Happy new year everyone, I wish you all the best for 2017!

My 2016 was full of changes, and a true rollercoaster of emotions: a year ago, I was leaving AI research behind to join Eléonore at Deer&Doe. It was a leap of faith to turn my back to an academic carreer after spending so much time and effort getting my PhD, but I haven’t regretted it. Being self-employed is both terrifying and thrilling, and each new day is an opportunity to build and learn new things. I am so proud of the work we accomplished, and even more enthusiastic for the projects to come! Other changes have been harder to deal with: I had to move twice, with a last-minute change of plans that had me living between two continents, far away from my home and my husband nearly half of the year, and my depression resurfaced for a while. But there were lots of wonderful moments as well: a road-trip to New Orleans to attend a beautiful wedding, another one down the East coast with my parents and siblings who visited the US for the first time, a trip to Estonia to celebrate ten years of friendship with my college roomates… Obviously with all of this my sewing and blogging productivity took a hit!

I did sew (and even knit!) a few projects since September, but they were either top-secret tests or Christmas gifts: a Mélilot for my mom, an Archer for my sister, and a bunch of baby clothes for all the newborns that have been popping up around me lately. So with the holidays approaching I felt like taking some time for myself to make something I’ve been dreaming of for years: a velvet holiday dress!


After gathering a ton of inspiration on Pinterest, I was obsessed with the idea of a skater dress in a red/pink hue (burgundy, raspberry, plum…). Unfortunately, so close to Christmas, these colors were all sold out on my usual online fabric shops. I ended up finding the perfect color at Toto, but I had to compromise by getting a crushed velvet, which wasn’t exactly the look I was going for.


Let’s keep things real: this fabric is really poor quality. It’s 100% polyester and very thin, and it’s probably meant for Halloween costumes rather than actual garments. I was very weary of the result, and I was pleasantly surprised at how it looked once sewn up. The one issue I’m having is that this fabric is super staticky, and I can’t wear the dress with tights without wearing cotton shorts underneath (which I’m doing on the pictures).


The pattern is the Lady Skater, which had caught my eye a few years back after Eléonore made it (mashed-up with the Sureau skirt). By the way, thanks to her for helping me all along this project, from lending me the sewing machine to taking these pictures in her super classy living room! 😀


I used my waist and high bust measurements (careful, not the full bust!) to pick a size 3 and sewed it without any modifications. I really like the fit for a first try, there’s maybe just the lower back that could do with a swayback adjustment.


I don’t have much more to say about this pattern: it’s super simple, but it works. I just had one complaint with the pdf file: the size lines are different colors instead of dashed lines and I do not like this at all (it’s hard to read, and also not colorblind-friendly).


I struggled a bit to do a clean hem with a twin-needle on this fabric as it kept rolling on itself, so I ended up folding the hem twice and the skirt is thus shorter than expected (especially since I didn’t lengthen it for my height as I usually do). I would normally think it’s a bit too short, but I think it works well with the style of the dress, and I’ll wear it with thights anyway.


With the scooped neckline, the 3/4 sleeves and the flared skirt, I think this pattern does wonders for my body type, so you can expect more Lady Skaters in the future! I’ve already set aside a lovely jersey with a navy and green foliage print which will be perfect for my next version 🙂


Speaking of future projects, I’m really enjoying reading about everybody’s new year’s resolutions, especially those that involve sewing (Rochelle’s #2017makenine among others). I don’t have any big plans for 2017, as my main goal is to take care of my health (body and mind). Well… you know me, of course I still have a ton of projects in mind (I listed some on Instagram) but I’ll try to take it easy for once 😉

Christmas Dress
Lady Skater – Kitschy Coo
Size 3
Crushed velvet from Toto

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