Completed: Test version Lady Skater dress

After the last post on my PDF pattern assembly troubles I don’t think it will come as a surprise that I made Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater dress! It was intended as a muslin but I think it already turned out good enough to wear in public.

Before I go into the details of the dress I have some additional PDF information to share with you. I contacted Amanda from Kitschy Coo about my problems with the pattern assembly and she let me know that there have been more issues with correct printing of PDF sewing patterns since this summer. This is caused by an update of Adobe that throws of the accuracy of horizontal printing. If you want to know more, this website shows how to fix it. I tried it and it didn’t solve my issues (probably because my printer is crazy) but if you have problems with PDF patterns it might solve yours. If you have Windows 8 you might also have additional issues that are explained here and there you can also find how to solve these.

So, onto the pattern. I intend to turn one of my UFO’s into a Lady Skater dress. This means that I have a limited amount of fabric to work with. I don’t want to turn one failure into another failure so I first made a muslin with some knitfabric that I already had. I cut size 4 with 1’’ instead of 3/8” seam allowances for the side-, shoulder- and sleeve seams. It turned out I didn’t need that extra fabric because I only took fabric away but if you want to fit a garment it is really helpful to have some extra fabric to work with. I cut off the extra fabric later on so my finished dress doesn’t have these huge seam allowances inside.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the dress without adjustments but in the pictures below you can see what my adjusted pattern pieces look like compared to the original pattern. I have highlighted size 4 of the original pattern in purple. I left the skirt, neckline band and sleeve bands unchanged. The main fitting issue was that there was a lot of excess fabric around the sleevecap that created unsightly folds at the seams and around my upper arm. I got rid of these by removing some fabric.


I wanted the skirt to hit closer to my natural waist so I chopped 1” off the bodice. There was some excess fabric around the armhole and the sideseams so I removed some fullness there. I think I removed a little too much because the back is now a bit too tight so I am going to add something in the next version.


Chopped off 1” of length of bodice and removed some fullness at the side seams and around the armhole.


Removed some fullness around the sleevecap and at the upperarm. I now have quite an oddly shaped sleeve pattern but the fit is much better. Perhaps I have oddly shaped arms?

What I liked about this pattern:

  • Instructions are clear, I didn’t use them that much, but for a beginner sewer I think they will be a great help.
  • Very clear which line on the pattern belongs to which size because they are different colours. If you don’t have a colour printer I suppose this would be something that you won’t like about the pattern.
  • The shape of the neckline.
  • Clear elastic is added to the waistline seam allowance, this helps to keep the dress in shape.
  • The fit of the pattern was easy to adjust
  • Good customer service. Not only with the PDF issues but I also completely overlooked that there was a download link after you pay for the pattern so I waited for it to arrive via e-mail which of course didn’t happen. Amanda e-mailed me the pattern very quickly after I enquired when I could expect the pattern to arrive. So, if you buy this pattern, there is a download link!

What I didn’t like about this pattern:

  • The straight of grain line on the sleeve is tiny. I like them to be long. It is easy to fix this myself but, well, why not make it large on the pattern?
  • I had issues printing it correctly but I suspect this was mostly due to the printer and not the pattern.

What will I change next time:

  • I think I’ll get rid of the sleeve bands by making the sleeve a bit longer. I don’t really like a sleeve band on ¾ sleeves. I think it is less comfortable than a turned over hem.
  • Make some small adjustments to make the bodice fit even better.
  • Perhaps raise the bodice by another ½’’.

Overall, I am very happy with this pattern and I hope to show you my next version soon!

November 30, 2013

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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  1. onedabbles

    Thanks for posting in detail, Emmely. It’s encouraging for me as a beginner to see that experienced sewists have problems and work them out. The fit of the waist and drape of the skirt is very pretty. I’m looking forward to seeing your other versions of this dress.

    • Emmely

      Thank you! I think it is important to show how I manage to fix things (and not pretend that everything goes smoothly on the first try, it hardly ever does), exactly for the reason you mention.

  2. Kelly

    This is lovely Emmely! I made a test lady skater last weekend too! I had the same problem with the bodice length, will definitely shorten mine on my next version. I have some lovely jade jersey to use, can’t wait to make that up!

    • Emmely

      Thank you! I’ve seen a lot of people shorten the bodice and as I am not very tall I knew that was something that I needed to pay attention to and I am glad I did. I am looking forward to seeing your version. So much fun that we’re working on the same pattern at the same time!



  1. Finished: The Kitschy Coo Lady Skater | Make, sew, do - […] I don’t really want it any shorter than this one is. Just as I’d made mine, I saw Emmely’s…
  2. Lady skater(s): meh or not meh? | Suiting Myself - […] with this pattern.  I had a lot of trouble getting this to print properly. As have several others. I emailed…

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