The tattooed Lady Skater dress

Posted by Kristin on Wednesday, August 14, 2013.

I just finished Kitschy Coo's Lady Skater dress!  Woo Hoo!  I was a "sewing with knits" virgin until I tried this dress.  I had seen it pop up on blogs all over internet world, but I shied away from it because it was a knit.  And I knew that my illustrious sewing machine would chew it up and spit it back out for me.  Then I saw Lladybird's version and it had to be mine.

Lladybird
To be completely honest, I wanted the fabric too.  Until I put it in my cart and the total was $107.  That's expensive even when I am getting paid, much more so when I am living off of savings until school starts back up.  Not a millionaire, yo.  I assumed knits would be cheap because, well, t-shirts are cheap.  They aren't cheap.  I finally found a pretty one on Fabric.com for just over $17 total.  Yes!  Once it arrived I realized why it was so inexpensive...it was also see through.  And who wears a slip under a comfy knit dress?  Not me!

I ran out to JoAnn's in search of a knit to use for the lining and a muslin.  I found a lining, but at $12/yd I wasn't turning that into a muslin.  So I used an old t-shirt sheet that was stained with muddy Bailey paw prints from when she was spry enough to get on the bed.

I was too scared to attempt a knit on my own and I went in search of someone to help me.  I found a class on knits nearby that was only $475.  Um, no.  If I had $475 I could go out at buy multiple knit dresses!  I located another person in my area who taught private classes in her home but wouldn't do one class, she would only do 8 beginner sewing lessons for $300.  Really???  Not to brag about my mad sewing skills, but I'm beyond starting out beginner...AND I don't have $300.  It was beginning to look like my ton of knit fabric would be turned into one big pile of cat bed.

I expanded my search a little and found my savior...Nan at Pins & Needles Studio in Raleigh, NC!

Pins and Needles

Over the summer months Nan offers open studio time in two hour blocks.  She provides the machines and space, all you have to provide is the project.  Each two hour block is only $15 and worth so much more!  I traveled to Raleigh, crashed with my sister and brother-in-law, and spent two days at Pins and Needles working on my dress.  Nan was wonderful to work with.  I could use her ginormous cutting table that was cat free!  I could use one of her BabyLock sewing machines (which made mine look even more craptastic that it already was)!  She even taught me how to use a serger (also on my list of wants now)!  I still feel guilty for monopolizing her time when my dressmaking went an hour and half over our allotted time on the last day.  She didn't seem to mind and was determined that I would finish my dress.

My dress fabric is black sketchy roses that remind me of tattoos...hence the tattoo dress.  The only measurements needed were my high bust and my high waist.  I fell perfectly in the size 7 but after making the muslin I realized that my hips and rear are about a size 10 (and the dress only goes up to an 8).  "Baby Got Back" is my theme song.  Nan helped me enlarge my pattern by an inch on both sides of the bodice and skirt.

We strayed a bit from the directions because I was lining it.  My lining fabric also forms the neckband and armbands.

I also found my shoes in Raleigh (well, Durham, if you want to be picky).  They are Swedish Hasbeens from Anthropologie.  How did I afford those you ask?  Buy shoes that are already more than 50% off and ask for an additional discount because there is a miniscule scuff on the toe.  That's how.  I didn't realize these were a fashionable brand until our fresh out of school guidance counselor squeeled when I told her they were Swedish Hasbeens.  So I guess I really am hip, right?  Except I just called myself hip.  I suppose that ship has sailed...

But aren't the shoes adorable!  Red!  With bows!  Although with the wooden soles I kinda sound like a rhinoceros in clogs clomping around in them.

And a parting close up of my new red hair and purple extension...with a camera in the middle.  Because that always adds a lot to portraits.

Thank you to Kitschy Coo for such a wonderful pattern, thank you to Lladybird for enticing me to attempt one of my own, and the biggest thank you to Nan who helped me through every step!




2 Responses to The tattooed Lady Skater dress

  1. sewcharleston

    Love your skater dress! I want to try this pattern! Where did you find your rose knit fabric? I love everything floral!

  2. Kristin

    I got it at fabric.com. It was on sale, but I think they had bunches when I ordered it. Be warned...it is thin!!! You should totally make one!

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