How To

How to Sew Your Own Skater Dress

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I have been enamoured with Ted Baker skater dresses for quite some time now. There is just something so pretty and feminine about a skater dress. I know I had to figure out how to make one, so here’s how to sew your own skater dress.

A skater dress is typically a dress that has a fitted waist and an A-line skirt. Ted Baker offers skater dresses in both woven and knit fabrics. They have lovely details like flounce sleeves and scallop edges. They also feature such gorgeous fabrics. Here are a few skater dresses from the Ted Baker website that served as my inspiration.

Now the main elements in these dresses that serve as inspiration are the v-neck bodice and A-line skirt. I have an abundance of sewing patterns so I needed to find a couple that I could mash together to create my dream dress.

how to sew your own skater dress – my 3 main elements

As I see it, there are 3 main elements to this dress:

  • v-neck bodice
  • A-line skirt
  • sleeves (optional)

I just needed to pull together these 3 elements in order to construct the dress.

Sewing Pattern for the v-neck bodice

I wanted to use the patterns that I already had in order to put together my skater dress because, why reinvent the wheel? First off was the v-neck bodice. The closest pattern I had was the Amanda pattern from Halla Patterns.

I’m a fan of Halla Patterns – you may recall that my easy summer dress was the FREE Agnes pattern – you can read all about it here. I just needed the top or bodice portion of this dress.

However, I found the neck opening to be a bit too wide and too low for my liking. So I mashed it with the GreenStyle Green Tee, V-Neck option. This is a FREE pattern offered from GreenStyle. You may recall that I love their Staple Tank – read all about that here. To get the free Green Tee, you have to be a part of their Facebook Group to get the code.

So basically it was the bodice of the Halla Amanda with the neckline of the Green Tee.

sewing pattern for the a-line skirt

The skater dress has an a-line skirt which can be achieved in a number of ways. There are several online circle skirt calculators, including the one from By Hand London Simply type in your dimensions and it will generate the pattern for you.

But Halla Patterns also offers a FREE circle skirt pattern – complete with pockets! Yes, this pattern is available for FREE – you have to be a part of the Halla Pattern Facebook Group in order to find the code in the “Announcements” section.

I personally found the full circle skirt to be too much fabric. For my petite frame, it was a bit overwhelming and it didn’t really match the Ted Baker photos. Using the Circle Skirt Calculator, I cut it down to a half circle skirt and it was perfect – just the right amount of fabric.

How to sew a flounce sleeve

Some of the skater dresses have a cute, flounce sleeve. I wanted to try that on at least one version. The flounce sleeve a beautiful, feminine touch added to this dress. A flounce is basically a full circle added to the sleeve. This is not to be confused with a ruffle, which is a gathered piece that is sewn on.

In order to figure out your flounce, just use the same online calculator for a circle skirt. I just put my sleeve opening measurement in and get the measurements. Since the calculator is intended for skirts, you’ll get something ridiculously long. Just be sure to adjust the length accordingly.

Pockets – the finishing touch

Okay, if you’ve been following my sewing adventures lately, you know that I put pockets in everything – and I mean, everything. This dress was going to be no exception.

The Halla Twirly Skirt has pockets already as a part of the pattern. If you are using the Circle Skirt Calculator instead, be sure to check out my blog post here on how to add inseam pockets. The concept is exactly the same.

fabric options for the skater dress

You’ll notice in the Ted Baker photos that the A-line skirt has some structure to it. So I would need a comparable fabric. You’ll want some drape, but not too much drape if you know what I mean.

Here are some fabric suggestions for the skater dress:

  • Ponte
  • Liverpool
  • Scuba
  • Supplex

My test dress, or muslin, was made out of some gorgeous modal ponte from SoSewEnglish. I figured I could always use another black dress! This had more drape and less structure than the Ted Baker Dresses, but I could still get an idea.

I wanted to make the ultimate party dress and so I used some gorgeous foil scuba knit fabric from SoSewEnglish. This is what really emulates the Ted Baker Skater Dresses. I just did the sleeveless version in this fabric. I absolutely love how this turned out.

Creating, or in this case recreating, designs can be done with the helping of first, determining the main factors or elements that make up the garment and then finding sewing patterns that will help you create them.

Using this Frankenstein method of combining patterns gave me the perfect skater dress, comparable to a high-end designer dress.

Want to remember how to sew your own skater dress? Be sure to save this to your favourite Pinterest board.

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