Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sewing: practice dress fabric

We were going to buy the skate dress on the left; however, it's $60. I sew and I thought that I could probably beat that $60 price.

The pattern. The pattern we found at our local JoAnn Fabrics is the Green Pepper pattern above. I'll list more pattern resources at the bottom of the page. The selection at the store was very disappointing. Ice Girl and I flipped through all the pattern catalogs, but the only patterns we could find were for little girls. So, moms with little kids: you're in luck. The Green Pepper pattern is stylish, but basic. I thought it would be perfect for a practice dress.

Green Pepper pattern #F813: *revision* see Green Pepper pattern sewing review for why I will never buy another Green Pepper pattern again.

  • Cost = $8.
  • Skill - medium sewing skill (Looks pretty easy to me, though. No buttons, no zippers.)

The fabric. Fabric choices at JoAnn Fabrics were pretty good. The swimsuit/dance wear stuff was pretty slinky and fish-like, but they had a fair selection of stretch velvets and plenty of crushed stretch velour. We found some black stretch velvet (dry-clean only) for $19/yard. We passed it up in favor of washable stretch velour (pictured at far right) for only $4.99/yard. I also popped for some more expensive stretch velvet for the skirt, $12.99/yard. The pattern calls for 1 1/2 yards of fabric total for the skate dress with sleeves. It doesn't break out yardage for a contrasting skirt. I decided to buy 1 1/2 yards of both fabrics and try to make some practice skirts out of the leftovers. The scrunchie yardage is included for all views.

Fabric costs:

  • 1 1/2 yards of black crushed panne stretch velour at $4.99/yard = $7.49
  • 1 1/2 yards of black panne with silver sparkles at $12.99/yard = $19.49

The notions. The notions for this project are minimal. The only thing I needed was 3/8-inch elastic. But, I don't feel comfortable sewing stretch fabric without a fresh ball-point needle, so I bought a pack of those, too. It's black fabric and I think I have thread at home for black, but I bought a spool anyway.

Notions costs:

  • 2 yards of black 3/8-inch elastic at $.49/yard = $.98
  • Schmetz Ball point needles = $3.29
  • 1 spool black thread = $2.59

Total cost: $41.84

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get at least one practice skirt and two scrunchies out of the yardage, too. I think that's a pretty good deal.

More pattern resources:

  • Kwik*Sew patterns. They have several skating dress/leotard patterns and a couple of these patterns have blade soaker patterns. I couldn't find these at JoAnn Fabrics, so I'm going to have to mail-order them. *revision* I found these patterns at Hancock Fabrics.
  • Jailie Patterns. Many, many skating patterns. I think Ice Girl's new performance dress will come from here.
  • Speciaty Sportswear. O.K. Confession time. I've been all over this website and what I've seen is good, but I just don't understand what the system is.


Anonymous said...

I have to chuckle at your post on these patterns. I have been sewing my daughters dresses for over 3 years now and to be honest I cannot figure out "The system" so I have never ordered the patterns. However, I have used 6 Jalie patterns and swear by them. The only alterations I have made to the patterns is in the leg openings. The panties are just a bit high cut for my young daughter.

A Sk8Mom in Northern Wisconsin

Ice Mom said...

Oooh. Good to know about Jalie. They have a great variety of patterns on their website. If you have more sewing tips, post away!

Anonymous said...

One other tip for using Jalie patterns since you will want to keep them for future use with the span of sizes you get one pattern in.

Maybe with your sewing experience your have traced patterns, but I found an inexpensive way to do this. Use freezer paper and Hermafix removable adhesive, which you can find in any scrapbooking store. Cut the freezer paper to lay over the pattern piece you are tracing and adhere it to the pattern with the Hermafix. Once you have traced the pattern you paper will come right off and you can just rub the Hermafix off with you fingertips leaving you pattern as good as new for the next time you want to use it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just found your blog. Great fun! My 11 yr old has also fallen in love with figure skating. Since we are living in Singapore right now we are lucky to have a rink at all. I am also one of those who swears by the jalie patterns. I am a seamstress and have made quite a few dresses, competition and otherwise, from their patterns. I think I have around 7-8 of them now. They are super easy to custom fit since all the sizes for each piece are together. Like the other comment, use the freezer paper to trace out the size you need and save the master copy. I have even combined different patterns to create some new styles. Also check out they have good prices on the hot fix crystals. My little magpie likes to have lots of sparkles on her practice dresses. Thread art has hot fix crystals that aren't swarovsky and, therefore, very affordable. Around $5-6 for packs of 1440!! For that price I can afford to put them on the practice dresses as well. You can buy the swarovskys for competition dresses. They hardly charged anything at all to ship to singapore and they got here really fast. I was quite impressed with them.

Ice Mom said...

Whitney, you're my new hero. I went to that site you mentioned - 144 30SS crystal hotfix for $4.99. Thank you!

Angie said...

Speaking of crystals and saving money... I ordered some off Ebay the other day. I ordered mine from this seller. My items are enroute, so I cannot tell you the end result of this transaction yet, but the price was definately right! Check out ebay too!

Angie said...

I forgot to add this about the ebay link I gave you... the larger the lot you buy, the cheaper the overall price of the crystals seem to be. It's around 4.00 for 144 crystals, 10.24 for 720 crystals and 19.54 for 1440 crystals! I don't think those prices are too bad for the larger stones. Just a thought!

Ice Mom said...

Oh. Cheap crystals. Thank you very much, Angie. You are my hero, too!

I'm about to place an order at Dreamtime creations for some flat-back crystals that aren't hotfix, but I'll keep this site in mind, too.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. I was a figure skater 40 years ago, and sewed my own and my sister's dresses for many years. WAY before lycra and stretch velvet! My sis is now a coach, and I have once again begun sewing skating dresses. I would like to make a small business out of it. I went to Hancock fabrics and bought five different patterns. I went to the Fed X store and used their large copy machines to copy all the patterns, and then cut out one of each size. Maybe not too kosher, but it worked for me!