Tag Archive | Lady skater dress

The dream bucket list fabric.

So about this time last year I realised I was buying fabric far too fast for our tiny flat and far faster than I could make it into anything useful. I followed all the fabric stores on email and Instagram and I was a regular visitor to the fabric stall on Lewisham market. Things came to a head when Fabric Godmother posted a beautiful digital printed coating on her mailing list with limited quantities (there is more in stock this year) and within an hour I had dropped nearly £100 on 5m of the stuff. I had the vague intention of making a goth/fairy princess cloak with it. But really I was being a complete muppet as I in no way at that point had the skills to sew a coat, it’s something I am hoping to get into next year.

It is very very beautiful and I love to sit and stroke it, but should I have bought it – probably not. But buying it made it clear to me I had a bit of a problem so I needed to do something about it.

So I culled all the fabric stores from my email mailing lists and removed all the ones I was following on Instagram and Facebook. This did actually massively help and for the first part of the year my impulse buying fabric was a minimum.

As the year has progressed my fabric buying crept up again. Partly because I’ve got a bit of a problem – in my defence I have chronic fatigue, I spend large periods of time unable to get on with anything except lying in bed semiconsciously flicking around on my iPhone, if I’m dreaming of sewing but unable to do anything about it it’s the easiest thing in the world to buy things for projects I plan to make when I’m better.

Partly because this year we were supposed to be moving house (fingers crossed and all the prayers it will actually happen in January) and instead of trying new patterns and improving my skills but using £2/£3 market fabrics from my stash to make the first couple of versions, in order not to have projects midway through when we actually come to move I’ve been sticking to repeating the same couple of really simple patterns over and over again, which has meant I’ve had a major tendency to buy more expensive fabrics and fabrics I’m totally in love with to make it a bit more interesting.

& partly because three of my favourite things in the world ever, celestial prints, leopard print and liberty/William Morris fabrics have been completely in fashion this year so there’s been lots and lots of Laura friendly fabrics available whereas in previous years there hasn’t been so much.

Which leads me nicely to Liberty print/William Morris…. so I’ve been completely addicted to stalking The Vampires Wife on social media and totally fell in love with the Liberty print maxi and midi dresses she makes. I also bought as much of the H&M William Morris collection as I could get my hands on, & have bought several lengths of tana lawn in prints I’m particularly attached to to make my own maxi and midi dresses once I’m able to sew complicated stuff again.

The holy grail for me has always been Liberty jersey. I love Tana Lawn and sewing pretty sun dresses, but jersey is my thing and I was super sad a couple of years ago when Liberty discontinued their jersey. However when I complained I was assured they were relaunching it in August, so I waited and went into the store the first week it was back to check the selection out as they usually have more/different stuff available in store than online.

& it was dire 😢 I wasn’t particularly keen on the print collection this year anyway but there were no classic prints available at all it was all the stuff that was seasonal this year, so I didn’t buy any and went away and sobbed and decided my dream of beautiful handmade Liberty jersey dresses was still completely out of reach.

However unbeknownst to me, as I’d stopped following all the fabric stores, although the Liberty print jersey Liberty themselves were selling was a bit of a shit selection, on other websites some absolute classic prints were getting an airing.

& then one day a couple of months ago I was reading Lauren Guthrie’s blog and idly flicked onto her fabric shop (Guthrie & Ghani ) website in order to have a closer look at the materials she was using to make a coat -as I’m intending to try it myself when we move. & there was my holy grail of fabric. Liberty Strawberry Thief print jersey. My favourite print of all the Liberty and the William Morris ones, in my favourite fabric. & there was only 2.5m left!

So I had it. At £24 a meter it was out of what I would normally consider my pricerange but within 10 minutes I’d dropped 65 quid including shipping on it.

(In my justification- not that I really have one, I’d just picked up two Seasalt jersey dresses for £10 each in a charity shop that turned out to have cost £65 each new – so the way I’m looking at it is it’s only the same cost as buying one new Seasalt dress – that’s what Im telling myself anyway. 😂🤦🏼‍♀️)

So I made it up into a dress pretty much immediately.

It’s another basic Kitschy-coo patterns lady skater dress, of which I’ve made many before, but with a longer skirt than I’ve made previously and added bell sleeves. I thought that made it a bit more up to date and stuff like Vampires Wife inspired than if I’d left it plain, & as it was such expensive fabric I wanted the dress to look as expensive as possible.

