I wasn’t going to post these because 1) i thought the blogosphere had said pretty much all there is to say about the Lady Skater and 2) I was pretty meh about my versions.
But then the weather turned cold and I started wearing my most recent version all but constantly. This made me both reconsider my mehness and also think that maybe I had something to say after all.
So. First, my major problem with this pattern. I had a lot of trouble getting this to print properly. As have several others. I emailed Amanda and she was friendly and sympathetic but not that helpful. Luckily I have non-Adobe PDF software at work (Nuance) and managed to make it print using that. I have not had problems with other PDF patterns and was pretty unimpressed by this experience: if it’s a free PDF and things aren’t quite 100%, fine. But if I pay good money for a pattern, I kind of expect it to work. I felt quite ripped off and would be very wary of buying another Kitschy Coo pattern because of this.
Rant over; now onto the actual dresses.
I have made three Lady Skaters. The first was intended as a muslin and I used the rubbish-y navy poly knit I used for my underwhelming Plantain. I bought 2m (as recommended for the Plaintain) and had enough* for both that and a cap sleeved Lady Skater. The Lady Skater recommended yardage is 1.75yds. So, take indie yardages with a tablespoon of salt, I guess.
*not really enough. I had to cut one skirt piece with a centre seam. But close.
The pattern was quick and easy to sew and I have nothing much to say about this version except that, as everyone else says, it is too long in the bodice, especially at the back. I am long waisted and would usually add length. After making this version I removed about 3cms from the front and about 7cms from the back. The skirt is also pretty short. I am 167cms and added about 10cms to the skirt in later versions to make this knee length (after bodice modifications).
My second version is in a four way stretch I bought in Spain. This dress was heavily inspired by Lladybird’s version in similar colours, also with white bindings. Sadly, mine doesn’t have Lladybird’s tigers. I do love the colour and pattern of this dress but the fabric is some strange synthetic that I think would have been better as bathers. I don’t find the dress very comfortable although I do think it looks cute. As you will see from the fact that the following photos are taken in the wild, it does get worn outside the house.
My third (and probably final) version is in a morgan crepe from Minerva Crafts. I wasn’t very happy with this fabric when it first arrived as it felt more synthetic than I was expecting and the colour was also not as deep a purple as I had hoped. But after making the dress up the fabric has grown on me. I made a long sleeved Lady Skater and have worn it pretty much constantly as it is super snuggly. Warmest dress I own by a long shot. No photos, but it looks pretty much the same as all the other long-sleeved plain coloured Lady Skaters on the internet. See here or here . The morgan crepe is quite thick and, for anyone making a Lady Skater in similar fabric, I would suggest you don’t follow the Lady Skater instructions for attaching the neck binding. The instructions have you attach the binding flat and then sew the shoulder seam but this results in a very bulky seam. If I were to sew this again, would attach the binding in the round with the join at centre back.
I doubt I will get the benefit of my own wisdom though, as I think I’m done with Lady Skaters. The dress is very casual and I don’t need a lot of casual clothes. I would, however, like to modify the bodice into a sweatshirt pattern. I have all kinds of lust for this Cut Cut Sew sweatshirt and I think the Lady Skater could be altered to make something very similar. Yes, I am aware I just said I don’t need casual clothes.