Striped Lola Dress
As I hinted in my post yesterday, I made a Lola Dress!
To tell you the truth, I’m feeling ridiculously pleased with myself and over the moon with my new dress. What makes me so happy:
- It’s a successful pattern hack (even if it’s a rather simple one)
- The fabric has amazing drape and when I put it on I just feel like swishing around
- The dress is super comfortable, flattering (well I think so) and easy to wear. A wardrobe workhorse in the making?
- What’s not to like about the start of a new year?
The pattern hack was really quite simple (a shortened back and front pattern piece with a gathered skirt added to it) but it did involve some trial and error, as outlined below. Although, can I suggest if you are using my notes that you skip the ‘doubt yourself’ part in the middle.
- I tried on one of my Lola Tees and measured the side seam from my underarm to my natural waist.
- I traced the front and back of my Lola Tee pattern (small graded to a medium in the bust) and cut it off at the measurement in point 1 plus seam allowances.
- The next day before cutting into my fabric I doubted myself. I held up the front pattern piece to my body in front of the mirror and it looked way to short. I promptly added 2 inches to both the front and back pieces.
- I fussy-cut the striped jersey (more on that later) and then made up the tee in my usual way without hemming it.
- I reinforced, using fine fusible stay tape, the raw edge of the bodice and marked the centre front (CF) & centre back (CB) points.
- For the skirt, I joined my remaining length of fabric the at the selvedge. I didn’t want to cut into this fabric as there was enough to make a ‘normal’ Lola Tee if the dress was to fail!
- Using the newly created seam as one point, I marked the top of the skirt in four even places.
- I sewed two lines of gathering stitch – one in the seam allowance, one below it – and I gathered the skirt to match the circumference of the bodice.
- With right sides together, I matched and pinned the four points marked on the skirt to the side seams and the CF & CB points on the bodice.
- I joined the skirt to the bodice and removed the gathering stitches
- I hemmed my new dress and tried it on… D I A S T E R !
- The weight of the skirt was pulling the bodice down to a most unflattering point. The bodice/skirt seam was at belly button level. Eeekkk! The bodice needed to be shortened by 2 inches, the exact two inches that I added when in doubt above. S I G H…
- I took a deep breathe, got my scissors out and remedied the problem by cutting and re-sewing.
- The result – a dress that makes me H A P P Y… and you can’t ask for more than that!
I spent ages cutting out my fabric to ensure that the navy (the darker and more forgiving colour) was were the bodice joined the skirt. Thankfully I was still able to achieve this even when I made some fitting changes on the fly! Apologies in advance for stating the obvious, but I’m very fair-skinned and I wanted to avoid the beige being next to my paleness. The neckband is in navy, the arm-band hem is in navy and low and behold the hem is navy too!
I overlocked all my seams and I’m pretty chuffed with the accuracy of my stripe matching.
It took me two goes to get the hem to the right length on this dress. I’ve found that if I’m not sure, a photo of me in the item is much more helpful than looking in a full length mirror. Go figure? If I’m still unsure, then I text the photo to one of my sewing blogging buddies who are always super helpful. In this instance… thanks Rachel.
Pattern: Tessuti’s Lola Tee made into a dress by shortening the bodice at my natural waist and adding a gathered skirt
Size: S graded to a M at the bust
Fabric: Stripey navy and beige viscose jersey purchased from Tessuti (Melbourne) in the week before Christmas
Alterations: As described above in points 1 – 14