It took me a few years to get a hold of this pattern, a few months to get the right fabric, a couple of evenings to sew it, but only a moment to fall in love with the Lola dress. It’s like a long awaited baby, or rather, an overdue one, because it seems like every single seamstress has already made at least one!
When Irish mornings started becoming colder and crisper, I began to create my winter sewing list. Which garment would fill a gap in my wardrobe, where I did not see any apparent gaps? A sweater dress, said an inner voice from somewhere deep inside me. Immediately, two patterns came to my mind: the Jasper sweater and the Lola dress. The former has been saved for November, when I’ll need to protect my neck from the wind, but the latter was printed and assembled on the same day.
Even though, I bought the pattern a while ago, I refused to make it using regular knit fabric: my imagination pictured an unusual fabric in order for this dress to stand out. I spotted the perfect fabric in one of the amazing shops in Paris, during a sewing meet up with Kirsty, Jo, Lisa and Ninie last January. The shop owner described it as cotton with some stretch; no more, no less. From the right side, this fabric is industrially pressed so that it creates a honeycomb/smoked effect, which made it particularly attractive.
There are so many people who have reviewed this pattern, that I knew the exact alterations I had to make before even cutting the pattern. I ended up sewing a size 4, taking some fabric from the back princess seams and increasing the armscye circumference by 1 cm, which I think I will enlarge by one more centimetre for my next Lola. I was aware that the dress would require some lengthening, but I did not have enough fabric; therefore it’s a mini dress. Since I did not have any ribbing, I decided to skip the neckline hemming, but when I posted a picture of it on Instagram, gaping horribly, the sewcialist community disapproved. Using the leftover scraps from the fabric, I made a neckline binding, which created a lovelier finish to the dress. I also decided to leave a rib knit hem out, keeping the skirt bell shaped, thus easy for cycling.
Like everybody who has ever expressed their opinion about this dress online, I would recommend you get the pattern straight away! It’s comfortable, practical, versatile and amazingly simple (in a good way)! I have never received so many compliments on a handmade garment, like I’ve got for the Lola dress has. Many girls in the office asked whether I bought it at COS :) Needless to say, this is my most praised and loved garment and a new TNT (Tried and True pattern).