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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Lady Skater Dress

Hello again. Wow. Two posts in one weekend. This time, I thought I'd show you my latest make - the Lady Skater Dress - and let you in on a guilty secret.

I recently posted about how I rated different jersey fabrics once they'd been through six months of being worn and washed - my clear winner on the still looking as good as new stakes was the Campan jersey I'd bought from DragonFy Fabrics

Shortly after writing the post, I was sent a couple of metres of the very beautiful stuff to make something else with and show here on the blog. Thanks, guys!

My first thoughts turned to a Coco top that I could layer under a dress (perhaps the navy linen Lilou I've had cut out for nearly a month now...?) or a cardigan. I will almost certainly order a more traditional blue and white Campan for this purpose now, as in the end, I realised I liked the red and pink just on its own and started to picture it as a Lady Skater Dress. My inspiration for making one had come from admiring the ones made and worn by two bloggers I know in real life - my fellow Bedford based buddy, Anwyn, and Lindsy, who I met at the NYLon14 meet up back in May.

Friday night was spent hunting for paper; realising the only paper available was in fact rainbow coloured; trying to get the printer to work; cursing all the taping and cutting up of pattern pieces involved, and finally cutting out the fabric. All this was done with comedy shows on in background which helped keep me amused, and chocolates at my side. 

Being a bit lazy, I really dislike PDF patterns and would happily pay at least a fiver extra to avoid all the annoyance involved. It's a testament to how much I like a pattern if I go ahead and buy one that is only available as a PDF. 

Amanda's pattern and instructions didn't disappoint at all. A woman after my own heart, she has a long set of instructions and a crib sheet for more confident/lazy types. 

I cut out a size 3 and graded it out to a size 4, and then decided to ignore advice about testing for fit and went straight for the real thing. This gamble paid off, and I am very pleased with how this dress fits. The only change I made during the making process was to chop about an inch off the length of the sleeves, as I figured that being shorter than average height, I'd probably need to reduce this a bit.

The making came together in exactly two hours. Hurrah! I do love a one night make, don't you? The only glitch was that I accidentally sewed the elastic that is meant to go inside the back shoulder seams onto one of the front ones as well - resulting in a slightly bumpy left shoulder, but I can live with that. I liked the method for putting on the neck band, and, you can't really see it in the photos (I perched my camera on a bin, set the timer, and posed in a I hope no one notices what I'm doing type fashion) but the contrast direction of stripes looks exactly as I'd hoped.

I'm pleased I opted to try this pattern with the Campan - its weight makes for a nice swish on the skirt as you move, and I almost think using it in a slightly more fitted pattern like this makes more use of the fact this is a fabric that holds its shape beautifully well. I've been wearing the dress all day, and there are no signs of bagginess at the elbows. In fact, I am now wondering about whether I try making another Lady Skater but extending the bodice and just having it as a top. Now that would be a way to make that Lilou warm enough to wear in autumn/winter and entice me to want to make it a bit sooner (and stop those pieces just getting left in a pile for the next six months of so...).

The Saturday Sweet Shop
I promised you a guilty secret, didn't I? With all four girls on a bike ride with Daddy, I'd been to Aldi, and was meant to be popping into town to pick up a couple of bits I can never get there. Oh, and as I was just passing the Saturday Sweet Shop, it would have been rude not to pop in and say `hello'. I haven't breathed a word of this to my darling daughters. They are tucked up in bed. Husband has headed out to work to do some last minute Headteacher stuff, and it is just me and the contents of those white bags...

I had to laugh. The lady in the shop commented on how unusual it was to see me on my own, and I told her my plan to buy myself sweeties and hide them away for a post bedtime treat. As she weighed out the chocolate caramel fudge and Turkish delight I'd asked for, she said, "It's a wonder how you stay so slender with four children!" - subtext, and eating all the fudge you do. The compliment made my day though.

Sophie, if you're reading this at some point in the week ahead (I know you sometimes do) have a sneaky look in my red handbag - I have hidden you a piece inside it. Enjoy - and call it a perk of reading all the way to the end of Mummy's blog! Xx

Big thanks again to DragonFly Fabrics for giving me the fabric used in this post.


  1. Super cute fudge related blogging!
    I really like your pink & red Lady Skater - I just love that colour combination ; )

  2. What a nice mummy to hide a but for her! Loving the lady skater.

  3. A lovely colour for the Lady Skater... and it does look comfy! I now fancy rustling in some white paper bags too. Oh dear, right now! I shall have to go and search and hope to find something buried in the larder!