coloured patterned jersey, both from Minerva Crafts. But I wanted to make a toile first, and although those fabrics weren’t expensive, I love them, and am not sure I’d be able to get any more (the pattern one was a remnant), so I opted to use some grey jersey  that I had in my stash from my frecycle haul.

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Twirly action shot!

The clear elastic I used for stabilising the shoulder and waist seams I got from eBay, after I failed to find any locally. I’m not actually sure that it’s exactly the right kind of elastic. I think it’s framillon elastic, which I think is used for hanging loops on underwear and tops etc, and is slightly cloudy looking, but it’s the only thing I could find. It went it ok and seems to do the job, but I do find the elastic on the waist seam quite scratchy.

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The dress all went together without any major hitches…as far as I can remember, as I said, it was a while ago. But I don’t remember any, and it got finished pretty promptly, which implies there weren’t any! My overlocker and I seemed to get on fairly well, and I even managed to successfully use a twin needle on the hem. Admittedly I had to go back a fix a few bits where the edge of the hem hadn’t quite got caught up in the stitching, but not bad for a first attempt.

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In half these photos I seem to be squinting into the sun. But at least there was sun!

I think the only thing I would change on this pattern would be to raise the waist seam by a couple of inches. It’s sitting just below my natural waist now, and I think it would look better raised. I’ll probably then add those extra couple of inches onto the bottom of the skirt, as although I’m only 5’3, I don’t really want it any shorter than this one is. Just as I’d made mine, I saw Emmely’s post, and someone else’s as well (but now I can’t remember whose…) where they both mentioned shortening the bodice as well.

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I haven’t actually worn this dress since I’ve made it – I think, because I made the short sleeved version, it’s probably more of a summer dress. That scratchy elastic on the waist seem really bugs me as well. I really want to get on and make my jade one, but I want to find some (vaguely) matching overlocker thread – although the stitches aren’t really going to be seen, I think it will look so much neater, and it’s a colour I wear a lot, so I know I’ll need it again.

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Floaty floaty dress :)

It’s a straightforward pattern to make, and such a great everyday comfy dress, that I know once I’ve made the others I’ve planned, I’ll get a lot of wear out of them.

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25 Responses to “Finished: The Kitschy Coo Lady Skater”

  1. Marion January 12, 2014 at 12:33 #

    Lovely lady, this dress suits your amazing figure very well. I look forward to see the Jade and automnal version for it. I’d think princess sleeves would fit a long-sleeved version too. Hugs.

    • Kelly January 12, 2014 at 17:48 #

      Thanks Marion :) I do like how it looks, I just need the weather to be a bit warmer to wear this one I think! Princess sleeves might look good yes, although I’m not sure I’d go for them, purely because I’m always cold and needing to wear cardis over dresses and they might be in the way a bit then!

  2. Emmely January 12, 2014 at 12:37 #

    Very nice! How funny that we both made a grey test version. I believe most people that make this dress end up raising the waist seam. If you use the lengthen/shorten line of the skirt to add the same amount (or more) that you take away in the bodice the dress won’t end up shorter. I wouldn’t add the extra amount at the bottom of the skirt because then you end up with a very twirly skirt.
    I used Prym transparent elastic for the waist and I don’t find it scratchy. I have aboslutely no links to this company it was just the first to pop up when I searched for this product to show you what I used: http://www.jaycotts.co.uk/products/prym_910700#.UtKLnj8hN0s

    • Kelly January 12, 2014 at 17:51 #

      I thought exactly that when I saw your post, which was literally the day I finished making this! Yes, good point, I will use length/shorten lines – it’s bee so long since I looked at the pattern that I couldn’t remember if it had them or not! Thanks for the link, I think I will try some different elastic on the next one – I don’t want to end up not wearing it because of that!

  3. Kerry January 12, 2014 at 12:42 #

    This is lovely, the jersey is just the right weight to make it look nice and swishy and elegant.

    • Kelly January 12, 2014 at 17:51 #

      Thanks Kerry! Yeah, the fabric is perfect, it’s really nice and drapey, works really well for the skirt!

  4. SeamsOddLouise January 12, 2014 at 13:26 #

    That’s lovely. Shame the waist is a little scratchy. Hope you find a way to eliminate that in your next version. I can offer no advice as I have little experience of knits. But the dress looks very stylish.

    • Kelly January 12, 2014 at 17:52 #

      Thanks Louise! I think I’m going to try getting some different elastic for the next one.

  5. Marion January 12, 2014 at 19:12 #

    I meant long-sleeved princess sleeves. I might use the wrong word for the sleeve type, however the shoulder fabric gathering look right.
    You could wear this type of dress during winter with thick tights (or fleece-lined, the best), boots, a cardi and underneath a camisole. That is my staple clothes during the mild UK winters.

