Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pattern Review : A Nautical Lace-up True Bias Lodo Dress

I'm back with yet another striped number. I hope you're not tired of seeing stripes on this blog!
This time, I went for a more colorful stripe fabric with nautical vibes. I took advantage of a 20% birthday discount at Style Maker Fabrics back in March and treated myself with this gorgeous Nautical Stripe Rib Texture Navy Ponte Knit (it's sadly sold out now).

 It's a mix of white, navy, red and pink heavyweight ponte with rib texture. I bought 2 yards of it without really knowing what I was going to make. Fast forward to the month of May with the rise of temperatures here in Nor Cal and finding myself reaching over and over again for my Inari dress (which I still need to write a blog post about) and the Simplicity 1366 ruffle sleeves dress!

Named Clothing Inari Dress (mmm17 pic)
Simplicity 1366 dress
I wanted to wear more shift and cocoon style dresses but rather than sewing another Inari and after seeing all the cute Lodo dresses popping up on Instagram, I opted for the latter. The fabric choice was inspired by a new French designer I discovered via a French Instagrammer. She had posted a top from a French magazine made in the exact same stripe fabric. How cool is that?

The designer Frnch Officiel Spring/Summer collection has some amazing stripe tops, sweaters and dresses. I was immediately drawn to the lace-up ones since I've been on a grommets quick recently.
While taping the Lodo dress from True Bias last week, it suddenly hit me that I could make it a lace-up by adding grommets to the V-neckline.

The pattern is quick to tape and cut. I added 2 inches to the length since it's drafted for a 5'5" woman and I'm 5'7". I cut a size 10 and graded to a 12 at the hip. It fits perfectly without any additional alterations.

The cocoon shape is really flattering and sure enough after cutting the fabric and basting it to check the fit, I was sold. 

 The stripes on the fabric were uneven so I almost thought I ruined it since it wasn't aligning properly with the pattern's grainline. I was relieved after basting it because it miraculously evened out with minimal stretching and stripe matching!

 Another interesting feature on the Lodo dress is that the facings are cut out of a woven fabric. I thought it was a clever idea and adds stability to the neckline and armholes and prevents the knit from stretching out. Because I was adding grommets, I interfaced the bottom part of the front neck facing for more stability.

After consulting my fellow sewists at a recent  Bay Area Sewists meetup, I went with gold grommets and a black cotton lace cord. In retrospect, a longer one would have been better. I'm planning on changing it to a longer length and add beads to the ends.

 Before sewing the side seams, I added the grommets. I wasn't sure how low the v-neck was and how many grommets to add on each side so I started with 2 and after trying it on a couple of times added 2 more. The construction is very easy as well. You really don't need a serger to complete this dress.

 I wore the dress twice already since completing it. I need to make another like yesterday!

Or maybe 2 or 3 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stripes and Eyelet Top Review: McCalls 7570

Wow! It's been a while since I've blogged! I'm still sewing but have been essentially posting my makes on Instagram. Toward the end of the year 2016, I've been productive and will eventually do a blog post on what I sewed. 

Homeschool life has taken a new turn for us since my older two joined a local Speech Club and started competitive speech. While it's a demanding activity, we're enjoying the road trips and attending various tournaments across the state. I also made a couple of tournament dresses for my middle one. 

I really look forward to summer so I can finally get some me time.

Here's the latest addition to my me-made striped tops. A few months ago, I discovered Sea, a new-to-me designer and fell in love with their fun and creative clothing line. They take eyelet fabric to the next level by mixing it up with different fabrics such as knits, French Terry, denim, lace, etc... My favorite one is the striped top with eyelet cuffs and a lace up back over an eyelet insert.

I was going to alter an existing top pattern when McCalls came up with the perfect pattern in their early summer collection: the McCalls 7570. It definitely saved me some drafting time. 
I then set out to find a light blue striped knit and some blue embroidered eyelet fabric. I scoured the internet to no avail until I had a light bulb moment while shopping at Old Navy. 

I found the perfect light blue medium weight striped knit dress and a buttery soft off-the-shoulder blue embroidered Tencel dress that I could just upcycle. They were both on sale so I grabbed the biggest size I could find. Total cost: $40. Not bad compared to the $300 price tag for the Sea top at Intermix or Shopbop.

The pattern fits right out the envelope with minor adjustments. I cut a size 12 and reduced the length by almost 4 inches due to my short torso and where I wanted the hem to fall. My other usual alteration is to reduce the sleeve cap by 1 inch. The back insert is gathered which makes the back neck seam bulky when attaching the back facing. Had I used a lighter fabric, the result would have been different. The front bodice has a binding.

This pattern calls for buttonholes on the back band where the ties lace up the back. I used grommets instead and had fun setting them in. I can't wait for my next project with grommets. 

I really like the fit of this pattern. It's very flattering!

I love this last picture! I debated over adding the pleated cuffs or not and finally decided they were a nice touch. After all, it is the Year of the Sleeve!

Until next time!