Monday, December 26, 2022

Two Versions of the Lodo Dress by True Bias

A quick toile of the Lodo Dress took less than 1 1/2 yards of ITY in Potting Soil, one of my favorite JoAnn colors. I was able to order 2 yards (their minimum for shipping of fabric (57" wide, 60% cotton, 40% polyester, machine wash gentle cold, dry flat, cool iron, total $14.98), enough for either length of the Lodo Dress. After a spin in the washer and dryer, it lost 2" per yard, thus was only 1 7/8 yard, maybe 54" wide. I knew I wanted a below-the-knee dress, so I took 2" out of the length for view A, later using another 2" in the hem. One half of a yard remained after cutting the front and back. The facings are cut from 1/2 yard of a cotton paisley print fabric from Hobby Lobby (only $3 after 40% off, with a good bit left over after the facings were cut).

The center back and shoulders were sewn together with a stretch stitch, 09/1.5/3.0. There's no ripping that stitch out, but it looked the best of several zig zag options I tried. Facings were applied per pattern, but I did pink the edges, clip, and understitch them before basting them down. Then I used double needle topstitching on the facings, the back vent, and hem for a more professional look. The side seams are sewn at 1/4" instead of 3/8" for now. It may shrink more with wearing and washing. If not, it could be taken in.

The shoulders do not fit well, resulting in drag lines from the bust to the hip. If this doesn't resolve over time, I won't make another Lodo Dress. However, I wouldn't hesitate to try cutting the pattern back to shirt length, if I can resolve the fit issues. There's not a good cap sleeve knit top pattern in my stash.

The second version of this dress used a novelty fabric from Fabric Mart. It is 1 2/3 yard of a wild red ruffled knit, 56" wide, costing $4.20. As required by the pattern, the dress needed 1/2 yard of a printed cotton fabric for lining. This fabric is a poly/cotton blend. While the fiber content is similar to the content of the fabric used for Version A, these two knit fabrics are quite different. The ITY is a stable knit with minimal stretch. The ruffled knit is stabilized by the woven-in horizontal pleats. Without the horizontal seaming to secure the pleats, the fabric would be very stretchy and quite sheer.

Since the first version was cut on the size 10 lines, this one was cut closer to a size 8. Actually, it is a size 10 at the back shoulder and in the hips, between the two sizes at the bust, and a size 8 down to the hem. After lengthening the dress by two inches, the hem was cut to the shorter version, View B. The fabric is easy to sew, in spite of its texture. The pockets added as an afterthought were a bit difficult.

The problem was solved once I decided that pockets cut from woven material should be overcast around the edges. Once they were and the placement calculated, the actual basting and sewing were easy. Thank goodness, for the pockets are cute and convenient, especially with the printed lining fabric showing a bit. After wearing the dress, the pockets proved useless for anything heavier than a hankie. Everything else just falls out in this soft fabric.

The hem required that the pleat in the back of the fold be stitched down to prevent it from hanging down below the hemline. Once that was done, a simple topstitching was all that was required. Horizontal topstitching along the woven-in pleat lines practically vanishes in this fabric.

It is quite a success. Now that it's done, it seems that red dresses are popping up everywhere. Must be a trend!

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