Completed: A Lola Sweater Dress

17 Jan

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!

Sweater Knit 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.

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

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!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

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!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

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.

Sweater Knit Lola DressIt is not, however, super duper warm. Thanks, acrylic!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

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.

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

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 πŸ™‚

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

Here you can better see the color gradient of the fabric. I love this stuff!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

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.

Sweater Knit Lola Dress
And that’s it! Pretty simple, kind of a boring blog post I guess, but I love seeing the difference between these two dresses. Oh, wait, one more thing before I let y’all go-

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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚ 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!

49 Responses to “Completed: A Lola Sweater Dress”

  1. Autruche TatouΓ©e January 17, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    This dress is amazing!
    I love so much your tights!

  2. Lelie // A Bouquet of Buttons January 17, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    You will be amazing in project sewn! Can’t wait!

  3. Sueann walter January 17, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    The dress is very cute. This is actually the first Lola that I have really liked, I guess the other ones were too stiff looking for my taste. Thanks for making it and showing us another way for the pattern to meet different tastes.

    Good luck with Project Sewn, I’m sure you will be very able to hold your own in the competition.

  4. Lisette January 17, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    LOVE THE TIGHTS WANT THE TIGHTS! Anyways, it looks fabulous and definitely un-lola-like in a good way. Actually you look kind of like a sassy modern witch with the dark hair and bangs and everything. What? What is my brain doing? Does that even make sense?

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      It does make sense and I love that description, ha!

  5. Kelly January 17, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    I love this Lola! I just made a couple (one as a present, out of that Mood red rayon ponte you recommended), and I’ve been dreaming of this pattern in a sweater knit. I’m envisioning something a bit heftier and maybe even a little chunky…

  6. Megan January 17, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Love this dress. It looks super comfy, but in a pretty, stylish way (as opposed to the frumy-sweat-pants kind of looking comfy). I haven’t tried Victory patterns yet, but I really love the Lolas and Chloes I’ve been seeing around.

    And best of luck with Project Sewn! Can’t wait to see what you make!

  7. Kim January 17, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Beautiful Lola! I just finished my Lola sweater the other day, but I’m having some issues with the neckband, since my fleece fabric didn’t stretch at all.. It looks like a cool design feature standing upright now, but I already see some issues in the future. Just trying to decide if I should keep it or remove it.
    Congrats on Project Sewn, will be a super cool season! And I love your tights πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      Ooh, tough one! Maybe try inserting elastic into the binding and letting it just gather? Or you could swap out the binding for something that does stretch, if you don’t mind that the whole thing isn’t self-fabric.

      • Kim January 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

        Hmm elastic sounds like it could work! Thanks for the tip! I was thinking of just taking out the binding part and just folding it under.. But I’m afraid that would make the neck opening quite big.. I’m just going to sleep on it for another night πŸ™‚

  8. sallie January 17, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Yay! Best of luck with Project Sewn! You are going to ROCK that shit!!
    Also, love seeing this Lola 2.0. I think it’s pretty fascinating the way fabric can change a pattern. And those tights…. dawwwwwwww!

  9. sewlittletime January 17, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    love the dress but OMG TIGHTS! those are fabulous. good luck with project sewn – the line up is awesome!

  10. symondezyn January 17, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    You’re right, it does look like a completely different dress! I like how the interesting seaming is more noticeable now without the v at the neckline – in fact, I never really noticed how pretty the seaming is until now πŸ™‚ Love the tights, and very big congrats on Project Sewn – very well deserved πŸ™‚

  11. Suzie January 17, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    I donΒ΄t have a doubt in my mind that you can ace the project sewn! Your Lola looks great, and it does look comfortable. And yes, I love the tights, too πŸ™‚

  12. Louise P January 17, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Great dress and I for one am looking forward to seeing you in project sewn. You will be great.

  13. maddie January 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Wow! What a different the fabric makes. You were right – you’re previous Lola looks nothing like this. Well kind of.

    Congratulations on Project Sewn and this year is going to be great! Knock em dead, Lauren!

  14. yosami January 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Such a cute dress and it does look very different in a drapier fabric. Thanks for the tip about wrinkly seams in knits. I made a dress out of lightweight interlock knit at the end of last year that I really like but both of the horizontal seams across the body are all wrinkly and i didn’t know how to prevent this happening again. I now have some pointers thanks.
    Lots of luck with Project Sewn, I’m sure you’ll do great! Interesting themes especially the shoe one IMO, interested to see what you make for that one!

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      That challenge was particularly hard for me, as I’m not much of a “statement shoe” person. But I did cook up something fun, and I’m really excited to share it!

