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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finished: Velvet Skater Dress

I love velvet, so when the fabric store was having this super sale (70% off, plus an extra 20 off of that!), I bought a ton of yards of it in different colors. This material is actually crushed panne, but it feels velvet-y, so close enough, I'm calling it velvet. Appropriate for a student-priced velvet.

This is the first thing I've made with the velvet - a deep purple skater skirt. I used my favorite skater dress pattern, McCalls 6754. I made the view with the princess seam bodice and raglan sleeves. I used an altered pattern that I had made a while ago. I lengthened the bodice by so it hits at my natural waist. After lengthening the whole bodice, I realized that I had to actually take some length off of the back bodice because the waistline was significantly lower in the back. Those were the changes I originally made a few months ago.

I remember the sleeve being really big when I made it last time, so I reduced it, but I  guess I didn't transfer those markings to the pattern, so the sleeve ended up too big on this dress. I was going to leave it, but I couldn't stop pressing it down when I tried it on, so I knew I wouldn't be able to wear it without constantly thinking about it. So I unpicked the hem, and pinched out the excess fabric and sewed it up as a dart in the back of the sleeve. And then altered the pattern so I don't have to do that again next time! Here's a terrible and unflattering photo to show the difference in the sleeves. (Hopefully you can tell, but my right sleeve has not been fixed, and my left one has the dart added and has been hemmed). It actually doesn't look too terrible in this picture, but it was worse in person, especially when I moved my arms at all.

Attempting to show the dart in the sleeve in the picture below. If you look closely, you can see the seam line, and the fabric looks darker below that seam. But it's not too noticeable, which is a good thing!

I like the full circle skirt! I love this whole pattern, in fact. Usually I find that patterns have necklines that are way too high, so I really appreciate that this one has a lower one. And round scoop shape is exactly my style. 

This fabric was pretty easy to sew. It's a little slippery, so I just had to be careful when cutting and sewing, It's funny, a few years ago, I bought a remnant of this fabric, wanting to make a skirt out of it. I cut it out, and it was a disaster - off center and the front and back were different lengths. I evened that out (best I could) and tried to sew it, but it just got chewed up in the machine, and I didn't know what to do. So I tossed it all and hadn't touched it since. But this time, I had no troubles at all. It's great to see how far my skills have come!

This was made almost entirely on my serger. It would have been completely on the serger, but I'm having a problem with the cutting tool, so I have to precut the seam allowance before I serge it. And since this fabric is a little slippery, I sewed all the seams with my regular machine before cutting for more accuracy.

I coverstitched the bottom and sleeve hems, as well as the neckline. I've worn this a number of times already, and it's super comfortable to wear. And unlike real velvet, I can machine wash and dry it. Right now, this is probably my favorite dress. And I like that I can wear printed tights/cardigans with it!


  1. It looks so cozy! Panne sounds wonderful this time of year. Ha--I'm always finding patterns with too LOW a neckline. But truly, this is a great dress and it suits you well.

  2. It's beautiful! I love the color and the pattern, and everything about it really. One of the first dresses I ever made was out of this material. I got rid of it years ago and now I am wondering why...
    Very nice job! I'm off to pin this for inspiration. ;-)

    1. Thank you! I love this material - it's so soft, and really comfortable to wear.