I’ve got a pretty new dress to show off. This is the Gunmetal dress from Lolita Patterns. It’s a knit dress, but different than any of the other knit dresses I’ve made.
It’s not a difficult make, per se, but between multiple ruffles, D-rings, and rouching, it is on the fiddly side. My fabric choice may have made it a bit harder on myself, since that black and white fabric curled on the edges, and the princess seams guaranteed I had a lot of edges. I had bought the black and white fabric some time ago, thinking it might make a fun top layer piece like a cardigan or something, but I had bought it on-line, and when I got it in-person, it didn’t have a warm, cozy feel like an outer layer should have. It’s been waiting for the perfect project, and this dress is definitely it.
The Lolita pattern is designed for sheer or lacy fabrics, so those top, ruched layers are all underlined. There is a separate lining inside the top. The skirt is underlined as well. I like the contrast at the front bodice, and I like my skirts on the long-ish side, so I made the underlining skirt piece a few inches longer than the overlay so the contrast can be seen at the skirt hem as well as on the bodice.
The bottom hems on the skirt layers and the edges of the ruffles are finished w/ a rolled hem done on my serger. I just used regular serger thread since I didn’t have any wooly-nylon sitting around and it turned out just fine. It doesn’t show up well in the pictures, but there are some sparkly silver threads mixed in with the black and white pattern of the fabric. Sparkly fabric makes me smile.
You can see where the waistline sits is considerably lower than my actual waist. It’s quite comfortable and doesn’t ride up. The black fabric I used as my contrast and lining is Laguna cotton (95% cotton, 5% lycra), so it has plenty of stretch and recovery. I made Espresso Leggings to match. Black Espressos, it doesn’t get any more wardrobe basic than that.
The only design changes I made to the Gunmetal pattern were to skip the ribbon down either side of the front. I felt like I was running out of room between the D-rings and the ruffles. I also took the time to add a pocket, a la Red Velvet, with an invisible zipper in the waistline. With the double-layered skirt, side-seam pockets weren’t really an option, and patch pockets would have looked odd with this design. The zippered pocket is virtually invisible, but oh, so, useful to hold the requisite ID/lipstick/debit card for the average day’s venture into the outside world.
This dress should actually have been done a long time ago, but kept getting delayed. At first I was going to make the version with buttons instead of lacing down the front. I was just getting started and talking to Pete about what I was doing. He hadn’t even seen the pattern envelope, but said something about how it sounded like the dress I was working on needed to have lacing like a corset instead of buttons down the front. Well, if he could think that without having seen a picture of the alternate pattern view, of course he must be right. So I had to wait while I ordered the D-rings to use for the lacing. She got them out to me right quick, then I realized I had no ribbon to use to sew the rings on, so I ordered some of that. Then, of course, there was the requisite procrastination time while I got distracted finishing up other things. It was worth the wait though, because this dress is a win. Pretty, but not so fancy that I can’t wear it for everyday.
If When I make this again, I’ll plan to angle my shoulder seams to take up some of the neckline room. I think I must have sloping shoulders, and certain patterns really call it to my attention. For this dress, I might have to wear a black cami underneath to avoid showing off too much when I lean over. For the record, I made a size 14, with no size alterations other than the skirt length on the underskirt.
In other news, while I was in legging-making mode, I finally switched over to pink serger thread and put together my pink Laguna cotton Espressos. They’d been cut out for a while, but my OCD side really wanted me to use pink thread and my lazy side really wanted me to wait to put pink in until I could use it for more than one project. I made the leggings, then changed the thread to ivory for the Elisalex Dress that won the Miss Bossy Patterns Vote. OCD side wins this round.
Stash-busting Stats: 18/50 projects. 32 yards.