To aid in which I trimmed the sleeves, the neck and the hem with a navy blue cotton crochet lace I found from a French store on Etsy.

And I think it looks amazing on….

& by sheer good fortune it looks amazing with my rainbow knitted shrug I made way back 4 years ago and was the first thing I knit.

I totally love this dress. I love it now it’s new and shiny and looks fashionable, but I think it’s one of those pieces that is really going to work well in 5 years time when it’s completely got that old favourite lived in feeling. & it’s such lovely quality fabric and hopefully well sewn enough that it will last that long.

So anyway on discovering that Lauren posted the fabric on the Guthrie and Ghani Instagram several weeks before I found it, I have reinstated my subscriptions to all the fabric shop news feeds. So I’m going to have to find another way of restraining my buying habits.

I’ve also discovered that there are several sites selling Liberty jersey, and a couple a lot cheaper than Guthrie and Ghani – though I haven’t seen Strawberry Thief anywhere else. So there’s going to be a lot more Liberty jersey coming up in my collection in the future.

But if you could have asked me when I first started sewing what my dream makes would be, a Strawberry Thief jersey dress would have been right up there. & being able to do things like this is why I’m so glad sewing is a skill I’ve persevered with!

Back to black

So I’ve had a bit of a gap from blogging as our house sale slowly creaks on becoming more of a headache every week that goes by but still inexplicably the chain not collapsing.

However here’s something I made back in September that’s a little bit hard to blog as it’s basically a plain black kischycoo patterns lady skater dress. Of which I have made several here , here and & here amongst several others.

This latest version is short sleeved and I’ve made the skirt a bit longer as fashions are changing and I’m getting older and so I added about 3 inches to the bottom of the pattern. Tbh if I was making it again I would probably make it an inch or two even longer. I’m really getting into longer skirts.

So here it is:

The jersey it’s made of is the same as this top. I got a job lot of ten meters from the market stall in Lewisham and it’s doing very well so far to update my basics with.

So the dress is a bit plain, but aren’t the tights awesome….

They have bits of skeleton and anatomical parts on them. They are from Violet Fane a Spanish lolita brand (who I can’t link to because my publisher doesn’t like Etsy links, but they are Violet Fane on Etsy) who have started to do really gorgeous patterned tights that actually fit me. It is one of those things thin people probably don’t realise actually. Standard tight sizes go up to about size 16 and if you fall above that getting patterned tights is virtually impossible. It massively sucks. Which is why I am so over the moon Violet Fane does these ones. Even so, I am a large size 20 and I am the largest they will take.

& here is a picture of the full outfit I was wearing….

I’ve had this striped Laura Ashley cardigan since the early 00’s, & it’s still going strong & the cat necklace is from Curiology.

Sadly I haven’t got much more wear out of the black dress as it’s really a middle of summer dress and by the time I made it the weather had turned, hence the big woolly cardigan. But I am looking forwards to it being a wardrobe staple next year.

Guess who’s back? Back again…..

So about 9 months ago I stopped posting on WordPress. Partly I was under the impression that no one reads this damn thing, partly I got over excited by Instagram (so much easier to use if you are tired- & I’m tired a lot of the time) and partly even though my sewing has been going brilliantly, I got in a bit of a downer and wasn’t really in the mood to write about stuff.

However, having revisited my blog today for the first time in several months, I’ve realised that

a) even when I don’t write in it I get more hits than I was expecting – people actually read this stuff!

b) it’s not as awful as I thought.

& c) it is actually useful for me to record details of the things I make more than what I post on Instagram, largely for me – then I know what worked and what didn’t if I make stuff again, but also for other people, the more detailed reviews of a pattern there are the better.

Anyway….. apparently this new app makes it easier to post photos, so I’m going to do a very quick run through of all the stuff I’ve made since my last post (I have chronic fatigue, I sew slowly…. it’s not going to be that much!)

