7 February 2014

Lovin' Lola


Do you ever sleep in your homemade dresses because you can't bring yourself to take them off? I confessed on Twitter this week that that's exactly how I felt while making Lola. Turns out that Kristiann, the talented lady who designed this dress, often wears her Lola to bed. Who can blame her?



Lola is an easy-fitting sweater dress from Victory Patterns. The pattern was given to me to review by Backstitch. They stock a mouthwatering selection of indie dressmaking patterns from the likes of Victory, Wiksten, Megan Nielsen and more. What's quite unusual is that Backstitch also sell digital versions of some of the patterns, so if you want to make your own Lola, like, NOW, then you can!

I've wanted to make this dress ever since I saw Dixie's Red Hot Valentine's version, and there must be something in the water because loadsa lovely Lolas have been popping up all over the internets recently - chez Katie, Lauren, Rachel...



Mine is made in a thick fleece-lined sweatshirt knit, 'Adidas' according to the man I bought it from in Goldhawk Road, and actually I believe him as the quality is excellent. It is just sooooo warm and snuggly, it's like wearing a duvet! A duvet with massive pockets. I opted for a contrast neckband and cuffs in a red rib knit from The Cloth House. The design also calls for a rib knit hem band, but I decided to leave it out. Firstly because the stretch of the rib knit would pull the hem in slightly just below my bootilicious hips and thus accentuate them, and secondly because the contrast stripe cutting horizontally across my thighs would make me look even more vertically challenged than I am already - all in all, it wouldn't be a great look on me. So instead I overlocked the hem, turned it under and topstitched it, trimming the pocket seams down first to reduce the bulk under the hem.


I love the style lines of this dress, with the princess seams flowing down the body and the curved waistline swooping from empire waist at the front to drop waist at the back. However, the complex way the pieces come together did mean that adjusting the pattern to fit me was a pain in the bum. I couldn't be bothered to make a toile, just made some changes to the pattern based on my measurements before cutting the fabric, shortening the torso and grading between three sizes to match my proportions. I made new lengthen/shorten lines as they didn't seem to go full circumference, and there was a bit of guesswork involved in which part of which seam would need to be at which point between the three sizes I was grading between... but I got there in the end! And once I'd figured that out, the actual sewing was super speedy, I just whizzed it through my overlocker and had a finished dress in no time.


Conclusion? This is one of my favourite things I've ever made. A snuggly, stylish, wearable duvet. With mammoth pockets. What more can you want?

Want to see THE most favouritest thing I've ever made? It's just gone to print - eep!

PS. Mum - stop looking at the Nora Batty wrinkles in my tights!

59 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to make this for ages. I love your version, mmmm... a snuggly duvet with pockets sounds amazing! Looks gorgeous too!

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  2. It's amazing how you make this sweater dress look so feminine! Lovely!

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  3. Well, that settles it! I need this pattern!

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  4. I once made a pair of faux fur trousers as part of a Mr Tumnus costume (probably my favourite costume EVER!) and then continued to wear them as pj bottoms till they fell apart...so cozy, may have to whip up a pair again!

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  5. I just refashioned a sweater into a skirt on Monday and have worn it everyday since for the same reason, it's so snug! But now I want this dress too. And my tights *always* go droopy at the ankle (though thankfully they usually stay up on the waist!)

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  6. This is absolutely gorgeous Tilly. I love it without the band at the bottom and those contrast cuffs are just too cool.

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  7. That is beautiful! You rock the look too, Tilly. I fear that if I wore that I'd look like a burst sausage.

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  8. I feel like this is your Tilly version of the "onesie" :) I want one!

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    1. Haha you're so right! I could never bring myself to wear a onesie, but I do so love to be snuggly.

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  9. Great dress! It looks so cosy and warm x

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  10. It is a great look. I've been swooning over the Lola for some time. Like you say so many beautiful versions out in blogosphere. You may have put me off though if the pattern pieces are hard to undertsand and match up. I'm a confident beginner would you recommend or wait until I've got more sewing knowledge under my belt?

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    1. It's not the easiest pattern in the world for beginners because of all the seams involved, but I wouldn't want to put you off if you're up for the challenge. What's the worst that could happen? ;)

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  11. Cute dress - adds to list of patterns to make-

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  12. Ah I love this Tilly, and navy with red contrast bits is one of my favourite combinations ;-)
    The ribbed hem band is what's put me off this pattern before now, so thanks for the brainwave ltip of eaving it off - it looks fab. LOVE the ginormous pockets too! xx

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  13. A really, really fantastic make. I am sooooo into comfort dressing these days. Fear (not really) I may be ordering this pattern.

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    1. Oh you will LOVE this pattern, Karen! x

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  14. What a cute Lola.. perfect for this sad weather we are having at the moment. Beautiful and inspiring work as aways! xx

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  15. Adorable! You remind me of a 60s flight attendant, in the best possible way.

