Here’s a post full of polka dots on a couple of projects for you!
I finished up my first Lady Skater dress, a pattern by Amanda from Kitschy Coo, and I definitely understand why this is another knit dress I’ve seen all over the sewing blogosphere!
This outfit ended up looking a bit twee with the polka dots, light shoes and hair bow, though I didn’t mean to dial up the saccharine so much. Yak. Apparently I have a hard time styling this dress, because I wore it for drinks out last Friday with black tights, black boots, and a black cardigan and realized I was possibly wearing almost every piece of black clothing I owned. Maybe this is why I usually only accent with black. As you might guess, there’s no “little black dress” in my wardrobe.
Anyway, I made a few simple adjustments to the pattern. Before tracing off my size (hoorah for each size having its own colored line!) I compared the bodice length with Moneta, which is the perfect length on me. I ended up shortening the Lady Skater bodice pieces by 1.5″. This was super easy since I didn’t need to true the sides even a little bit, as the width at the waist stayed the same for higher than my alteration.
The pattern says to choose by your high bust measurement, which I did, and I like the fit. There’s only one issue, with some pooling of fabric at my lower back. Due to the negative ease at the bust, the front rides up slightly and the back is a little lower on me. However I discovered Amanda covers this exact issue in her fitting adjustment post for the pattern, so I’ll definitely try her adjustment for it in the future. (She even gives a recommendation on how to do this if you’ve already constructed the bodice, but I didn’t notice the issue until the skirt was attached.)
I think this is a better armhole and shoulder matchup on me than Moneta, but I suspect it’ll take future versions of both to know for sure. Especially since I gave this dress short sleeves instead of the cap, 3/4 or long sleeve options in the pattern. All I did was cut the sleeve pattern piece a couple of inches lower than the cap sleeve length. This is a sleeve length I wear more regularly, so I suspect the next Monetas will be short-sleeved, too.
You’ll see that I opted to skip the sleeve and neckline bands. I think it’s a really cute part of the pattern, but decided it didn’t feel quite “me” enough. Although in hindsight, I think I’ll try it on a future version, since I’m now second-guessing myself of course. Instead, I raised the front neckline by a couple of inches, and just turned and topstitched the neckline and sleeves.
There are two versions of the instructions: one with really detailed photos and instructions for newbies to sewing with knits, and one for self-proclaimed bad asses. While I’m a newbie, I had also just finished up two Monetas, so I more or less plodded along without following the instructions much, constructing it in the same manner as Moneta. And thus missed an interesting construction bit! Instead of attaching the assembled skirt to the assembled bodice, you sew the skirt front to the bodice front, the skirt back to the bodice back, and then sew the side seam from the sleeve down to the skirt (instead of just from the sleeve down to the bodice). So clearly I followed the directions not for bad asses, but for asses who don’t bother to read.
I used a stretchy ponte knit fabric from Girl Charlee, and it’s not the most amazing fabric in the world. It already looked a bit doggy after pre-washing, so I suspect it’ll get really pilly fast. But I’d purchased 3 yards and squeaked Lady Skater out of a smidge more than 1.5 yards, so I figured it would be worthwhile to use up the rest for something easy. Since I’d been daydreaming of polka dot t-shirts for awhile, I sewed another Coco out of the leftovers!
Just for the hell of it (and probably because I didn’t add them to Lady Skater), I added bands to the sleeves. For a first try, they’re not bad! I knew to cut them a bit shorter than the diameter of the sleeve and to stretch slightly as I attached them. But I accidentally cut them about 1/4″ too short, so they’re a tad smaller than they should be (though it’s not really obvious in the photos). It isn’t enough to bother me to rip them off and re-do them, though. I think the bands add a cute touch to this tee.
Not much else to say about Coco that I didn’t say about my first one, except that I hacked 1.5″ off the bottom since I wasn’t sure if my notes on my yellow one were telling me I cut 1″ off the pattern piece or the assembled top, and when I tried this spotty one on, it definitely was longer than I wanted.
I love that I have a nice t-shirt pattern to rely on, although I want to try a Renfrew soon, too. I always used to think sewing t-shirts seemed so boring, but honestly they’re fast enough I definitely see the appeal now! Especially when you can make them in something other than plain colors. I mean, I never see polka dot tees!
Now there’s something you may have noticed with my first few knit fabric projects (and my allusion to Moneta #2 which I haven’t blogged, but is green with white stripes): the fabrics aren’t necessarily very Tasha. And by Tasha fabrics, I mean… well I’m not sure what. Kitschy. Loud. Ridiculous? I mean, a plain turquoise dress, some stripes and polka dots might be daring for some folks, but as you well know, I have no problem decking myself out in things no adult should rightfully ever be seen in like hot pink seahorses, cuckoo clocks, and birdcages. So if you worried you were going to start seeing a turn towards relatively tame projects from yours truly, it’s not so.
What you’ve actually seen is that when I started buying knit fabrics, I went for more simple and not-terribly-expensive fabrics so I could understand and see and really know what I was doing, learn a bit about fabric types, and not feel bad if I truly mucked things up. And thus I’m trying to use up some of those fabrics. But I have a bright floral, Dutch-themed prints, and squirrels coming down the pike. Yes, I’ll continue to have some plain things peppered in (everyone needs some staples, right?), but I’ll keep the crazy coming, don’t you worry.
So where were we? Oh, yeah, I was busy planning a red riding hood Emery dress (it’s Rochelle’s fault), a green cabled cardigan, a Moneta featuring the 7 dwarves carrying off the sleeping Snow White after she bit into the apple (yes, seriously), and searching for a good dinosaur print. So there!
Lady Skater dress: made by me
Coco top: made by me
shoes: Miss L Fire
vintage fruit brooch: gift from my mom
jeans: Freddies of Pinewoods Norma jeans
vintage belt: Starlets Vintage
Bakelite bangles, earrings: misc.