Firstly another Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress, fabric courtesy of the local fabric stall. I had a few issues with this one to start with, a little darling locally accused me of cultural appropriation 🤦🏼‍♀️ which massively upset me because under no definition of the term could I see a way it possibly could be, I’m super careful because we live in an area with a lot of African neighbours and fairly near to Goldsmiths uni (one of the hotspots for the social justice warrior movement) not to make stuff with African Wax fabric, even though it’s really easily available round here and it’s super fashionable with sewing bloggers & basically it made me feel really self conscious and worried about wearing the dress. (Actually I think this incident is why I stopped blogging – I was very very upset, it happened the first time I wore this out & I didn’t want to write about it I did not want to open the can of worms that is racial politics) However I made myself keep wearing it, & gradually fell back in love with it (also I got “called out” loudly behind my back by a bunch of teenagers for dressing like Gwen Stefani 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ (I was wearing black and white striped leggings and had some stamped eyeliner stars round my eyes – and a massive great coat covering what else I was wearing it was freezing and I’d been at a metal club) and I’ve come to realise you just can’t win with the kids round here, they basically take offence at older people wearing anything fancy, cultural appropriation is basically a tag they use to justify being judgy little busybodies, so it doesn’t bother me as much any more. Which is good cuz it means I can give this dress the love it deserves.

Short sleeved version of a kitschycoo lady skater dress. Not my favourite make ever, had a bit less fabric than I expected so had to make the bodice in black, worked out ok, but basically I needed a sun dress in a hurry so I made it in a hurry, & it does the job ok. It’s only about two weeks of the year it’s hot enough to need sun dresses but those two weeks are usually one continuous block of time so you need loads of the damn things cuz you have to change at least once a day and I can’t do the laundry quick enough.

Another sewaholic Fraser sweatshirt like the one I made here . Made this for a friend. I like this better than the one I made me. The contrast sleeves and hem was largely a happy accident and I much prefer the 3/4 sleeve version to the full length version I made myself.

Took a cheap £10 Claire’s Accessories cloak for Halloween, added lace trim round the edge and a velvet bow and improved it from tacky children’s costume to something I could wear comfortably to a goth club.

Deer and Doe Belladone also for Halloween. Excuse the drag queen makeup – that was actually the look I was going for as I made this to wear to a Rocky Horror themed fancy dress event. I was supposed to be the lips. I need to get pictures of this at some point the way I wear it normally, cuz I wear it quite a lot, & so far I haven’t spilt anything down it which is an achievement!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco out of floral velvet from the fabric stall for my Mum. She really likes it, & wears it a lot.

Sewaholic Renfrew, but I stole the bell sleeves from McCalls M7542. Fabric is beautiful laser printed jersey from a Dutch fabric shop (the laser printed Dutch stuff is just amazing) with images of Rembrandt paintings on it. One of my favourite things I’ve sewn ever!

Another Tilly and the Buttons Coco – so useful for the middle of winter. In bright yellow beetles fabric I got from Ditto Fabric about a year ago. Doesn’t have the best recovery in the world, but I really like the dress.

& lastly a goldwork embroidery I did at a workshop a couple of weeks ago. It’s a bit shit, but I’m proud of it, it was my first try. The big problem was I found it difficult to mark out the fabric in enough detail to give me guidance where to sew, so I winged it, so it’s come out a bit wonky, but I think it looks nice anyway.

Anyway. That’s my catch-up. I’ve been sewing consistently but it hasn’t been a huge amount. There’s a dress I’ve nearly finished at the moment that hopefully I’ll be able to blog about soon.

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this a bit more updated in future. I didn’t mean to stop blogging. If anyone is actually readingthis ofcourse!

Black velvet if you please.

I don’t normally sew on the weekend, our flat is rather small and I can’t really spread out when Jon is around. But on Saturday he was off on his brothers stag do (getting pissed) & I was rather at a loose end (not getting pissed) so I decided to be productive and actually got the entire dress I had cut out sewn up in a day.

So…its a pattern I’ve used before. Kitschycoo Lady Skater dress. ( my versions here, here & here)  I am getting slightly bored of it, but it was exactly what I wanted for this dress, and to be honest the 3 dresses I have already are always in and out the washing machine I find them so easy to wear.

The inspiration for this dress was seeing a picture of a friend of a friend in a burgundy velvet skater dress, idly googling to see if anyone had one in my size in burgundy or black & finding that although there are some absolutely gorgeous velvet dresses in the shops at the moment, I couldn’t find many at all in plus size, & non of those had taken account of the fact that if you make something bigger you need to lengthen the skirt too. Then I realised I had a fairly large piece of black stretch velvet in my stash, it did’t disintegrate in the washing machine, so it was a better idea to make my own.

So here it is….

