Just One More Shade of Grey

I know I said that, after my two ‘shades of grey’ quilts, I would be moving on to something more colourful but I’ll just get this out of the way first.

Also, I know I said I had sworn off making dresses for a while but I went upstairs to my workroom yesterday, couldn’t remember why and, before I knew it, decided to make a dress.  As I’m sure happens to all of you from time to time.   A Lady Skater dress to be precise, several of which I have made before because it is such a good, easy pattern and because I like the style and fit on me and because I had put the radiator on in my workroom for the reason I couldn’t remember and didn’t want to waste the electricity.

Lady Skater Grey & White (3)

I apologise for the headless shot but there are three reasons for this

1) I meant to use a mannequin but, at the last minute (see next reason), I couldn’t and hadn’t done anything with my face or hair since getting out of bed

                                       2)  I couldn’t get the dress on the mannequin

                                       3) I don’t like having my photograph taken anyway.

Lady Skater Grey & White (1)Before I tell you why I couldn’t get the dress on the mannequin, I wanted to point out the good things like the neck laying nice and flat and the really nice fabric so that you don’t think I’m quite such a numpty when I ‘fess up.

As I said, I’ve made this dress several times before for me and for both my Madamoiselles.  I meant to make notes but didn’t.  This time I have.  I must have a shorter waist than this pattern is designed for because the seam at the waist is one or even two inches lower than mine.  No matter, I call it a ‘dropped waist’ dress and feel it makes my torso look slightly longer than it is – however, I will remember to adapt the pattern next time so I don’t have to make those excuses!  It is quite a short dress and, in order to avoid having to take up a fiddly miniscule hem next time I need to remember to add some length before cutting so as to avoid flashing too much knee on a breezy day.

However, the really stupid thing I did – and it really was stupid – was to put twill tape around the bottom of the bodice pieces instead of clear elastic.  Oops!  I hate clear elastic and so does my overlocker which is what I used to put this dress together apart from doing the top stitching which I do on my ordinary machine with a double needle.  So I used twill tape to stabilise the shoulders which is fine but they don’t need to stretch.  Whereas, having no zips, the rest of the dress does.  I have to perform wriggles and squiggles and all sorts of contortions my yoga teacher would be proud of in order to get the static waist over ‘the girls’ and down to where it should be.  None of my mannequins were able to oblige.  So, you got me.

Lady Skater Grey and White


…or most of me anyway.

You can find the Pattern here

The fabric was from this seller who has loads of lovely stretch and knit fabrics.

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  1. #1 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on February 10, 2015 - 15:49

    That is truly elegant, dropped waist and all. Good enough to win the Great British Sewing Bee.

    • #2 by tialys on February 11, 2015 - 11:42

      Thank you Viv but I think May and Patrick would have a field day with my immovable waistline!

  2. #4 by sew2pro on February 10, 2015 - 15:59

    Love it; the fabric, the pattern and how it really, really suits you. Thanks for the links! I always think I should be designing my own patterns but this one is very tempting. If I meet the right fabric…

    • #5 by tialys on February 11, 2015 - 11:45

      I think you could adapt this in lots of ways. There are sleeveless and long sleeves options in the pattern but, with your skills, you could alter the neckline, lose the waistline altogether and/or change the shape of the skirt if you don’t want to go quite so swirly. It is sooo quick too – I made this in an afternoon.

  3. #6 by Ann on February 10, 2015 - 17:24

    I really like the dropped waist effect. The dress fits perfectly and might I add you have such a nice figure. 🙂

  4. #8 by katechiconi on February 10, 2015 - 20:48

    Looks great, love the fabric, you’re right, the pattern does suit you very well, dropped waist and all. And really, why confess to such a minor miscalculation; we’d never have known otherwise…? I won’t say you’re lucky to have a figure to show that dress off to such advantage, because you probably work at it, but I do so wish I had a waist…. I’d make that dress in a flash.

    • #9 by tialys on February 11, 2015 - 11:48

      Thanks Kate, I can’t help pointing out faults – I always do it. Perhaps it’s to preempt somebody else thinking it behind my back :/

      • #10 by katechiconi on February 11, 2015 - 12:40

        Whereas in fact we’re simply admiring your work until you point out the problems!

  5. #11 by Jan Marriott on February 10, 2015 - 21:35

    Not wanting to waste electricity is the best reason in world for making a new dress.
    Often those spur of the moment decisions are the best.

    • #12 by tialys on February 11, 2015 - 11:49

      It was a dress or a dog collar! The dress won and I made some dog collars the next day.

  6. #13 by PendleStitches on February 11, 2015 - 11:17

    Such a beautiful and elegant dress. And such a wonderful fit….twill tape and all! The fabric is luscious. Love it!

    • #14 by tialys on February 11, 2015 - 11:52

      Thank you. I’ve had that jersey fabric in my stash for a while now. I went through a stretch fabric buying phase when I bought the Coco dress pattern (the Tilly and the Buttons one) and this Lady Skater one. I love working with it – no zips, no buttons, you can whiz along with the overlocker and you can have a dress in an afternoon. I’ll have to find an alternative to the clear elastic though as it’s a mare to put in although it does its job so well.

      • #15 by PendleStitches on February 13, 2015 - 14:11

        I think you really have to grab good stretch fabric when you see it. I haven’t tried stretch elastic yet…not looking forward to it, I can tell you!

  7. #16 by mandymunroe on February 12, 2015 - 01:44

    You’re so clever, it looks great on you!

  8. #17 by tialys on February 13, 2015 - 20:15

    Thank you Mandy.

  9. #18 by lovelucie1 on February 16, 2015 - 14:08

    Can’t believe I missed this. It looks gorgeous on you. I think the waist has ended up exactly where is should. The high waists look great on the youngsters but a dropped waist skater is much more elegant. You’d never know about the unforgiving waist band. Did make me laugh tho.

  10. #19 by tialys on February 16, 2015 - 14:23

    I’ve just ordered some fabric to make another one so I’ll be sure to try to come to terms again with the clear elastic. The overlocker will just have to suck it up! I’m glad I made you laugh though – you can obviously picture the scene 🙂

  11. #20 by Zoe on February 16, 2015 - 22:08

    LOLZ! Well, it’s an epically awesome dress despite the twill tape debacle! The neckline looks absolute perfecto and generally looks a great combo of fabric and pattern xxx

    • #21 by tialys on February 17, 2015 - 09:48

      Thanks Zoe. At least a sewing debacle makes for an entertaining story I suppose ;/

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