Hey everyone! I do believe this is the first thing I've ever shared on the clothing board! I'm not much of a seamstress, but I've been getting interested in making clothes a lot more recently. Aside from a skirt I made in college once, I haven't really done much clothing sewing that wasn't something cobbled together for a cosplay. I don't think making clothes is my main passion but I definitely see myself making more fun statement pieces in the future!
I stumbled upon The Lady Skater
pattern a few months back and knew that I wanted to make one. I don't wear a lot of dresses, mostly because I can never find ones that 1) I like, and 2) fit my extremely pear-shaped body.
But this dress is perfect for me!
Around the same time, I got super motivated to start dabbling in fabric design on Spoonflower. I was (and still am) trying to build up my portfolio of work a bit, and fabric design is something I've always thought would be fun, especially since Spoonflower is such a great resource for DIY. I love nerdy things, and I love making art based on nerdy things, so I wanted to come up with some designs that reference things from anime or video games but without directly taking artwork from them - for one, you're not allowed to upload images that don't belong to you, but also I wanted the artwork to be more subtle, less in-your-face, and also to lend itself more to fabric. One of the first things that came to mind was Sailor Venus's Love-Me-Chain attack from the Sailor Moon anime. For reference, here is a picture:
And here is the design I came up with!
Then, the ultimate idea hit me...what if I made a super adorable dress in this bold fabric? I wanted something cute to wear to the anime convention I go to every May, but didn't want to make a super-involved cosplay. The idea of making a dress out of anime-inspired fabric I designed myself was too good to pass up!
As you can see, the colors in my design are a lot more vibrant than in the printed fabric - this is just the nature of the way the inks are printed onto the cotton fabric. If you're thinking of ordering from Spoonflower, keep this in mind! Polyester fabrics have the best color profile, but I always prefer to wear cotton so that's what I went with.
I made a prototype out of some plain green knit from Joann's before making this one so I could be sure I was comfortable working with knits and wouldn't mess up my precious custom fabric. The experience went really well, although the fit wasn't perfect. Triple stretch stitch is my new best friend, I highly recommend anyone who doesn't have a serger to use that instead of zig-zag (it eats up a lot of thread though). I originally made the dress size 6 on top and size 8 on bottom (uggggggh being pear-shaped!!!), but for the final version I switched to size 5 on top, 7 on bottom, and I also shortened the bodice by an inch and a half. It turned out GREAT, and the waist seam hides my tummy now instead of drawing attention to it.
I kept the sleeves size 6, but I guess my mind thinks my arms are way bigger than they really are because they turned out baggy, but I think it looks fine. I'm definitely learning a lot about pattern sizing!
I think I'm Lady Skater-ed out for the moment, but I'm still super inspired to make more cute nerdy clothes. I'm on a mission to work out the perfect t-shirt design, so once that happens I'm sure I'll be back to share more things with you.