      • Sara Covich January 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

        Apologies for hijacking the initial comment, but I would definitely call your taller platforms “statement shoes.” πŸ™‚

        • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

          You’re absolutely right – and that’s what I ended up going with πŸ™‚ Although which pair, well, you’ll just have to wait and seeee ::dun dun dun:: lol

          • yosami January 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

            Can’t wait to see it!

  15. puu January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    i think that color on you is amazingly flattering, and of course i love the way you paired it with those fantastic tights!

  16. Amy January 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    I would have never guessed that this dress was a Lola from afar. I could imagine getting tons of wear out of it though. Maybe you don’t need it to be so warm since winters there don’t get too cold, right?! And, good luck in Project Sewn! I can’t wait to follow along this season. What a great line up of people to sew along with!

  17. Grace January 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Cute dress BUT why oh why do you (a knitter eff’s sake) keep referring to the “weave” of the fabric? Knits aren’t woven, even if they are cut&sew. Bahhh! That drives me bonkers in a completely irrational way, like when merchants sell “crochet” garments that are clearly knit. ANYWAY. Good luck with Project Sewn!!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Ouch, you’re right – that’s just how I refer to fabrics, habit I guess! What would you call it? Now you’ve got me all paranoid and overthinking things haha

      • Laura January 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

        Unnecessarily harsh-seeming comment there… Anyhoo, I’ve just made a virtually identical Lola – same colour same kind of fit – and have worn it about a million times already. Great taste! πŸ™‚

  18. Virginia January 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    I already knew about project sewn because it was on their website but it’ll be the first season I follow live so I’m really excited. πŸ™‚

  19. Gjeometry January 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Love this version of the Lola!! And, your tights?? Too adorable. Congrats on being a contestant for Project Sewn.

  20. Anonymous January 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Love both of your Lola’s! Lola 1st gen inspired me to make my own, this post came just asI am struggling with making the neckband out of knit fabric. Do you have a tip on how much s smaller to cut the neckband so it doesn’t ripple? You are such an inspiration!

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      What I do when I am not sure if the neckband is short enough is to sew it on while the neckline is flat (aka, not in-the-round). Just leave one of the raglan seams open and sew on the binding. You can cut off the excess and then close up the raglan seam. It’s not quite as clean as an in-the-round binding, since the seam isn’t encased, but it’s way easier than doing maths. Here’s a tutorial I wrote on the Papercut blog, if you need visuals. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  21. angela January 17, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Love your Lola and can’t wait to see you on Project Sewn. You willl be way to cute and make it super far I’m sure.

  22. missjoiedevivre January 18, 2014 at 1:27 am #

    This is the first Lola I’ve seen that I’ve liked, it looks so beautiful on you! And those tights, yum.

  23. Daniela M. January 18, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    Lovely dress, especially in combination with these tights! I am eyeing the Lola pattern for some time and seeing your version, I really want it now!

  24. Maggie Cawthorn January 18, 2014 at 3:46 am #

    I am really excited you are a contestant because yours is my favourite blog! I love the styles you pick just my cup of tea ( I’m English,yes we really do say that) and you have I traduced me to lots of sewing and knitting patterns. Good luck.

  25. Janet January 18, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Thanks for sharing this make. This one is in the cue. I love the lines of the dress but wasn’t convinced the sweatshirt look was for me. Thanks for exploring the fabric options and providing such excellent detail

  26. Gema January 18, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    I’ve not posted on here before, but I HAD to – just to say, you’ll be FABULOUS! If you talk anything like you write, and sew anything like you…er…sew… You’ll be a force to be reckoned with, just as much as anyone else on Project Sewn. (I really hope there’s YouTube footage, we don’t have it here in the UK)! Break a leg!!! X

  27. goodbyevalentino January 18, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    Nothing boring about this, Lauren! Really cute on you. πŸ™‚

  28. Kimberlypearl January 18, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    I have been very interested to try this pattern for awhile. Seeing your different versions makes me want to try it even more!

  29. ltinuviel January 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Very nice Lola πŸ™‚ and so different from the first one
    and I love the tights πŸ™‚
    Good luck for the Project Sewn, I can’t wait to see what you’ve got πŸ™‚

  30. gingermakes January 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Oh, this is fun! It looks great!

  31. mancunianvintage January 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Looks lovely – such an easy yet elegant wear! Best of luck with the contest!

  32. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) January 23, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    I love this version of Lola. I am so gonna copy what you’ve done when winter rolls around again. My first make I used a ponte but the top was too small so it tight around the arms, but I so want to make it again.

  33. Samantha January 23, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Ohh…I love it, it looks like it would be comfy. I really love those tights!!!

  34. kimmie January 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    I NEED THOSE STOCKINGS!!! Oh wait, no one sees the backs of my legs. Boo.

  35. Sarah W. February 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    So lovely! I love the color and long sleeves.


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