roller skate dress in hand-screen printed linen by Celina Mancurti (and a giveaway!)

We love handmade (of course we do…) and that extends to fabrics too.

Roller Skate Dress

I was recently introduced to Celina Mancurti’s hand-screened linen fabrics. If you follow the blog, you know I’ve written before about how much I adore working with linen. And when it’s hand-printed with wonderful simple designs like this I think it makes a wonderful material for a fun summer dress.

Celina sewed up a Roller Skate Dress using a couple of her prints–one for the body and a separate one at the hem (which makes a nice customization to the pattern, wouldn’t you agree?).

Roller Skate Dress Hem Detail

A little hand topstitching in a contrasting color is a nice touch.

Roller Skate Shoulder Detail

Here’s what Celina posted on her Facebook page about sewing the dress.

Gosh, I just love this dress.  I had so much fun sewing it, and on top of that, it brought back the fondest of my childhood memories.  Join me in a little flashback:

Where I was born and raised almost 40(?!) years ago in Buenos Aires, clothes were very expensive and quality was unreliable.  In many families there was either a dressmaker or family members in charge of sewing clothes for everyone.  In my family of five siblings, my mom and grandma were the ones sewing all of the clothes.  From dresses to tailored wool coats, all was made by hand.

While working on this dress, clear memories came back to me of my mom and grandma sewing.  My mom was the one tracing the patterns from the Burda magazine they bought each season, while my grandma created the basting stitches for each garment.  All pieces were then sewn with the Singer machine that still, to this day, lives at my parents’ house.

What a joy it was sewing this dress and going back to my roots!  The pattern and instructions for the Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S were simple to follow, and I love the freedom that the design gives to personalize it.  It was challenging to select the final combination of colors and patterns, but I decided to go with my blue ring pattern.  I used plain oatmeal linen for the neckline and belt.  And instead of making the lining shorter, I cut the dress a bit and added a band of the paw pattern in gray to the lining so it shows just a couple of inches below the hem.  The final detail is in the running stitches made with yellow embroidery thread that I used on the hem and neckline.  I think I could make 100 versions of this adorable dress…if time only allowed!

Celina has generously offered a yard of the same hand-screened linen used in this dress to one of our blog readers. So go ahead and leave a comment telling us about a good sewing memory that you have and you’ll be entered to win. (Due to shipping restrictions, the contest is only open to people with a US shipping address. Sorry, everyone else.) We’ll pick a winner on Wednesday morning at which point we’ll close comments on this post and will notify the winner by email. Not everyone can win, unfortunately. If you don’t win, you can still get your hands on this beautiful fabric in Celina’s shop.


  1. May 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm Link

    Have sewn for decades. Loved making my own clothes in high school and beyond and then sewing for my daughter. One summer I sewed dozens of shorts for all the kids.

    I guess what I enjoy most now is little girl dresses that go to charity of one sort or another. Some to orphanages in Africa and some to homeless kids in my home town.

  2. May 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm Link
    liz f

    My favorite sewing memory is picking out fabric with my grandmother. In particular, she made all of my nightgowns, and I wore them to pieces.

  3. May 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm Link

    My favorite memory is my mom frantically finishing my sister’s prom dress while her date arrived at the door. My job was to stall him and keep him entertained while those last buttons were sewn on!

  4. May 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm Link
    Heather Braun

    My mom bought me a sewing machine about 5 years ago for Christmas. I was so excited but I couldn’t figure it out. I was living in Fort Riley, KS and my mom was in Texas. I couldn’t figure the bobbin out to save my life. I was so frustrated it went back into the box never to be touched again. Then we moved to Fort Jackson, SC while I was 8 months pregnant. I still had no desire to sew, but I started seeing all of these really cute clothes. When my daughter was born my mom flew to SC and since she was here I busted out the sewing machine. She showed me how to work it, how I was putting the bobbin in the wrong way and gave me some pointers. I made a pillow case dress for my daughter. It was a happy moment having three generations in the same room and I haven’t turned back. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. May 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm Link

    Love the pattern and the fabric! I remember sitting under my grandmothers quilt frame while all the ladies hand stitched the quilt. It was so fun for me to see all the needles poking down and up to make the quilt.

  6. May 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm Link

    My earliest sewing memories are going to the store and looking through the pattern catalogs to pick out dresses for my mom to make me and my sister for different holidays. I always enjoyed that!

  7. May 6, 2013 at 11:59 am Link

    I Remember sewing at my grandmothers house each summer. She always had a top of the machine and a closet full of fabric, drawers full of notions and tins of buttons

  8. May 6, 2013 at 11:44 am Link

    I remember when I was around 7, I was doing some hand sewing at my grandma’s and accidentally sewed the doll dress to her blankets.

