Lolita Patterns Gunmetal Dress [Giveaway Closed]

lolita patterns gunmetal dress purple black

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.

lolita gunmetal dress back knit

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!

purple black bow neck dress with velvet buttons

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.

Gunmetal skater style dress back

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]


Comments 25

  1. I’m loving this pattern! It looks terrific on you, as well. I have been having such trouble finding dress/top patterns to fit my frame and I do believe that this one will be a winner. I’d love to win it!

  2. I like what you did with this pattern to make it fit your style. I’m not really a ruffle-girl either and would probably have stayed away from such a pattern for that reason. Good to see that it also looks good without the ruffles.

  3. I love how fun and flirty this is. Definitely in keeping with the vibe of the pattern, but still suits you. Nice work! The fabric combination is really great as well.

  4. Very cool new dress! The buttons really set it off, and I love that you not only made it fit your personal aesthetic but also added a bow in honor of your Sew-Along. You are a sewing machine these days! I hope your paper and thesis are going well. I want you to hurry up and move back to Seattle!

  5. This looks like such a great pattern. I love the gothic/girly thing it’s got going on, but your version is so cute!

  6. Wow, seeing your version has completely turned around my thoughts on this pattern? I was thinking ‘cute, but not for me’, since, well, ruffles just ain’t my style. But the way you’ve done it? Super cute! I’d love to be in the draw please, I’m now seeing lots of possibilities with this one. :-)

  7. what a great transformation! i love lolita fashion but it’s really not for every day-your version would be

  8. I would wear that dress all the time! Purple and black are my colors. If I were to make one it would be similar to yours only longer (I don’t have your nice legs). Great job!

    (I hope I win so I can make one, too!)

  9. Another lovely fo! I’m really impressed with how you took a pattern that some would term very niche and turned it into something that would work for you in your daily life. Of course, I really like the pattern of its own regards too!

  10. Cute! I love the purple and black color combination, and those buttons are perfect. I like the changes you made to the pattern to make it your own.

  11. This is super cute. I really like view a of this pattern, although I would leave off the ruching.Your version turned out super cute, I love the combo of black and purple.

  12. I really like what you did to make this pattern more you. I’m with you on the ruffles, although I’d probably give the ruching a go. And make it twice as long. What’s with all the super short skirts these days?

    1. Post

      In this skirts defense, I raised the waistline up several inches without lowering the hemline to accommodate.

  13. I like your version a lot! And the color combo you put together. Looks fun, pretty and comfy! Would love to win a copy of this pattern too! ~Laurie

  14. Very cute! I really like how you’re modeling a skater dress in front of an awesome wall of graffiti. I need to find some good walls near my place. :)

    Have you worn this dress to the lab? It’s short, but it looks pretty comfortable to move around in!

    1. Post

      Yes, I have worn the dress to lab. Although I will admit to having no regard for “work appropriate” when it comes to attire and I have certainly worn skirts that are much shorter :)

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