reversible rayon roller skate dress tutorial

Cotton + Steel fabrics have made a splash in the sewing world since their debut in 2013.  With their modern, bold prints, the thoughtfulness about different fabric types and print coordination, and their collaborative design effort, they’re a fun group to watch and their fabrics are wonderful to sew with.

I was so excited to be asked to be a part of the tour to promote Cotton + Steel’s foray into fashion fabric: the Frock collection of rayon prints!  In fact, the fabric inspired me so much, I put together a tutorial to make a completely reversible Roller Skate Dress for you today.

 

 

I chose two coordinating prints, Gemstone Teal by Sarah Watts, and Pixel Print Neon by Melody Miller.  To me the gemstone fabric gives the dress a more vintage vibe, and the pixel print is more modern.  I love that this one dress has two completely different looks!

 

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

 

The rayon itself is so soft, so drapey and the colors are beautiful.  It was my first time sewing with rayon and it was a little slippery and shifty to work with, but still fun to sew and far easier to handle than, say, silk.  I machine pre-washed it on cold and dried it on low in my dryer, because for a kid’s garment I didn’t want to have to rely on dry cleaning, so it needed to be pre-shrunk.

 

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

 

I decided to make the dress reversible, and not in a “fold the hems under and topstitch” way. I wanted a nice and clean blind hem.  It worked!

 

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

 

The hem ends up longer than the pattern, but only a tiny bit. The pattern’s hem is 5/8″ and this method will give you a 1/2″ hem.  You could always sew the hem at 5/8″ if you want.  It doesn’t matter, construction-wise.  Let’s get started!

 

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

First, sew the entire dress as instructed, but do not trim your lining – both sides need to be exactly the same length.

Be sure to sew your elastic channel, add the elastic, do everything except the hem!  Okay I didn’t do the button until last.  But otherwise, the only thing you should still have to do to finish the dress is the hem.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Find and mark the center front of both skirts with tailor’s chalk/disappearing marker.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Separate the dress layers so the whole thing is inside out.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Now the part that’s slightly tricky to explain.  Fold one skirt layer up so the right side is showing (similar to how you machine-sew sleeves on a bagged jacket lining).  Then lift the other skirt up and around, bringing the right sides together at your center marks, and pin.  Make sure the dress isn’t twisted and you’re matching front to front.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Continue pinning right sides together, matching side and back seams.  You’ll end up with a funny donut shape but it’ll work!  Sew the hem, backstitching at each end, and leave a 3-4″ gap for turning.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Gently pull the dress through the gap you left in the hem.  Finger press, then carefully press your hem (rayon takes ironing well, by the way – just remember set your heat on low test it on an edge first).

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Slip stitch or ladder stitch the opening closed by hand.  There are great videos on YouTube if you need a refresher on how to do this invisible stitch.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

Sew your buttons on (I sewed mine a little too tight; you can put toothpicks under your buttons so they have a little slack if you need to).  I chose similarly sized buttons that both had two holes so it made it really easy to sew them simultaneously.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

And you’re done!  Two light and springy Roller Skate Dresses in one!

learn how to sew a fully reversible roller skate dress using cotton + steel rayon fabric.

If you use this tutorial to make a Reversible Roller Skate Dress, be sure to add it to the Oliver + S flickr group.  Please let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for having us along on the tour, Cotton + Steel!

Here are the other Frock tour stops in case you missed them:

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tutorial Kristin, I’d really like to give this reversible Roller Skate a try. I don’t think I’ve ever sewn with rayon before, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything to be scared of, huh?

  2. Love those prints, such a fun dress!

  3. Thanks Rachel! Not scary at all – it was like sewing slightly slipperier voile, maybe. And the feel and drape is so worth it! 🙂

  4. beautiful dress(es)! that fabric looks like a dream, and reversible is the best!!

  5. Sarah Helene

    FAB idea to sew a young girl’s dress in 2 rayon fabrics — reversible — and different colors & designs for Springtime. Your tutorial is EASY to follow and the Oliver + S pattern, Roller Skate Dress is simple. I’ve used your suggestion of a toothpick under the holes when hand sewing buttons. I agree with Gail’s comment above. Thanks for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  6. Jo

    Excellent explanation, thank you! Totally wasn’t getting it until you mentioned bagging jacket sleeves – ping! Lightbulb moment! I’ll definitely be trying it 🙂

  7. Lovely dress(es) Kristin! Glad to see how the hem works, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’d try and I’ve unpicked some very long hems where I’ve got it wrong!

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