For round two of the Super Online Sewing Match the challenge was sewing up this adorable little dress pattern from Oliver and S – The Roller Skate Dress. Amazingly enough I have never sewn one of their patterns before so I was really excited to give it a try. I now know why their patterns are so popular (aside from the fact their designs are simple, European style, children’s clothing) – the patterns are professional and well made, with detailed instructions. I learned quite a few tricks as I put this together and had a really great experience doing so.
When thinking about fabric for this challenge I realized that if I kept shopping in the garment district for these projects I would soon go broke so I decided to look into what I had in my closet to up cycle. Then I remembered this amazing Anthropologie dress (originally $178) that I got for $9 off the clearance rack because of two 10 inch long rips in the skirt. I knew I wouldn’t be able to salvage the dress to wear, but at $9 I couldn’t pass up the amazing fabric and knew it would be a great up cycle project of some sort. So finally, 3 years later, it is getting turned into a little girl dress. The fabric is an amazing navy and white striped silk/cotton blend with a beautiful drape. The lining was made from the lining of the actual dress – 100% white cotton, which was essential because the outside fabric is somewhat sheer. I did have some moments in the middle of sewing this dress that I cursed my choice of fabrics as it was a little slippery and tricky due to the silk content, but in the end I love how the choice of fabric makes the dress feel a little more upscale and dressy while still feeling youthful enough with the nautical color palette and pattern.
In my opinion this was definitely the hardest part of the dress. It took me a few tries to get everything perfect. But in the end I love it. I feel like the wave/point goes well with the nautical feel of the fabric. In the back I added a button loop and a fabric colored button that I made out of some scraps of matching fabric.
I created a wide 4 inch band across the bottom of the skirt as the hem. I liked the visual interest of the horizontal with the vertical stripes. For the lining I made a simple 1/4 inch hem.
Because of the sheerness of the main fabric I used french seams to keep everything tidy. I also made a little thread chain on both of the side seams to connect the lining to the dress to keep everything in place.
I couldn’t use the patterns instructions for the waistband because the elastic would have shown through my main fabric, so instead I created a small casing which I stitched to the lining to encase the elastic.
Can’t wait to make a tunic version next.