Preface: Skating Dress Tutorial

So a few (well, more than a few…. sorry about that) months ago one of my readers had asked a few questions about my skating costumes, which I could have answered easily enough had I not been so busy at the national championships at the time.  A question from one reader turned into a few questions from many readers, and so I have decided to try and wrap it all up into one giant tutorial.

I am going to start this off with a disclaimer: this tutorial is just an example of the way I do things, not necessarily the best way for things to get done.  Since I started sewing skating costumes before I sewed anything else my methods are a mix of following pattern instructions, winging it, and developing more efficient methods and procedures over time.  I have tried experimenting with various different stitches and techniques, and I think I have settled on a “what works best for me” approach, though there are books and internet sources that will contradict me on some points.  So you can take what I say with a grain of salt, but, on the other hand, I have probably made close to 50 skating garments (for myself and others, both women and men), so it isn’t like I am making this up as I go along either.

I know most of you don’t need to sew skating costumes, but I am hoping you can take some of these techniques and apply them to other athletic gear, or basic leotards or swimsuits.  I won’t really be doing this as a sew-along, but I am going to have a few introductory posts before I get to construction, so if you want to follow as I go, you have a few days to get ready.  I plan on making two costumes for this tutorial – one from my TNT and one from a new pattern, and I will also do one with a symmetric skirt and one with an asymmetric skirt.  Hopefully during the course of the tutorial everyone’s questions will get answered, but if not I am always happy to respond to comments.

Here is my planned schedule for this tutorial:
Part I: The Info Dump – What you need and where to get it.

Part II: All That Sparkles – I won’t be applying any embellishments to my practice dresses, but since there have been a few questions, I though I would do a post for this as well.

Part III: Prepping the Pattern and Cutting the Fabric – I will also talk about my self-drafted skirt patterns and how to make one yourself and why you don’t have to worry about the pattern being “perfect.”

Part IV: Sewing the Bodysuit – Order of construction, what stitches to use, which areas of fit are important to check mid-construction.

Part V: Inserting the Elastic – Stitch options and techniques, also final fit check of the bodysuit and insertion of structural support (aka sewing in the bra).

Part VI: Sewing and Attaching the Skirt – Why skirt attachment will make or break your outfit, method of attachment, and why I favor topstitching.

Conclusion: Have Fun Skating! – Final thoughts, answers to any questions that might pop up mid-tutorial, and general sense of accomplishment post.

So, them’s the plans y’all!  I hope I get around to answering everyone’s questions, and I hope that you all find the tutorial useful and enjoyable.

8 thoughts on “Preface: Skating Dress Tutorial

  1. I'm so excited for this. I just picked up a new skating dress pattern for my daughter and a couple of leotard/bodysuit patterns from 50 cent each and some cheap spandex for just a few buck so I'm ready to follow along and learn some new techniques (elastic seems to be my downfall!)


  2. Me too. Mee TOOOOO!

    When you bought the new machine I wanted to ask you what you reccomended in fabric, but a tutorial (a whole tutorial) is much, much better!

    Thank you thank you!

    (so was that too enthusiastic?)


  3. I've made 7 (ice) skating dresses so far but I look forward to learning something new from your tutorials. I've only used Kwik Sew patterns so far but want to try Jalie.


  4. I suppose it would be silly to take up skating simply to justify sewing skating dresses… but I do like costumes a whole lot… however, I have 2 left feet and am accident-prone… maybe I will just watch from the sidelines and pick up some tips on sewing with really stretchy fabrics. 😉


  5. Thank you for taking this on. I think I was the person who asked about a pattern for the skirts. I willl enjoy the tutorials. I just moved to San Diego so my sewing stuff is all packed until we get a bigger place, so I won't be able to sew along. I do intend to refer back later and sew along then.


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