Tag Archives: Victory Patterns

Completed: A French Terry Lola Dress

11 Dec

Good morning, everyone! I guess I’m back to posting about sewing things… it was a nice hiatus, anyway! I had a lovely vacation, a very relaxing weekend at home, and now working on a new big sewing project (a coat for Landon!). In the meantime, I have a small backlog of projects that I’ve been meaning to post, so obviously I will start with the most recent one first, because it is my most favoritest.

French Terry Lola Dress

LOLA LOLA, I LOVE LOLA.

Y’all remember the Lola sweatshirt dress, right? Gah, sometimes I feel like – with the influx of new patterns coming out at such a rapid pace (which is not necessarily a bad thing – but it can get overwhelming at times!), we forget about the really good ones that are just a little bit older. And by older – sometimes that’s as “old” as a few months! So I’ve made it a point to re-visit some of my favorites and make them up in new fabrics. I mean, they’re a favorite for a reason, yeah? 🙂 (but don’t worry – I’ll obviously still sew up new releases as well because, ooh, new and shiny!).

Anyway, Lola was always one of my favorites! A really fun and flattering twist on the sweatshirt – here’s a princess-seamed sweatshirt dress! I’ve made this pattern twice before (see: one and two), so I knew it was a winner. Side note: While version 1 gets worn aaaallll the time (love that dress!), version 2 is gone. The cheap fabric I used meant that the dress was constantly pilling and just looked old and shitty, so I removed it from my house. So that’s that. Also, wow, I sort of almost miss having brown hair now.

French Terry Lola Dress

French Terry Lola Dress

Since I’ve already made this pattern before, this was a very quick and satisfying sew. I sewed up the size 2, and then made further adjustments to get the fitted/streamlined look you see here. I started by using 5/8″ seam allowances (the pattern calls for 3/8″, but I’m a little bit smaller than the smallest measurements so this helped with sizing down a little), and then took in the waist another 1/2″ or so at every seam. Speaking of which, I really ought to adjust my pattern pieces for this shit because I go through this damn trying on/adjusting/trying on/adjusting rigamarole EVERY DAMN TIME I make this dress! Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution – adjust my pattern pieces when I do fitting changes haha. That would save me a lot of trouble.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re making this pattern – if you want to adjust the fit at the waist, try on the dress before you attach the skirt. From there, you can pinch out the princess seams to get the fit you like (just remember to do the same to the skirt pieces so the seams match up!), but be careful not to overfit, as this really isn’t that type of dress.

Other changes I made to the pattern: I lengthened the sleeves to full-length (and redrafted the cuff piece accordingly), left off the hem band (and sewed a deep 2″ hem), and left off the pockets. Actually, those are the same changes I made to my last 2 dress. Whateverrr!

Also, wtf is going on with my hair in the last picture? And why do I look so… disgruntled?

French Terry Lola Dress

The fabric that I used for this dress is pretty fabulous! I’ve mentioned before that I get fabric from Elizabeth Suzann’s wholesale orders (ah, the perks of working in sewing!) – that’s where this stuff came from. It’s French Terry, and it came with MATCHING RIB KNIT, which I used for the neckline and cuffs. The right side of the French Terry is a smooth knit with defined stitches, and the wrong side has the most beautiful, plush loops that make this shit SO FUCKING COZY. We use it at Elizabeth Suzann to make sweaters and sweater dresses – although there, we sew the fabric wrong-side out because it looks so cool (see the Billie Sweater). For me, though, I wanted my dress to be warm and cozy – so the loops stayed to the inside. Funny, after sewing all those sweaters – this side looks rather plain 🙂 It is, however, easier to see the cool seaming details this way, so that’s good!

Sewing this fabric was fine, if not a little messy (French Terry will shed like NO OTHER, so I would really hesitate to sew this without a serger – you need some way to finish the seams). Because the fabric is so thick, my serger had some difficulties at first with stitch tension – everything was super wavy. I just upped the differential feed to the max and tweaked the stitch size, and that spaced out the stitches enough so that the seams lie flat. Speaking of which, pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever had to tinker with the settings on my serger. For the most part, it does everything automatically without my input (it’s a BabyLock Imagine, in case you were curious. The queen of sergers!).

French Terry Lola Dress

French Terry Lola Dress

Sorry these pictures are kind of crappy/all over the place. I guess I’m out of habit at this point, ha!

French Terry Lola Dress

Here’s an accidental picture that really showcases the fabric! I used the wrong side for the little sweatshirt V. And check out that ribbing! Love it when it matches 😀

French Terry Lola Dress

I guess that’s it! Really glad to have another cozy winter dress to add to my arsenal – and this one is pretty freaking cozy (while still being cute!).

