achievement unlocked: lady skater dress with side slant pockets

i love this dress!


even if i don’t look like it.


balancing on the back of ramona’s rocking horse. also laying to rest the question of where ramona’s dimples came from.

this is just another kitschy coo lady skater dress, but i drafted side slant pockets for it. i put side seam pockets in my first iteration, which added some not-great bulk into the seams & affected the drape of the skirt. i added a single patch pocket to my second lady skater, which was fine but maybe a little homemade-looking. i have always preferred the way side-slant pockets look (you know, jeans style) but i didn’t know how to make them & hadn’t come across too many skirt or dress patterns that have them. (there are some, of course, like the sewaholic hollyburn skirt, but i haven’t personally made any.) then i made those sailor shorts & i was like, “oh! it’s just a pocket bag & a facing. easy peasy.” at first i felt kind of dumb for not figuring it out sooner, but you know. if you’ve never seen the construction details before, why would you just magically understand how it works?

i had purchased two yards of this floral print cotton jersey to get the free shipping when i was ordering something else, which is maybe kind of ridiculous, but i thought it was really pretty & i knew i’d find a use for it. i’m not big on florals, as has been established on the blog in the past, but i really like the color combo here. i love the two-tone gray background, & i have a weird obsession with blue flowers (in real life–like, i am always looking for blue flowers everywhere i go). it was sitting on my sewing table while i was working on the shorts last week & suddenly i was like, “what if i made another lady skater & added side slant pockets?”

it was super-easy. i just cut a chunk out of each side of the skirt piece for the hand opening & then laid some pattern paper over that & traced a pocket bag, making sure it was deep enough for my hand, & then laid another piece of pattern paper over that to trace the facing. (if you don’t know, the facing will be the corner of the skirt that was cut away as well as one of the two side of the pocket. i thought about taking a photo of the pattern pieces i made, but come on. anyone who is coming to my blog for tutorials is already making some poor life decisions. if you really want to know how to do it, verypurpleperson has a pretty good tutorial.)

i understitched the pocket seam allowance to the pocket bag to help it turn under smoothly & so there wouldn’t be any stitching on the outside of the pocket. it worked like a charm! the inside of the pocket is a random yellow & white quilting cotton print i received in a fat quarter bundle. i thought it coordinated well with the yellow in the flowers.


the last time i made this dress, i said i would size down next time because i felt the bodice was a little bit big. i got as far as printing out another copy of the pattern, trimming, & getting the tape out to start tiling, & then i remembered that i lined my last version, which might have stretched out the fabric a little. i took a chance on cutting with the size i already have & it worked out fine. it’s maybe a little weird in the shoulders, but i think a trip to the dryer should sort that out.

i did have a lot of problems with the neckband. really, the only thing i don’t like about this dress is the neckband application. i don’t understand if there’s some reason why the shoulders can’t be sewn together & the neckband applied in the round. that’s how i did the sleeves. that’s how i do neckbands on every other knit thing i sew. i think sewing it on flat is supposed to be easier but it is not easier for me. my stretching was really uneven on my first try & it looked so terrible, i tore all the stitching out & started over. & i had already topstitched. i just hated how it looked. i’m actually wondering if maybe i accidentally cut the neckband on the crossgrain somehow without realizing it, because i did not have these problems with my first two lady skaters. in any case, we more or less got there in the end, & all the rest of the construction was perfectly straightforward.

i’m going to wear this dress constantly this summer!

i still have some half-constructed t-shirts i need to finish, & i got as far as cutting out a pair of pants over the weekend & then i lost steam when i was intending to start constructing them & i made this dress instead. i also finally started watching  beverly johnson’s bra-making class on craftsy & have seriously learned so much. i was going to jump into making another bra, but i’m going to wait until i’m done watching the whole class. you know you are obsessed with sewing when you actually find it enjoyable to just sit & watch someone else sew. i can’t wait to implement some of beverly’s tips into my next bra project! i’m hardly the first to say this, but seriously: if you are at all interested in sewing bras, beverly’s craftsy class is worth every penny.

okay, gotta go eat dinner. i wrote jared a fake postcard today requesting meatballs for dinner & then i went for a walk & when i came home, he was making meatballs. so.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

6 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: lady skater dress with side slant pockets

  1. The dress looks great! I’m not usually all that into florals either, but I like that one.

    Every time I ask LJ what she wants for dinner, she requests meatballs. Ours are just frozen ones from Ikea, but she loves them. I think it might have a little something to do with the lingonberry jam that K puts on the side…

    1. thanks! this fabric is also available in a few different colorways, including pink flowers on a blue background…very tempting.
      whenever we ask ramona what she wants for dinner, she says, “pizza? pizza?” she’ll eat just about anything (like a billy goat), but when given a choice, she has very specific desires.

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