I regularly follow several sewing vlogs and a design that has appeared many times is The Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo. I could see that it was my sort of style so would give it a try.
To be fair, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the dress as I made my first version using some thick heavy scuba crepe that I bought from Cheapest Fabrics UK on eBay.
When I opened the parcel of this fabric I was immediately disappointed. It is very heavy and ‘spongy’ with not a great deal of stretch. The colour on my screen at home made it look more sort of Duck Egg Blue rather than the Grey it is called in the description box. I admit that buying fabric over the internet can be a lottery and on this occasion my £19.80 investment was definitely not for a winning ticket.
However, I decided to go ahead and make up the pattern as a wearable toile, just to see how it turned out.
According to the measurement chart I needed to cut a size 8 and add 1½ inches to each side seam at the waist point to allow for my chubby mid-section. I lengthened the skirt by 6 inches but apart from that made no alterations to the pattern.
The dress was stitched on the overlocker using a narrow seam. At first fitting I could see immediately that the top was too wide for my shoulders. The neckline was quite low but that could be remedied with a neckband. I needed to reduce the length at centre back of the bodice to allow for my sway back and remove the additional length at centre front that I had added to account for my bust. The sleeve length was fine but the biggest problem was how it squashed my bust!
This pattern is a little different to the usual in that you are instructed to measure your HIGH bust rather than your full bust. Mine measured 1 inch less than the size chart so it should have been OK – but it most definitely is not. At this stage there was nothing I could do as the sleeves had been inserted and the bodice side seams/sleeve seams sewn. So … I continued with the construction of the dress. The hems on the sleeves and skirt are stitched with a twin needle stitch length 3.5. At final fitting I found that the mid-section was close-fitting but the length of the skirt and the neck binding were fine.
The Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo
I have made adjustments to the pattern and will make this dress again in a finer jersey fabric (probably a Ponte Roma) that has more stretch. I am sure it will then be a good fit – both to my figure and my preferred dress style.