  9. May 6, 2013 at 11:20 am Link

    I don’t remember my mother or grandmother sewing, but I vividly remember looking through old photo albums and asking my mother about some of the things I wore. I was so impressed when she told me about making them. I still use the baby quilt she made for me after I was born, and my daughter loves to cuddle with it too, especially “when I need love and cuddles, and you’re not here”. I started sewing when I was pregnant with my daughter, 4 years ago. I hope she always fondly remembers the fun she and I have at the sewing table.

  10. May 6, 2013 at 11:18 am Link

    Being heavily pregnant and wedging myself infront of an ancient hand singer (my great-granny’s!) to make a quilt for my baby – my first ever sewing project as an adult which re-ignited a childhood fascination!!

  11. May 6, 2013 at 11:08 am Link

    Oh what beautiful fabric! My favorite sewing memory is helping my daughter sew a skirt for her special stuffed elephant. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  12. May 6, 2013 at 11:08 am Link

    When I was 12, we spent summer vacation visiting my family in France. I had an older, very chic, cousin who convinced me we should sew tunics from her favorite cotton sheets. My uncle caught us cutting them up but there was nothing to do at that point but solider on, enlisting my aunts as consultants when things started to get complicated. We made them, and wore them proudly — though I do remember hers looked so much better than mine…

  13. May 6, 2013 at 11:07 am Link

    My favorite sewing memory is actually two memories- 1) being allowed to use my Mom’s featherweight to make doll clothes all by myself. 2) Getting a note card from my 7 yr old daughter this year, telling me that she knows that I love her because I sew her clothes.

  14. May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am Link
    Terri Fisk

    My favorite sewing memory/moment was when I first successfully made something for myself. It was so empowering!

  15. May 6, 2013 at 10:56 am Link

    I learned to sew in a home economics class taught by the most patient little old lady. It started my love of sewing and of coming together with friend to sew. You meet the most kind and interesting people when you sew.

  16. May 6, 2013 at 10:55 am Link

    One of my favorite sewing memories was with my grandmother (who taught me to sew). We were making Barbie clothing with my older cousin’s prom dress material. It was a beautiful floral chiffon and as a young girl, I had never seen or felt something so beautiful. My grandma had me cut and hand sew the fabric into the dress which I was so proud of. I don’t think the workmanship was very good, but you would be hard pressed to find a prouder seamstress!

  17. May 6, 2013 at 10:42 am Link

    I come from a family of non-sewers, so I don’t have any memories of sewing at home. But I started sewing about a year ago and have made a few dresses and a cape for my 1-year-old daughter, so I guess I’ll be the one making some sewing memories for her. :)

  18. May 6, 2013 at 10:28 am Link
    Erin Waters

    When I was little, my mom made a majority of mine and my 2 sisters clothes. As I grew older, I became the “helper”, hemming dresses as my mom cranked them out and sewing on buttons, etc…I miss that time and wish I was as confident in my sewing abilities now as I was then.

  19. May 6, 2013 at 10:25 am Link
    Erin Waters

    My mom made a majority of mine and my 2 sisters clothes when we were little. As I got older, I would “help” her. I hemmed dresses as she made them, using the slip stitch she showed me and sewed on buttons. I wish I were as confident now as I was then when it comes to my abilities as a sewer!

  20. May 6, 2013 at 10:10 am Link

    My favorite sewing memory is watching my grandmother make me doll clothes on her 1920 Wilcox & Gibbs chainstitch machine.

  21. May 6, 2013 at 10:01 am Link

    I’m not in the US so can’t be entered for the draw but just wanted to say I love everything about this dress!

    My mom doesn’t sew but my aunt used to. I remember the day she gave me her tin of embroidery thread. I was thrilled and immediately made myself a pencil case so that I could embroider it. It fell apart pretty quickly but I remember it vividly.

  22. May 6, 2013 at 9:57 am Link

    I love, love, love this dress! I remember my mom trying to teach me as a teenager how to sew, she chose a Laura Ashley jumper pattern. We never sewed again after that experience, it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t start sewing again until I was 38… and in the past two years I think I’ve taught my mom a few things.

  23. May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am Link

    A favorite sewing memory is when my great-grandma made me a 2-piece outfit, with green polyester and a giraffe applique stretching over both top and bottom. She let me pick out the pattern and the color. I wore that outfit on my trip to Disneyland, and have lots of pics of me wearing it!

  24. May 6, 2013 at 9:34 am Link

    At about age 12-13, I took a summer sewing class at Singer. When I got pretty good at it, my mom asked me to make her a summer dress for work – she sewed, but never hadmuch time to sew for herself. I ended up making quite a few for her & she proudly wore them to work and got tons of compliments! That was the best – or close to it. I equally love sewing for my granddaughters now!

  25. May 6, 2013 at 9:19 am Link

    I have great memories of learning to sew from my mom and aunt, and my dad helping out with the buttonholes.

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