  6. Jo January 12, 2014 at 19:18 #

    Don’t you just love knit dresses? They’re so comfy and easy to sew! Yours looks great :)

    • Kelly January 12, 2014 at 23:18 #

      Yeah, they’re great! I came to the realisation a while ago that most of the RTW dresses I wear on a regular basis are knit dresses, so that’s really what I ought to be making. Have a tiramisu in progress as well but it got halted by some fitting issues – I really want to crack that one though!

  7. Claire (iwanttobeaturtle) January 12, 2014 at 21:30 #

    This suits you so well and I love the grey. Sorry the elastic is stratchy, hopefully you’ll solve that for the next one. I plan to make some knit items this year and will be coming for advice at some point!

    • Kelly January 12, 2014 at 23:20 #

      Thanks Claire :) I have to say, I didn’t think it was a particularly special dress (maybe because I had it in my head that I’d made it as a toile), but judging by the reaction, the colour and style must just be right for me! I’m starting to make more knit things (given that they’re what I wear most), so hopefully once I’ve got a couple under my belt I might be able to usefully help you!

  8. Sarah Kate Creations January 13, 2014 at 04:26 #

    I love this lady skater, it fits you so nicely. I have come the same realization about knit dresses and the lady skater is in my stash just waiting to be sewn up.

    • Kelly January 13, 2014 at 19:33 #

      Thanks Sarah Kate! It does fit well – the benefits of knits I guess! I actually wore it for the first time today as well – all the lovely comments made me think I should actually get it out and wear it! You should definitely get on and sew one up – it’s a really straightforward make.

  9. Vairë Gwîr January 13, 2014 at 11:03 #

    That colour looks amazing on you! You need to wear grey more often. I got some clear elastic from Jaycotts (remember I was trying to find some at the K&S show?), but you can also find some locally (ish?) at Masons.

    • Kelly January 13, 2014 at 19:37 #

      Aw, thanks Vairë! It’s funny you say that about the colour – I had a colour analysis done on Saturday (my sister and I gave it to my mum for Christmas and we all went and had it done), so I’ve been thinking about which colours I should wear more of – grey will be going on the list! I looked in Masons, but they didn’t have any the right width when I was in there.

  10. Lynne January 13, 2014 at 19:29 #

    Your dress looks amazing! The fit is great. I really have to conquer my fear of knits! One thing that puts me off is that I don’t know whether it’s necessary to do a full bust adjustment. I hope you don’t mind my asking, but did you do one with this? Good luck with your jade version!

    • Kelly January 13, 2014 at 19:40 #

      Thanks Lynne! Yes, you really should, they are not that scary…I didn’t do a full bust adjustment on this one, no. I think most people can get away without, particularly if you don’t mind if there is slightly more negative ease across the bust than in other places.

      • Lynne January 14, 2014 at 17:06 #

        Thank you for answering this, that’s a big help! I now have no excuse to not give knits a go!

  11. Caro January 13, 2014 at 22:27 #

    What a lovely dress, I’ve been eyeing up this pattern for ages, it hangs perfectly on you!

    • Kelly January 17, 2014 at 12:16 #

      Thanks very much Caro! It’s a lovely pattern, really nice and simple :)

  12. elle January 17, 2014 at 12:12 #

    Hello! I’ve just discovered your blog through your post on local fabric shops, and then spent way too much time perusing your posts – I’m so impressed with how far you’ve come in your sewing and the things you’ve made! Like this dress – it’s gorgeous. I’m also from your neck of the woods, and have just started sewing, so I’ll definitely be following along for inspiration! :)

    I was wondering – which was the beginner’s dressmaking course that you took last year? I’m thinking of going on one, as while I’m sure I can get so far by swearing and head-scratching and figuring things out myself while reading blogs for help, I’m sure a course would be super useful for tips on how to do things well/easily, and also tips on fitting, which is such a daunting nightmare.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel of a comment, but it’s quite exciting to discover another local sewing enthusiast.

    • Kelly January 17, 2014 at 12:26 #

      Thanks for the lovely comment Elle :) I’m sometimes a bit amazed at what I’ve managed to make given that this time last year I’d barely started sewing! The beginner’s dressmaking course I did was a council run one – they have a few running on different days, and for either 10/20 weeks, pretty reasonably priced too: http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/search/site/dressmaking. I found it helped just to give me something to work towards each week, and just get me started with stuff! Although we didn’t really do much on fitting, which was a shame, although the fitting course I did a couple of months ago was great for that! I hope that’s helpful, and do give me a shout if you have any questions!

      It’s always good to meet more local sewists :) you should also check out Claire (http://www.iwanttobeaturtle.com/) and Elena (http://teafortwodiary.blogspot.co.uk/), we hang out occasionally, you should come join us sometime :)

      • elle January 17, 2014 at 14:14 #

        Thank so much, Kelly! That’s really helpful, as I’d spotted the council course online but wasn’t sure about it – I may sign up for the next one, then. And thank you for linking to other local sewers & bloggers. I’ll definitely check them out as well, and joining you all for a meet up at some point sounds lovely. At the moment none of my IRL friends are really into sewing & probably think I’ve gone a bit mad for giving it a go. ;)

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