Aztec Lady Skater dress

Jerseeeeeeey! Aztec Lady Skater dress

This post has been two years in the making! Sort of.

Jersey was a fabric I’d heard was great to sew with and very forgiving on fit. I’d heard this maaaaany, many times. And yet, in the two years since I started sewing, I’d continued to avoid it. For some reason, I was scared of it. Well, NOT ANYMORE; I have finally sewn jersey!! Here, I present to you, my Aztec Lady Skater dress using sumptuous jersey from Girl Charlee UK and great beginner knit pattern: the Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater. All put together with my overlocker!

Aztec Lady Skater dress

Admittedly, it’s not really a traditional aztec pattern, but it’s such a great word. And once I’d chosen it, I couldn’t go back.

I’m preeeeeetty happy with the pattern-matching along the side seams and the triangular shape it has created. I managed to do an OK job of pattern-matching at the waist but it was slightly off so I’ve been wearing it with a belt. Although there’s probably a better colour choice than tan/brown…?

Aztec Lady Skater dress

My back looks a little wonky here but honestly, it’s not. The fabric is just a little twisted; I apparently can’t stand straight!

Aztec Lady Skater dress

This post wouldn’t be complete without a twirling photo, surely? #ravedress

Aztec Lady Skater dress

I managed to sew the neckline onto the wrong side first of all so had to unpick and reattach. I was using my overlocker so you can imagine how happy I was about that. BUT there are great videos for unpicking overlocking! Such as clothtechvids and Cynthia Dickerson. And it turned out OK in the end.

Aztec Lady Skater dress

Fabric

Girl Charlee’s Bright Neon Ethnic cotton spandex blend knit, £7.95/metre. 50% lengthwise stretch, 30% crosswise stretch.

The stripes run parallel to the selvedge so I actually cut the fabric on the crosswise grain (right angles to the selvedge) because I wanted the stripes to run vertically and the 30% stretch in this direction was sufficient (versus 50% along the other).

Sizing and cutting

I cut a size 3 with the capped sleeves.

Fitting and alterations

I’d already made another version with the three quarter sleeves in a black ponte roma knit that had been in my stash for aaaaages (before I even knew what it was or what to do with it!). Sadly, even after a pre-wash, the dye continued to come out of the fabric. To the extent that when I got home from work after the first day of wearing it, it looked like I’d tried chimney sweeping! So, I’m not sure how much more wear I’ll get out of that unless the dye stops running into my skin. 😦

With this version, I made a few alterations:

  • Rather than following the instructions and inserting elastic into the shoulder seams, I followed Tilly’s tutorial of using ribbon for stabilising shoulder seams (for the Coco sewalong).
  • Took 1.5cm off the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt. A somewhat unconventionally-applied alteration because I did this when I’d finished construction of the whole dress (prior to hemming) and just overlocked in by another seam allowance (1.5cm).
  • Took 5cm off the bottom of the skirt.
Pattern instructions

The first time I made it, I thought the instructions had missed out crucial information for attaching the neckline binding but it turned out, I’d just missed it! D’oh! There is a lot of text in the instructions but it has a lot of very useful information about sewing knits/jersey! Especially for a complete beginner like me.

Finishing

Overlocking. I put this lovely lady together using my Singer 14SH754 overlocker and it was so effing quick! From cutting to hemming took just 4 hours! It would’ve been less if I’d not had to unpick the neck. Also, I’d initially cut out two left sleeves! So I had to recut and sew new binding to a right sleeve. Sadly, my overlocker doesn’t have a seam guide so a little washi tape now marks a 1.5cm seam allowance.

Topstitching. I did this on my normal sewing machine using ball point needles. I also hemmed the dress on my normal machine with a 2cm hem.

Verdict

SO comfy and a pretty great fit really. The lengthwise stretch means the bodice is potentially still a teeny bit long but I’m really picking fault and it’s better than too short. I’m definitely still in love with the fabric too. A top in the remaining fabric has certainly been added to the list, with a few options: Deer and Doe Plaintain Tee and Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee, both free! And I shall definitely be sewing more jersey; I want to sew a Colette Moneta for my next knit dress.

Working on…

Still working away on the toile of my Sewaholic Granville shirt but I’ve made a mistake somewhere with the collar and collar stand. The edge of the collar stands out too far from the edge of the front placket when it should be flush with it. Sadly, I may have trimmed too close for me to unpick and redo, and since reaching this point last week, I’ve still not moved forward. I can’t quite work out what I’ve done wrong! Any ideas would be most appreciated!

Instead, what has begun is this: some selfless sewing with a Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress and some striped seersucker from Fabric Godmother as a gift for a friend. Parting with it will not be easy!

Anyone else having any sewing issues at the moment? Or is it just me…?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all items mentioned myself. All views expressed are my own.

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17 thoughts on “Jerseeeeeeey! Aztec Lady Skater dress

  1. Lovely dress – it works really well with that fabric (especially when twirling). Shame about the chimney sweep version! My sewing issue at the moment is that I just can’t seem to get started this year!

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    • Thanks Jane! I’m really glad I decided to cut it in the “wrong” direction as I much prefer the stripes down rather than across. Oh yeah, I go through stages like that; can’t get going. At the moment, I’m like a sewing magpie; everything is attracting me at the moment and I can’t focus on one thing!

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  2. I’m very impressed with this, particularly that it’s all done on your Overlocker. That’s my sewing problem now: I cannot seem to get the tension right on that machine no matter what I do 😕. The idea of a jersey dress is becoming increasingly appealing, despite not being something I’ve previously thought of as “me”, can’t decide between this one and Moneta so I’m looking forward to seeing yours!

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    • Thanks Becca, Ya know, I had issues with this brand of overlocker to begin with as well and then one day, it didn’t seem to be as much of a problem anymore. I do find I have to adjust the tension for different fabrics (which I’m told isn’t unusual for overlockers in general), mainly adjusting the lower loopers. I don’t think it’s ever completely *perfect* but it’s good enough. And once I stopped looking for perfection, I got on with the overlocker much better. I also never thought jersey dresses were for me but I’d just become too intrigued to resist. Their ease of fit and construction, coupled with their comfort, has really won me over! I’m really trying to really resist buying the Moneta pattern but it keeps calling my name.

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  3. This is brilliant! It took me a while to get over my jersey fear too, but now I’m a convert. My pattern of choice is Tilly And The Buttons Agnes top. Good luck with the Vintage Shirtdress!

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    • Thanks Lynne! Very glad I finally took the plunge (and everyone was of course telling me I would feel that way). I really want to try the Agnes top as well, heard so many good things about it from many sewists. Thanks for the luck for the shirtdress; I definitely start to feel nervous when I’m sewing for someone else. Eek!

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  4. I definitely have a fear of jersey – in fact, just this afternoon I put a skirt back in a charity shop as it needed shortening and I was intimidated by the thought of sewing jersey. But maybe didn’t need to be!

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    • Hi Janet! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I don’t know what it is about jersey fear but it’s strong. I could tell you what others told me for ages; just go for it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t, but I know I ignored that for some time myself. As long as you have ballpoint (my preferred choice), jersey or stretch needles though, it should be fine. 🙂

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  5. Your lady skater dress looks fab. I made one last summer using the normal sewing machine. I had to shorten the bodice, too. My overlocker scares me, it is so fast and noisy, I can’t bring myself to use it…..

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    • Thanks Christina! Pretty happy with it, and it’s so comfy! Yeah, I should probably be a little more fearful of the overlocker as it wields a lot of power but I just go for it! Maybe you could get your hands on some cheap fabric, or use some old tops.

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