Friday, April 4, 2014

Pattern hack: drop-waist Lady Skater

Hello from (not so sunny) Wales!   Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I actually finished this dress a week or so ago before coming to the UK to spend some time with my parents, but didn't get round to taking any pictures, so thanks Mum for being the photographer for these.

I've seen a lot of drop waist dresses around, and pinned a few like this one and this one but wasn't sure whether it would work on me. Would it be flattering?  Too young ?  Overtly bum-enhancing? But that's the great thing about sewing. I wouldn't want to shell out heaps of cash for a dress style that I was a bit unsure about, but having a bit of a play with some op-shopped knit to see what happens, bring it on!

Rather wrinkly back view
For this dress I started with the Lady Skater by Kitchykoo, which I've made twice before (but only blogged once).   To change it to a drop waist I traced off the bodice pattern piece with three quarter sleeves in a size 3 and added length to the front and back, curving out at the hips. I didn't want it to be skin tight so I measured  the widest part of my hips and added in some ease.  The skirt is just two gathered rectangles (half the width of the fabric each), gathered using Megan's Nielsen's clever method, putting elastic in the bottom bobbin which worked a treat.

Initially I added 25cm to the length but after a bit of playing around with the bodice and skirt on my dressform, I shorted it to 17 cm. This meant that the dress ended up being a bit shorter than I originally intended, but as I'm only planning on wearing this with tights, I think it's OK. I forgot to take any pictures during the construction process but I did things in this order, using the overlocker for most of the sewing apart from the gathering, shoulder seam elastic and hems:

- stabilise shoulder seams with clear elastic
- sew one shoulder seam
- sew the neckband
- sew the other shoulder seam
- sleeves in flat
- gather each skirt price separately
- attach skirt pieces to the bottom of the front and back bodice
- sew up the sides  and arms

Hems and the neckline were finished with a twin needle.  These pictures were taken after wearing the dress all day and it was stretched out a bit so I perhaps need to take in the sides a little more, especially under the arms, and also narrow the neckline. However, minor fitting issues aside it's a super comfy dress, a bit different to the other knit dresses in my wardrobe, and I think I'll get a lot of wear out it of during Autumn and Winter (and the Welsh Spring!)

Hwyl fawr!  (that's goodbye in Welsh in case you were wondering)

Pattern: hacked Lady Skater by Kitchykoo, used before = free
Fabric:1.5m of cotton knit from the op-shop = $3
clear elastic and thread from stash
Total = $3


  1. What a cool idea! I'm really loving these drop waist styles that are popping up lately. U fortunately I don't think they do much for me. You look awesome in them though! On a side note, I just bought silver coated denim from spotlight yesterday and may be going to recreate your moss mini skirt. I hope you don't mind!

  2. Thanks! I'm not particularly well endowed on the hip department which helps I think! And Yay for making a silver mini moss. I love mine and you would look terrific in one!

  3. Looks fantastic, great hack!

  4. H, this looks freaking rad! I think keeping the skirt shorts makes this look super fresh and adorable. Epic work and have fun in Wales!

  5. I love this Helen! I think the drop waist is a really great way to mix up such a simple pattern! And I definitely agree with keeping it short- I think a drop waist could look a little unbalanced if it was any longer