IMG_0284 IMG_0279 IMG_0281 IMG_0278

Sewed up like a dream, no mistakes as far as I’m aware, & I’m really proud of it. With hindsight I would have lengthened the skirt by an inch or two, even though it is longer than a lot of plus sized offerings on the internet, as being velvet it rides up a bit. But as Jon says, it is fine for partying, which  as the moment I took my coat off in the pub yesterday whilst wearing it, my friends were all like ‘Goth!’ is probably going to be its main use. I’m also not entirely sure how happy stretch velvet is with going through the washing machine repeatedly, so I’m definitely saving this for special occasions.

Next sewing project is my xmas lolita dress. I bought the fabric last year but ran out of time, & I have, after several months of searching, found decent quality lace in the colour I wanted to go with it. I was planning on being adventurous and trying to replicate something in an Otome no Sewing book, however I think I’m just going to use my usual pattern as its quite expensive fabric and I don’t have as much time as I intended this year either.

I have also bought some mainstream clothes! Winging their way across the postal network are a Simply B witchy black crochet maxi dress, & two pairs of jeans (one with flairs). There were several other things on various plus size sites I could have bought also. Got to say it is so nice to just look online for a particular type of clothing & be like “ooh, theres choice in my size & some of this I actually like” I’d say its going to end up expensive, except we have been keeping tabs on money for the last couple of months, & actually my sewing habit is quite expensive when you add together all the patterns and fabric I buy. I have an entire wardrobe full of fabric I haven’t used yet & my lace shelf is now massively overcrowded. One of my themes for the first half of next year is going to be using stuff I already own.

Also my wig and witches hat from My Lolita Dress arrived a few days ago (literally the next posting day after Halloween, which was slightly irritating). So I might do some reviews of stuff or something.

 

black and white skater dress

So after deciding I was going to give sewing a break while I decided what I actually need in my wardrobe, I pretty much immediately had some energy and started on a new project.

This is the Lady Skater Dress from Kitschycoo patterns. Pretty much everyone who is a serious sewing blogger made it ages ago, but I was putting it off because I do NOT like PDF patterns, at all!

Not only do I find they don’t save you money, I mean even if I put the instructions in black and white I still had to print out 24 pages of full colour in order to see which line I needed to cut, but having to assemble and then cut out the patten pieces is really tiring and time consuming. Because I’m ill such a lot, when I sew I need things to be as easy and straight forwards as possible. PDF patterns are not good for this.

However more and more independent pattern companies are putting really nice patterns out primarily as pdfs and there are remarkably few basic jersey patterns from the mainstream pattern companies, so I needed to have a go at it some time.

Luckily, my boyfriend was working somewhere he could print the pattern off at work for me, and I had a morning when I was awake really early so I spent 2 hours preparing the pattern pieces feeling nice and awake for a change.

Then it took me a week longer to get going than I thought it would as you need a special type of clear elastic for the seams of this, and I forgot I didn’t have any ball point jersey needles left so I had to order some.

However these two things do not go together at all well, as the elastic completely ate jersey needles, I lost two in a very short space of time trying to sew the damn stuff down. In the end I gave up and just used the overlocker for any long seams involving the elastic.

Apart from that, nice and easy pattern to sew, I think I was a straight size 7 which is the 2nd biggest size, and its come out looking remarkably well…..

ladyskater 2 ladyskater 4

ladyskater 1

 

The fabric I used was one I had bought specially for doing mock-ups as even though it is a gorgeous pattern, and the white bit is printed into the fabric rather than sprayed on top, I still felt it is dubious quality. However it is one of those fabrics that looks infinitely better for being sewn into something and given a bit of an iron, so I think I’ve actually got a wearable dress out of it.

I’ve also got to say I love the length of this thing, I have an entire drawer full of skater dresses that I have bought over the years because they have really nice pattern, only to find they are so indecently short they can only be worn with cycling shorts underneath them for the gym or the very middle of summer. (or fat girl leggings, but I completely refuse to do the fat girl leggings thing!) It is so nice to find a pattern I feel comfortable with the length of. 🙂 I have ideas for another two versions of this I’d quite like to make.

As far as immediate future sewing goes though, I’ve been doing a lot of pre washing this week and a tiny bit of dying, and hopefully I’ll be back working my way through the list I made at new year for the next few items. Which will be completely boring as they are well used patterns, but totally necessary as I have a few fairly urgent gaps in my wardrobe that I really need to fill.

However I have some really awesome lace to embellish it all with, so that should make it a bit more fun at least. 🙂