I'm looking towards the weekend, as it pours with rain and hovers at 7C. This year has been hateful, weather-wise. At this point, I believe that it is actually affecting the ability of most to function normally. It's like we've all be stuck on a ship in the middle of the sea for 7 months. (That, for what it's worth, is the amount of time during which I've been wearing gloves.) People here are so crazy that every fucking patio in the downtown core was open for dinner yesterday (an unusual day in that there was sun) - as it hovered at 10C. I saw crazy Canadians removing their gloves to pick up forks. And I could almost get with it.
No doubt, affected by weather-induced malaise, I've got a few things to report:
Neither my new fabric (for the next round of the Rosie top) nor my sister's dress and fabric (for that hideous bridesmaid experience) have arrived this week. That means I've got nothing doing on the sewing front. I could sew, but I busted my ass for 5 days last (long) weekend and it was not easy sewing. I don't know that I've got the fortitude to hole up again.
My final sewing goal of last weekend, while it was no more enjoyable than any other sewing activity of that weekend, was a tremendous success. The Lady Skater Dress is all that and a bag of chips. It's nicely drafted and, once I altered the armscye, arm width and sleeve head, everything else was perfectly proportioned for me. That's to say, I do believe this is drafted for a short woman with a short waist and curves. I think it's also well-suited to the larger ladies because the unaltered pattern version of the arms and armscye unit are not cut small and narrow. This is corroborated by the versions, made by plus size bloggers, which look terrific.
To give you some sense of it, after I spent 30 minutes altering the arm unit (as per my knit top sloper), I did not make one other alteration. The arm unit is a size 1. The rest of the dress is a size 4. The waist height was perfect. The bust depth, perfect. The skirt length, perfect. In my world, this was a pretty seamless process.
OK, in truth, this garment came close to being eaten by a serger more times than I'd like to say - and I managed to fuck up so many ways by reading instructions when I should have just done things the way I knew they would work. Don't misunderstand, the instructions aren't bad, they're just too detailed and too fussy. Here's what you do: Make a T shirt. Add a skirt. Don't overthink it by looking at fussy photos.
What's utterly miraculous - and I will tell more of the story when I take pics of myself wearing this insanely flattering garment (to follow when the weather permits me to wear it) - is that I had only 1.5 yards of striped fabric (65" wide) and I still managed to get a 3/4 sleeve dress with no skirt shortening. And I pattern-matched like a fucking star. Honestly, this is a coup.
I'm also saving the photos because I've opted to use this dress as my contribution to Clio's Sew Sexy Sew Along. It may be simple but it looks terrific because it fits fantastically. It brings out the sexy!
One final thing I'll say right now about the Lady Skater (man, I wish they'd chosen a better name...): At this point, I would recommend it over the new Colette Patterns Moneta.
How can I say this authoritatively, having not set eyes on the Moneta pattern? Well, I've sewn a lot of Colette Patterns and I've always felt that the drafted fit leaves much to be desired. While the instructions are good (and the marketing superb), I find the drafting clumsy. Of course, any brand is apt to work better for some than for others but, really, I've seen too many unflattering versions of too many Colette patterns on too many differently-shaped people. As the cult of Colette takes tighter hold, I feel I've got to tell it like I see it. (Furthermore, I'm entirely prepared to mea culpa if I start to see a zillion gorgeous versions of the Moneta. Not that it will change my opinion about lots of other Colette offerings.)
By contrast, I have not seen one bad version of the Lady Skater on anyone.
I don't find the Moneta attractive on the plus-size model (an obviously gorgeous woman) - so I don't have much hope that, unaltered, it's going to fit the average lady much better. The bodice veers too closely toward empire to flatter those with large breasts and wide rib cages. The gathers at the skirt are juvenile-seeming and they add bulk.
The Lady Skater is a very sleek fit. It works wonders to disguise the lumps and to highlight the curves. The drafting of the skirt produces a perfect hang. Natch - use the best fabric you can find! If you use crap T shirting with no recovery and little stretch, it's not going to end well... The trick with T shirt dresses is to spend a FORTUNE on the fabric. Trust me.
I mean, if you're game, please buy both the Lady Skater and the Moneta, make the both and tell me how it goes! But I don't expect I'll be undertaking that experiment for myself.
I have a lot more to say on other topics(what else is new) but I feel I should leave it here and pick up in another post. This has been a lot of words (and no pretty pics).
But before I go... Today's questions: Which appeals to you more - the Moneta or the Lady Skater? Have you made either or both? Do you prefer one over the other? Let's talk!