One last thing – ChatterBlossom (one of my sponsors + an all-around gorgeous gal) is currently having a holiday sale! Use the code LLADYBIRD15 for 15% off your purchase, good through 12/15 (so, soon!). Whether you need a last-minute gift for someone – or for yourself (I always buy myself Christmas gifts, because I always ALWAYS get myself the best presents! Such as this necklace, ahem) – definitely check her out! I love Jamie’s stuff, and the detail in some of the pieces (such as this elephant or this mosquito) is INSANE. Actually, that’s a ChatterBlossom piece I’m wearing in these photos – the navy anchor button 🙂 Love it!

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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 🙂

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 😉 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!

Completed: The Lola Sweatshirt Dress

27 Nov

I keep complaining about the cold, being the delicate flower that I am, but for some reason I also keep finding myself in dresses on a daily basis. What’s a girl to do?
Lola Sweatshirt Dress

DUH, MAKE THAT SHIT OUT OF SWEATSHIRT FLEECE.

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

Pair it up with some merino leggings and you’ve got yourself a nice stew outfit!

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

This is Lola from Victory Patterns. A dress pattern specifically designed to look like a sweatshirt, who woulda thunk!

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

I don’t feel like I have much to say about this pattern, but I’ll try anyway. I cut the size 2, although I did take in the lower bust seams (toward the empire waist seam) and the upper skirt seams for a slightly closer fit. Actually, I recut the entire skirt because the first time just wasn’t doing it for me – I had shortened it, added the ribbed band at the bottom, and it just looked… weird. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cute look (lord know I’ve made millions of these types of fitted knit dresses with bands at the bottom, lolz, back when I used to ~sell~), but with this fabric/ribbing/on ME, it didn’t look good. So off it went, and I had to cut a new skirt because my shortened skirt was tooo short for even me. Bummer, because I had been thinking about making Landon a sweatshirt with the remaining fabric, as it’s a color that he really likes. BUT NOT ANYMORE, SORRY LANDY.

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

So, I left off the bottom band. I also left off the pockets, as I felt like they added unnecessary bulk. Of course, now I find myself reaching for said nonexistent pockets – oh well! Perhaps the next version of this dress will include them, I dunno.

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

At any rate, this was super quick to make up, especially since I used my serger for nearly every seam. And it looks pretty cute, if I do say so myself, although I think I prefer to wear this color with burgundy tights instead of brown. My favorite part is the little V at the neckline, it really makes it look like a proper sweatshirt! I debated flipped the fabric to show the wrong side as suggested in the pattern, but it just looked like I had sewn the V on backward and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

Next time, I will try this in a ponte knit, like my homegirl Sonja already did (you should probably know by now that I spend most of my sewing life trying to emulate her and her makes, it’s tru). With the sweatshirt fleece, it’s pretty casual – which is nice!, but it would also be nice in a not-casual fabric too. I might even try doing the ribbing in a matchy color, instead of the contrast I’ve got going on here.

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

Speaking of which….

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

So, the pattern calls for actual rib knit to finish those edges. Guys, where the fuck do you even find that shit? I saw a giant (like, bigger than me) pile of assorted rib knit odds and ends while I was in Chicago at the Textile Discount Outlet, and obviously I grabbed an armful (eh, they were like a quarter apiece, sue me), but all the greens I got were all wrong. And not all wrong in a cool contrasty way, they were all wrong in a “I tried to match this but I done goofed” way. So much for that! I’m a big fan of finishing knit edges with self-fabric, but this fleece is not terribly stretchy, so what did I do?

Lola Sweatshirt Dress - ribbing

Oh yeah. I went there. RIP American Flag Sweater, hope u enjoy your new life as a pillow!~*~*~*~

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

Basically, I just cut the rib knit off the sweater (including the bottom hem rib knit, but we all know how that did not work out) and treated it like it was the kind you purchase by the yard. It sews in the same way as those knit bands I looove, although I would rly rly recommend using a serger for this particular task, since it likes to shed. A lot! And it looks pretty profesh! Good idea to file away for those huge novelty sweaters you have but don’t ever wear (am I the only one with a stash of those? All right), especially since you can sew the sides up and make it into a pillow :3 lol my couch is so patriotic now.

Lola Sweatshirt Dress

So there’s that! No flat shots because I’m wearing this as I type this post, heh heh heh! Sorry, not sorry! If you were wondering, YES, I did get a hair cut! Got me some bangs, and I think I love them! I also should point out that every time I typed “sweatshirt” in this post, nine times out of ten it came up as “sweatshit.” Where is my mind. I need a vacation.

EDIT Looks like Victory Patterns is running a Black Friday sale woohoo! Take 30% off your entire order with the code “happyanny”! Thanks to everyone who alerted me of this, yay for saving money! haha!

Completed: The Simone Dress

19 Jul

Can we talk about Victory Patterns today?

