The Lola Dress
And just when I think I’m going to slow down on doing pattern testing this year, Forget-me-not patterns comes out with this beautiful dress and top pattern. So here I am again. This is the Lola dress and it is so perfect for spring.
The Lola Pattern includes a top and dress with two different neckline options (boat neck and scoop neck). The back of the garment has a yoke, inverted box pleat and optional ruffle. But, the best thing about this pattern is that there are three different front pieces depending on your high bust to full bust ratio. That means you can choose the small, medium or full bust piece and not have to worry about doing your normal bust alterations.
My version of the Lola dress has the boat neckline and the ruffle at the back. I used the tie at the waist to give me more definition, but it can also be worn without it for a looser silhouette.
The fabric is the Famous Maker Amara Abstract Rayon Challis from LA Finch Fabrics. I am so happy that I finally cut into it. I bought this (and a few other) amazing fabrics from them during their Black Friday sale, but haven’t found the right thing to make with them. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew this was perfect. Although the pattern calls for 3 yards of fabric for the dress in a size 38, I only had 2 yards of the fabric and was able to make it with room to spare.
I was able to reduce my fabric consumption significantly by doing the following:
- choosing the boat neck instead of the scoop neck. The scoop neck requires a bias strip for the neckline. Cutting a piece on the bias always increases fabric use
- cutting the pieces flat instead of on the fold. I was able to get both the front and back pieces to fit beside each other which reduced the amount of fabric by quite a bit
- instead of cutting the tie belt parallel to the selvedge and mirroring it on the short edge, I cut two tie belts perpendicular to the grain, added a 5/8″ seam allowance on one side, and sewed them together in the middle. Other than having a back seam in the belt, I don’t think it really makes a difference.
The last few sewing projects I’ve worked on have been really fast sews. This dress took more time to work on because of all the details. The pattern called for delicate finishings, such as double-folded hems and pin hems. If you have never done a pin hem before (and I hadn’t) get ready for a nerve-wracking experience!
This pattern is really well written. I loved the explanations for the pin hem and double-folded hem. Jo also gave great instructions for how to choose the right size to make.
I am so happy that I had the opportunity to sew this dress during the testing phase. I know that it will get a lot of wear, and that I will make it again in both the top and dress forms. After all, I need to try all of the neckline/hemline combinations! I may opt out of the ruffle for the next versions, as I almost always wear a sweater and so it might look a bit bulky under there.