Here we are with my first official I-made-this-entire-thing-in-2014 garment*! It’s a pattern repeat, but a newb in my closet nonetheless – another Lola dress!
Honestly, this is a super duper simple make – like, I hesitate even posting this because it’s kind of the equivalent of a tshirt. Which for me is fun to make, and even more fun to wear, but doesn’t really translate to ~dazzing blog post~. However, I think it’s relevant today because it’s a shining example of how drastically different a pattern can look when you make it up in a new fabric.
If you recall my first Lola, it was done up in a proper sweatshirt knit. The stability of the fabric gave the dress a nice structure – I mean, it literally looks like a sweatshirt that has been made into a dress, little V detailing at the neckline and all. For this dress, I went on the opposite end of the spectrum with something that has a lot more drape. The resulting dress is loose-fitting and a little slinky – and looks completely different!
This is a sweaterknit that I picked up while I was in Chicago. I think I picked up at Vogue Fabrics, I think, but it may have also been Textile Discount Outlet. Either way, it came from the same city that the sweatshirt knit was picked up in, so it’s kind of a fabric romance story, ha. This knit isn’t anything special – I wish it was wool, but it’s boring ol’ acrylic (on the flip side, I can throw it in the washer and drying without worries of shrinkage, so yay!). The colorway is a very subtle blue gradient, and it’s quite drapey with a slightly loose weave. I love it as a dress, but I also wish I’d bought like 10 yards of it because I’d also love it as a sweater. Oh well!
Here you can really see how the drape of the fabric affects the shape. It just kind of skims over my body and hangs nicely. Thanks to the loose weave of the knit, I did have to size down a little as I went, but I tried to keep the shape relatively loose because this isn’t a super forgiving knit – it’s so lightweight, I think it would just look lumpy on anyone, even the skinniest lady in the world, if it was super tight. The way it is right now, it’s also reeeeally comfortable. Like, lounging in the pjs comfortable.
The only construction issue I had with sewing this up is that the waistline ended up quite a bit ripply since the fabric is so lightweight. In my experience with knits, there are a few ways to eliminate this problem -
1. You can make one piece smaller and stretch to fit as you sew (kind of like how you apply binding to a knit neckline). It’s still ripple like crazy, maybe more so than before, but once you actually put the garment on a body, it should stretch to fit and it will look fine.
2. You can stabilize that sucker with some elastic or interfacing and hope it all works out.
3. Sew only with stable knits, thus bypassing all ripple issues!
4. Steam the shit outta that bad boy and show them who’s boss.
Obviously, with my positive-ease fit and lightweight fabric, my best option was #4 (I reckon I could have stabilized the waistline, but I didn’t, and I think it worked out fine). This was also the easiest option – as simple as, well, steaming the shit out of the seam and pressing it down. Ripples begone!
Also, you totally needed a second shot of those tights, right? Aren’t they adorable?? omg.
Oh yeah, no duh, I also lengthened the sleeves so they’d be full length! This totally makes this a proper, cozy sweater dress, in my opinion. I made them long enough so they’d pull over my hands with the cuffs, which is my favorite way to wear long sleeves. To lengthen the sleeves, I actually just lazied my way through and used the long sleeve pattern piece from the Sigma dress to get the correct length and width below the elbow. Obviously, the pattern pieces are different at the top – the Sigma has a set-in sleeve, the Lola has a raglan – but since they are almost identical starting at the armpit and going down, I was able to just trace the bottom half and it worked out fine. I used the cuff pattern piece from the Lola pattern, and it perfectly fit the long sleeve length. Yay! I love it when these things work out :)
Here you can better see the color gradient of the fabric. I love this stuff!
I decided to keep the neckline simple and not bother with the V detailing – I think it’s cute for a sweatshirt dress, but on this fabric, it just looked like I was trying to cover a mistake. For my binding, I just used self-fabric. I set it in-the-round and left off the topstitching as it lays just fine after a good steam. God, I love my steam iron. I can’t even express that enough.
I left off the binding at the hem, same as last time, and just pressed up a good 2″ hem and topstitched it down with my twin needle. I also omitted the pockets and just kept the dress simple.
I’m an official contestant for Project Sewn, Season 3. This is SUPER exciting and has been very difficult for me to keep under wraps (truth, if you know me at all in real life you’ve probably heard me mention this at some point or another. Sorry! I’m bad at keeping secrets when they’re this fun!), but now I can talk about it so YAYAYAY!! I’ve already been working on my projects for the upcoming contest, hence the little * at the top of my post – I have some half-finished makes from 2014 that predate this sweater dress, but you can’t see ‘em until February ;) Sorry babes! Needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the season 3 themes and I’m really excited to share them with y’all, not to mention see what everyone else makes of ‘em! Which leads me to my next concern… have you seen the other contestants for this round? YIKES. That’s a superstar line-up if I ever saw one, and I’m a little terrified :) Ha! Regardless, even if I get booted out of the first round, I think this is gonna be fuuuun!
Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to enter the knitting pattern giveaway if you haven’t already done so – entries close this Monday!