Simone Dress

Specifically, let’s talk about the Simone.

Simone Dress

This is new for me in two ways – a new pattern company (well, new to me) and a new shape. Seriously, guys, I do NOT wear these loose-fitting dresses… I feel like my body gets swallowed up in the fabric and I lose my waistline, which just isn’t a good look for me. But I’ve been wanting to try this pattern since it was first released… I’m not even ashamed to admit that 100% of the reason was because the girl modeling this shit is a fucking BABE. For real. Go have a look and try to tell me otherwise. I’ll wait for you to come back.

Simone Dress

I don’t think this dress pulls me quite that far into babe-ville, personally – it’s still not totally the best shape for me – but I’m surprised at just how much I like it!

Simone Dress

For my Simone, I cut the size 2 and decided to add piping and a couple pops of contrast. Originally, I had the whole front yoke purple (like the racerback), but after I finished sewing the piping on, I pinned everything together, stood in front of the mirror… and realized how weird it looked. Like I was wearing a big, purple bib. I think the contrast yoke is a good look (the version of the top has a contrast yoke), but not with my particular fabric choices. So I ripped that shit out and made my yoke in the same fabric as my main fabric, with a contrast placket, racerback, neck binding and piping.

Simone Dress

I did have to make a couple of modifications to the pattern – namely, the original length of the shoulder straps and racerback was much too long, making the armholes sit too low (like exposing a good 1″ or more of of bra too low). Since I’d already sewn on the armhole binding at that point and I didn’t feel like ripping it out (so sorry, so lazy), I pinched out about 5/8″ at the shoulder seam and another 5/8″ out of the center of the racerback. Honestly, I should have considered these adjustments BEFORE I cut my fabric – I’m petite and I generally have to shorten those areas – but my quick fixes worked just fine, I think.

Simone Dress

The only drawback was that I now had a weird seam right across the middle of the racerback. I covered it with a little tube of my main fabric. Done and done!

Simone Dress

I also shortened the back of the hi-lo hem – it was a little too long on me, almost hitting my ankles. I did not shorten the front of the dress; that is the original length.

Simone Dress

I will admit, I didn’t care much for this dress while I was sewing it. I think it’s mostly my fabric choice, but this reeeeally looks like pajamas to me. And something about the shape of the tab reminded me too much of a tiny tie, which was throwing me off. It wasn’t until I completely finished the dress and put it on that I decided I liked it. Actually, scratch that – I LOVE it. I don’t even care if it makes me look sorta preggers from the side. This shit is COMFY and it feels amazing to wear during this heat wave.

Simone Dress

I do think the instructions on this pattern were a bit lacking, and definitely earn it that “intermediate” mark. The diagrams were mostly helpful, but there were a few that made absolutely no sense to me at all. Some of the wording was a little off, and there were a couple steps that were completely missing (such as sewing the button on the tab to anchor it down. At least… I think you’re supposed to sew a button there, or at least invisibly tack it down??). The hardest part was deciphering the pleating instructions – the diagrams showed them sewn in one direction, but the photos showed the opposite.

Simone Dress

Still, with that being said… this dress took a couple afternoons to sew. It’s not hard and you can always hit up another resource if you get stuck.

Simone Dress

Shoulda topstitched that armhole binding in purple, but I didn’t. Oh well.

Simone Dress

Isn’t this fabric fun, though? It’s another design from my new favorite new-heard-of-’em-before-Mood designer, Thakoon. Just like my previous piece of Thakoon loveliness, this stuff is super soft, super drapey, and feels like pure love on my skin. It is a little bit on the translucent side, but as long as I wear nude colored underthings, it doesn’t seem to be too noticeable.

Simone Dress

I used a gorgeous purple sateen to sew all the contrast. This one is soft and lightweight with a rich color and no stretch. I used the wrong (aka non-shiny) side to sew the tab, the neck binding and the racerback, and the shiny side to make the piping. Looking at the fabric as one piece, the two sides are quite different… but when looking at the dress as a whole, you can’t really distinguish much between sides. Oh well!

Simone Dress

This is just a random button from my stash. I thought it looked good!

Also, JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING…

Simone Dress

This dress looks awesome belted!

Simone Dress

I know so many of y’all are probably groaning so hard at my love affair with belts on everything (sorry, not sorry), but I’m actually really surprised at how well the shape looks with a cinched belt. It totally changes up the look!

Simone Dress

Personally, I plan on embracing the dress as-is, in all it’s flowy goodness… but for those of you who have been hesitant to try this pattern due to the volume at the waist, perhaps you can consider this as a solution!

Simone Dress

I can’t wait to try more patterns from this company! I already have the Lola (which, sadly, is going to have to wait until the weather cools down a bit!), but I’m also loving the Nicola too.

Who else loves Victory Patterns? Let’s fawn over them together!