My Lady Skater Hack: Hoodie Style

Bird and Bicycle in lady skater pattern hack

I am very proud of a recent make for myself and felt like I would quickly write down my process for adding a hood to a knit dress. It all comes from this picture I saw on twitter by KirstyTeaCat one night, and I knew I had to have a hoodie dress. I took a screen capture, added it to my pinterest, and daydreamed about it. It is Butterick 4416, and likely hard to find although I didn’t even look.

Awesome butterick pattern inspiration

Next came a Curvy Collective Facebook Event. I wanted to attend the Very Curvy Sewing Celebration and Melizza and I had made a sewing date (kinda on accident on the same day.) We both decided we would focus and whip up a new dress to celebrate! I had two evenings to make a dress. I had to choose something I had already fit so it came down to the Lady Skater or the Myrtle. I love them both so much! My husband advised me well and I choose the pattern that I knew needed no alterations. The Lady Skater is such an easy fun pattern! I love it! So I cut it out of a stash black sweater knit with tan hearts that I am sure was from FabricMart in 2012 maybe? Or before?

Melizza PincushionTreats and Bird and Bicycle celebrating a Very Curvy Sewing Celebration

Before I decided to add a hood, I decided to play with the neckline. I raised the back neckline a bit, maybe 2″ and the front about 1.5″, redrawing the curve of the front and back bodice pieces. I sewed it all together with my serger, a little top stitching on the shoulders (reinforced with clear elastic) and I followed Gillian’s advice and used the gathering stitch on the bottom skirt to make the hem easier. I finished the cuffs with the hearts backwards on purpose because all the hearts are upside down and I wanted to look at some of them right side up. Call me whacky, but I like it. I also made the sleeves extra long and the cuffs actually cover my knuckles when pulled down all the way.

I was looking at the neckline and thinking about what to do. I googled “lady skater hacks” and found some brilliant alterations. Heather had added pleats, and some other people had added color blocks and all types of things. Then I suddenly remembered the hoodie knit dress and ba-bam! I made one.

I have been making t-shirts with hoods for my son and his pals lately, and I have sewn hoodies before, so the general shape and construction is known to me. It is not that complicated, but if you haven’t done it before maybe find a google video to watch first.

I measured my neckline so I would know how long to make the hood, and drew a rough sketch. I knew that I needed a large piece that would connect to the front of the bodice because it was still a scoop neck shape. You can just barely see the small pencil line that marks my shoulder seam. I came up with this:

Hood Pattern

I drew a giant circle, added the front scoop piece, and wished myself good luck. I cut the fabric and serged the two hood halves together. Then I finished the front edge of the hood with my coverstitch. I marked with a pin the shoulder seam (I had measured it and knew it was 5.5″ inches from the center back) and pinned it. Then I pinned it right sides together all around the neckline. I serged the hood to the neckline, and tried it on. It was darn near perfect! I was worried about stability, so I also coverstitched the hood seam to the body of the dress, keeping that seam flat.

I love how it came out! I will be pattern hacking a Comino Cap Dress skirt to the Lady Skater bodice with my drafted hood next, although who knows what whacky decisions I may do next!

Lady Skater with Hood by Bird and Bicycle

If you are nervous about drawing your own hood shape, maybe you can trace a hood pattern you already have (I love the hood from the Jalie hoodie!) and measure the neckline, and then add you own additional front piece to give it extra drape if you need more length. Ask me any questions if you have them!


Bird and Bicycle in lady skater pattern hack