Season Two of Project:Sewn started this week. Out of solidarity for the girls competing this season, and because I wanted a few new fall pieces in my closet, I made myself a Little Black Dress. Or really, a Little Sparkly Charcoal Grey Dress. Pretty much the same thing. I used the Lady Skater by Kitschey Coo, because it just may be the most perfect women’s dress pattern on the planet. The last Lady Skater, you may remember, I made as a two-piece peplum. One day I *will* make a straight-up, to-pattern Skater. But not today. Today, I switched things up by making the bodice a faux wrap with waist ties.
Even with the modifications, the Lady Skater is still one of the fastest things to sew up for yourself. I cut the material out last night, but didn’t start sewing until this morning. The whole thing came together quickly and I had a new dress before Kindergarten pick-up this afternoon. Faster than going shopping for a new dress!
The fabric is a super-soft, thick knit, with just a little bit of sparkly metallic woven in, from Jo-Ann. So my Wrapped Skater is comfortable and casual, perfect for the cooler weather with a scarf and some boots.
But then for a different look, I can just do a little Wonder Woman spin…
Here you can see some of the details of the wrap. I do wish I had made the top bodice layer cross over a little lower. And I had so little fabric left when I was making the ties, and was possibly a bit distracted by an adorable 21-month old assistant, that I made one tie much shorter than the other. I wanted the ties to be able to wrap around a full two times, which the one tie does without trouble. The shorter tie just barely makes the double-wrap with enough length for a knot. I swear I thought I was cutting them the same length. Obviously not. But at least it works.
If you want to see how I made the Lady Skater a faux wrap, scroll down or click HERE for a quick tutorial.
Fold the pieces down along the neckline and across the chest, until you get the angle you like. Like I said earlier, I wish I had made my angle a bit more extreme, so that the wrap cut across my chest a bit lower.
Mark the angle
Cut one bodice piece at the markings
Flip the cut-off piece upside down, lay it on the other bodice piece, right sides together, and use it as a guide to cut the other bodice
So things will look like this
Fold the trim over, stitch in the ditch on the top side, catching the raw/underside of the trim and keeping the sewn edge inside the fold
Baste the bottom of the front pieces together, stacked, so that you are working with them as if they were one front bodice piece.
Pin the overlapped front piece to the under piece.
Sew along the ditch again, securing the “wrap” so it doesn’t open when you’re wearing it. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. No judging.
Make your ties. Cut two 6 inch strips however long you want the strips to be (measure against your waist and how much you want them to wrap)
Fold the strips in half along the length and sew up one end, and along the length. Leave the other end open.
Turn through the open end and press.
Baste the strips at the open ends to the bodice pieces, one on the front and one on the back, about 1/2 inch from the bottom edges.
Sew up the dress as instructed in the pattern, keeping the tie straps out of the way. When you get to the point where you are sewing the side seams, make sure to catch all layers, including the ties’ basted ends.
I didn’t get pictures of this part of the process, and I really don’t know if it will be a need for anyone else or if I screwed up a bit. BUT after finishing, the neckline at the back was saggy. I put in two darts right at my shoulder blades, and that fixed it right up. I recommend trying the bodice on before binding, and seeing if there is sag at the back, then darting. That way, you won’t have darts that go through the finished neckline. I don’t really mind them, but it does make things a bit less finished-looking than if I’d bound after the darts.