Minerva Blogger Network: Black and White knit skater dress

Size: size 3, graded up to a 4 at the waist and hips.
Alterations: shortened the bodice by 3 cm.
Fabric: Black and white abstract print jersey from Minerva Crafts

I don’t know about you, but one of the main aspects of the Holidays in my household is EATING… a lot... which means I always end up with a few extra kilos in January.
So, for my January project of the Minerva Blogger Network, I though I should create something extremely comfortable and forgiving with my temporary extra weight: a knit dress! This is my equivalent of a pair of sweatpants, without sacrificing style and femininity.

The knit I chose has quite a lot of body and it’s not too stretchy, so it’s comfortable to wear, but it won’t highlight anything I might want to conceal in my midriff area, which is perfect. If you don’t like this print or these colours, Minerva has a HUGE choice of knits suitable for this type of garment, which you can find here.

For this dress, I went with one of my tried and true pattern, the Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo. I made this dress once before, so I knew that it was very fun and simple to sew. If you’re a beginner with knits, this is a great starting point, because the design is easy to fit but very flattering on any body type and the instructions are great, full of tips for sewing with this material.

Initially, I used the long sleeves, but they felt a bit overwhelming in this busy print, so I shortened them to elbow length, which is my favourite. I also shortened the bodice to hit me at my natural waist, but I’m afraid I went a little overboard, as now the dress is almost an empire waist. 

As far as the construction goes, I used black elastic to reinforce the shoulder line and the waist, a little technique that makes all the difference in the world in terms of durability of your garment. I also used my serger, but this dress is perfectly doable with just a regular sewing machine.
If you want to make this dress, there is a kit ready for you, containing all the necessary, as usual. It also includes ballpoint and twin needles to insure best results with your sewing machine! 


Size: size 3, graded up to a 4 at the waist and hips.
Alterations: shortened the bodice by 2 cm.
Fabric: leopard print jersey, purchased locally.

It's snowing today. I'm home, snuggled against the radiator and I have this dress I made and photographed more than a month ago, and it's about time I blog about it.

I don't know if this pattern needs an introduction, really, but it's the Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo, and everyone loves it, me included. After seeing a few gorgeous version out there, I had to give it ago!
I'm so happy with this pattern that I have not only already worn this dress a lot of times, but I've also made a second version, which I'm sure it won't be the last. I mean, knits are so comfy! Once you try them, you can't really live without them.

The pattern instructions for this dress are pretty great as well, and full of tips for newbies or for someone that needs reassurance like me. The only step I didn't like is that instructions have you stitch one shoulder seam, bind the neckline and then stitch the second shoulder. I prefer to bind the neckline in the round, it looks better on the inside and it avoids the risk of a mismatched shoulder seam.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I shortened the bodice by 2 cm so that the waist seam would fall at my natural waist. It looks like it's still too long in these photos, but I actually went back and took in the side seams at waist level by about 3cm, making it really fitted. Result: it looks perfect now. Maybe the excess ease was giving an optical illusion?

The only other modification I did was the sleeve length; the cap sleeve was too short for my taste and I didn't have enough fabric for the 3/4 length, so I cut the sleeve pieces as long as I could and they turned out in this elbow length, which is coincidentally my favorite in RTW. A very lucky incident!

This dress was the final push I needed to conquer my irrational fear of knits. Not only I'm not afraid anymore, I really want to sew more and more with them. My only problem is that I can't find knit fabric locally, or better, I only find either ugly or expensive knits here. I guess it's because sewing hasn't conquered Italy yet, so there isn't a huge request. If you know any European shops (because shipping from the US costs a fortune and takes forever) that carry cute, cheap reasonably priced knits, please help expand my fabric addiction!

Finally, because it's Black Friday Weekend and I enjoy a good sale even though I don't celebrate Thanksgiving, here are a couple links I stumbled upon that may interest you too:

Craftsy is having a HUGE sale for both classes and craft supplies, like fabric and yarn. This would be the perfect chance for me to enroll in a knitting class for beginners and finally get my act together. Although all the sewing classes are pretty tempting as well...

✄ Papercut Patterns is having 15% off all patterns (through Monday 12/2). I want to try one of their patterns so bad it's not even funny.

✄ Christine Haynes is having 20% off everything in the shop (and she's donating 10% of every sale to the LA Regional Food Bank), using code "thanksgiving" (through Monday 12/2). Do yourself a favor and purchase the beautiful Emery dress pattern.

✄ Grainline Studio has 20% off the entire shop, using the code GIVETHANKS20 (through Monday 12/2).

Happy shopping!