I was honored when Lolita patterns asked me to make a version of their new dress, Gunmetal. I thought it would be an interesting challenge because their patterns, as shown on their envelopes, really aren’t my style. I’m not into gothic, I’m not into super-feminine, and I feel silly wearing most ruffles. But, underneath the styling, lies a nice pattern that can be made simply for a great, casual, comfy, everyday dress.
I made a lot of changes to the pattern, but they are all simple things that anyone can do. I rounded up to the nearest size (as they recommend) and found that it gave me a good fit through the bust and shoulders but I had to take a LOT in from the waist to make it fit me nicely (my waist is several inches smaller than their block, which was clear from the pattern envelope, so I knew I would have to do this). I chose to take the majority out from the side seams to preserve the shaping of the front and back center panels. I took volume out of the skirt and raised the waistline up to my natural waist. I didn’t use any overlays (so no ruching) or ruffles and I added length onto the sleeve. I removed the extra volume from the sleeve cap (for a fitted sleeve cap. It’s hard to see in the line drawing but it’s quite gathered) and cut away a bit of the front armhole (something I often do for my shoulder shape). I made a simple bias neckband to replace what was supposed to be a ruffle.
My dress ended up pretty much a skater dress, which is on trend right now, but with an interesting bodice. The purple fabric is a lightweight sweatshirt knit, left over from Adam’s Newcastle Cardigan, and the black is fine wale knit ribbing. It was the perfect thing to pair with the sweatshirt knit as the dress is designed to be used with a stretchy fabric and the super stretchy ribbing balances out the not-so-stretchy sweatshirt knit. I wanted this to be a dress I could wear through the (California) winter, so I went ahead and lined the bodice with self fabric, as suggested. This thing is seriously comfy but super cute, so it’s going to get worn a lot!
I did keep the front placket (although I’m not sure it really needed to be on the bias) and happened to have these fabulous purple and black velvet buttons that I added to the front, using my own button spacing. And, since it’s in the middle of the Bow Neck Blouse sewalong, I added a little black velvet bow at the top button. I thought it was a cute nod to the girly stylings of the original pattern, still in keeping with my aesthetic, and a fun way to echo the velvet buttons.
To celebrate the release of their new pattern, Lolita Patterns is offering a free copy of Gunmetal for me to give away on my blog! Simply leave a comment on my blog before the end of the week (11-24-13) to be eligible. [Giveaway is now closed]