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    1. Sixties flight attendant is a look we should all aspire to :)

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  16. Ooh, I like that! I'm still quite new to this dressmaking mularkey so it's always good to see patterns made up and worn by real people - it makes me feel that it may not be totally beyond my developing talents! :-)

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  17. love it. i've never been a fan of this pattern despite fave reviews, but seeing without the hem band is perfect - that's obviouisly what was putting me off! love the contrast colours as well.

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  18. I don't wear my me mades to bed, but I did sleep in my winter coat when the "polar vortex" invaded in early January. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

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  19. So, do you think this would work in polar fleece? Love it! ~Teri

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  20. I love how 'you' you made this - cute and mod rather than overly sporty. I want another Lola now!

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  21. I absolutely love this, but where on earth do you get the ribbing for the cuffs and neckline from?! I've had a quick google and can't seem to find anywhere online (though that probably just means I'm searching for the wrong thing..) and pretty sure none of the very limited selection of fabric shops we have in York stock it :( !

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    1. I bought it IRL from The Cloth House in London. I'm not sure where to get it online I'm afraid...

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    2. Dragonfly Fabrics stock a few, (mostly striped) ribbings
      http://www.dragonflyfabrics.co.uk/cotton/jersey/product-1238.php

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    3. Thanks guys, will have a look, so desperate to give this pattern a go now!

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  22. Ahh, Tilly, this is SO adorable! I love that you used a contrast color with the ribbing, especially at the little v... it makes the neckline look totally different and amazing. You know this means I'm about to shamelessly copy you, yes? :)

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    1. I would be HONOURED if you copied me, Lauren!

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  23. Blue and red (and their hues) are truly "Tilly's coulours". This Lola convinced me to try this pattern as well. Now when I know the way to Goldhawk Road ...

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  24. This is adorable on you! I really like the red contrast. This is a pattern that I normally would never think of making for myself, but the thought of a fuzzy sweatshirt knit sounds wonderful for staying cozy at home!

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  25. I REALLY love your version of this dress! I love the red contrast; it somehow dresses it up and yet I can totally tell how snuggly it is - what a perfect combination! :)

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  26. I wonder if there's any way to integrate a horizontal pocket into the princess seams. Then it would really be as comfy as a sweatshirt.

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    1. Definitely! The side pockets are integrated into the princess seams, you could just replace them with a central pocket if that's what you mean?

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  27. adorable! i love your navy version. i gives it more of a 60s vibe! And yeah i wouldn't have done it with the ribbing on the bottom either, I don't much like the tulip skirt look.
    I made a shift dress from fleece once, it was really comfy and the fleece was so nice to sew with.

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  28. That is gorgeous and suits you!
    bestest daisy j x

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  29. Where did you get your tights? They are simply the grooviest tights i have seen for a while! Love your dress, it looks so cosy...
    Alice(14)
    P.s. I am a sewer too so if you want to, i would love to hear from you.

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    1. I'm so glad you like the tights, Alice. I can't remember where I got them from though, they're really old. Maybe Topshop?

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  30. Tilly I absolutely adore your style - the clothes you make are the ones I would love to wear and this one is a particular favourite - red is my best colour in the world and I wish I could have a go at making this although you wear it far better than I ever would. Can't wait for your book Tilly, big hugs to you
    Dorothyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  31. slept in my By Hand London Anna when I crashed at a friend's place after a party. Soooo cosy!

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  32. Oh it's gorgeous! And I love the colours you've chosen! The way you've styled it makes it look super fun too. I love it!

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  33. Wow! It looks awesome! I've gone and ordered the pattern and can't wait to try this out. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  34. It looks great! I should think about making one myself - I could definitely use a wearable duvet at the moment!

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  35. I shouldn't say this, but this is the nicest Lola I have seen! I'm with you on removing the bottom band for those of us who are not so tall. It looks great on you, as well as being cosy.

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  36. Lovely stuff lady. I often fall asleep in my handmade clothes but that's more down to champers than comfort ;)

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  37. this is adorable! love the contrast red and blue. kind of nautical. and you're right, the rib knit on the hem makes the bottom pull in a bit, I've never been able to use the rib without it bunching slightly.

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  38. I love how you make every pattern you sew look completely you!

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  39. Haha I love the Nora batty comment, my mum always calls me that when I have saggy tights!

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  40. I really like your version of the Lola. I've been put off by the hem band in some versions for the same reason you mention so it's fun to see what it looks like sans band.
    Really excited to see Coco though! I am alllll over that when it's released.

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  41. "I love this post.
    Your style and vibe are great and I love your tops."

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  42. That dress is so cute! I'd probably sleep in it too! :)

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  43. I love the red sweater knit trim you added. So classic with the navy!

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