It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Tami Meyer's Love Notions Sewing Patterns. Tami is an amazing sewer, and has had a successful business for many years selling custom designed children's clothing. Recently she began grading her patterns and releasing them for sale to home sewers (seamstresses? sewists? I'm still tripped up on that one...) like me. After sewing the Everyday Playdress, I sent Tami a message and basically begged her to let me test for her. ;) I might have even included a few photos like this one, of P in one of her Everyday Playdresses.
Tami invited me to join her group of testers, and since then I've tested the Trendy Tunic, the Tuxedo Dress, the Cartwheel Collection, the Hip Hop Tank (and the Ladies Hip Hop Tank - the first sewing I've done for ME that I was actually happy with!), the Mallory dress, and the Samson Sweater - her first pattern for boys that has just been released (and is fantastic, of course).
|Hip Hop Tank|
|Hip Hop Tank|
|Matching Hip Hops :)|
|Cartwheel Collection - dress option|
|This is my adorable nephew, E, in his Samson Jacket. Isn't he delicious??!|
Anyway, back to the post at hand. When I was cutting out the fabric for my tester Mallory dress (so cute, by the way - Miss P has requested a different one for each day of the school week!), I noticed that the back bodice pattern piece and the skirt pattern piece looked an awful lot like a skater dress. What is a skater dress? Skater dresses get their name because they look like, well, ice skater dresses. A fitted bodice and a twirly circle (or half-circle) skirt are the basic hallmarks - they can be with or without sleeves, and sewn from a variety of fabrics.
Since the Mallory Dress pattern includes short, 3/4, and long sleeves (and two skirt lengths), this was an easy modification to make. I simply cut two of the back bodice pieces on the fold, and lowered the neckline of one of them to become the front bodice.
|Bodice pattern pieces for the Mallory Skater Hack|
I sewed the shoulder seams together and measured the front neckline, and cut a neckband that was approximately 80% of the length of the neckline. You might need to cut a neckband that is slightly shorter or longer depending on the stretch of your fabric.
I like to attach neckbands in the round, but if you're unsure of the length you need, an easy way to work around this is to sew only one shoulder seam shut first. Then, fold your neckband piece in half wrong sides together, and press. With raw edges lined up, sew (with a stretch stitch) or serge the neckband to the neck opening of the bodice - make sure to stretch the neckband a bit as you sew, but not the bodice fabric. Give it a good press with lots of steam to help it get back into shape. Last, you'll trim off any remaining neckband fabric and sew the second shoulder seam, taking care to line up the edges of the neckband (you might want to baste it in place before sewing or serging just to make sure).
|Skater Mallory - interlock with rib knit neckband|
Proceed with the pattern instructions from here, adding sleeves and the skirt. Hem everything and you're all done. Congratulate yourself for unlocking the bonus pattern that Tami included with the Mallory dress - two totally different looks from the same basic pattern pieces!