So many good things come in pairs.
And… ROLLER SKATES!
Back in the day, the Skate Corral was The. Place. to be. We’re talking the epitome of grade school coolness. For just a couple bucks you could spend hours skating in a circle inside a somewhat smelly cinderblock building that had essentially no ventilation with all your other cool seven year old buddies. And maybe popcorn if your mom sent an extra dollar.
Oh, the memories. The “classic” skating time where you could chat. The dice game that I still don’t understand, but someone won a soda. Partner skates (but NEVER with a boy. Boys had cooties). Hokey Pokey. Backwards skate. And that crazy skate that may or may not have had a name when they turned the lights off and the music loud, then ran the smoke machine and the disco ball.
In honor of all those nights (or afternoons… we were seven after all), I made Grace a pair of Roller Skate Dresses for spring. Just like that plain cinderblock building (which has since been bulldozed into a Lowe’s parking lot), this pattern may not look like much. Until you get started! I’m in love. It’s simple to sew with super clear directions – a given from Oliver + S. But once you get going there’s so much potential. Something as simple as fabric choice changes the look completely.
The “Classic” Skate
This dress is straight from the pattern – view A, no changes except length. Any more, if I’m going to make a dress for Grace I’m going to make it really long. She’s growing like a weed!
I love how regency-inspired this dress turned out. If anyone knows me, they know I’m more than a little fascinated by Jane Austen and the culture of that era. I’ve spent longer than I will confess to studying the fashion history of Regency Britain. I hadn’t started this project intending to make Grace a regency dress, but hey! The Roller Skate pattern skates that way, too!
The outer is a white eyelet from my stash – I’m pretty sure it’s 100% cotton but I didn’t do any tests to confirm that. The baby blue lining is broadcloth, 65% poly 35% cotton. I’m crazy about the way the blue shows through the white. My plan is for this dress to be Grace’s church dress through spring and summer.
Oh, and shorts out of leftover broadcloth. Because she’s a preschooler and thinks her tummy is cute and the whole world needs to see it.
The “Crazy” Skate
Same pattern, completely different dress. Introducing: view B with several key modifications. First, I added a hem band at the bottom. This serves two purposes – to lengthen it a little in a different way, and to keep me from having to hem. I don’t know why I hate hemming so much. It also makes the hem very strong for when she does things like this:
The other big modification is that I only lined the bodice of the dress. This is a summer play dress. Our summers get pretty hot and extremely humid. I decided that one less layer would make Grace a happier girl. To achieve this, I cut the pattern off 1/2” below the lower casing line. I turned that ½” up with my iron then sewed the casing per pattern directions, which placed the lower line just at the edge of the lining.
Grace picked the fabric, can you tell? It’s from Anne Kelle’s Urban Zoologie line. I’ve had it around for about a year but couldn’t decide what to sew with it. The dress is crazy bright, but so is my little girl. Never a dull moment around here!
There will probably be more Roller Skate dresses in my future. I started out just wanting to get my use out of the pattern before Grace outgrows it but now I’m in love. It’s easy to sew and easy to wear. I’d love to make her a tunic version to wear over capris, but Grace is still in her hating pants phase. That’s ok – dresses are awesome anyway :)
Pattern: Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S. White – view A. Cats – view B
Fabric: White: Eyelet from unknown source. Blue broadcloth from Joann’s
Cats: Anne Kelle Urban Zoologie Cats in Spring colorway, from Fabric.com (not available). Pink quilter’s cotton from stash