Okay so by now you might have noticed I am a big fan of the patterns from Tessuti Fabrics. The Lois dress is certainly no exception. I was drawn in by the beautiful ‘V’ neckline and bodice when they released this dress last year and cannot believe it has taken me until now to make it!
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We were off to the races for Adelaide Cup a few weekend ago with Kenneth’s work and I knew I wanted to make a gorgeous (shortened) Lois dress to wear. I was originally going to make it out of a beautiful lavender however I was kindly sent this gorgeous floral fabric from Faye at Faye Jepson Studio.
I only had 1m of this fabric so it was a big struggle to get all the pieces to fit! Luckily I shortened this dress by quite a lot (I think 8 inches) so I was able to just fit it all in. I cut the smallest size (Tessuti sizes tend to run a bit big so if you are in between sizes I suggest you use the smaller size) Unfortunately the top of the dress is a little bit big for me and I found myself constantly having to adjust the dress throughout the day.
The overall construction of this dress was fairly easy. One of the things I love about Tessuti patterns is the way they finish off everything so it is neat and tidy from the inside. Again (just like my Bondi Dress) the pattern calls for tear away vilene however I didn’t use this for my dress. Like I have said this is a personal preference however if you have a fabric that has a looser weave I would suggest you look into using it so your fabric doesn’t stretch out.
I love the way the sleeves are finished off with this ‘cuff’ which is attached just like binding and then folded over to the right side where it is top stitched in place to hide the seam. The sleeves are actually part of the bodice (I was trying to work out how it was going to look before it was constructed and it was making me so confused haha) and I love they way they look. Again, Tessuti have beautiful construction techniques.
One thing I wanted to share with you was a little trick I used to get the centre ‘V’ to line up perfectly (excuse the pop of bra!) In the instructions, they get you to mark the centre of the skirt with a pin and then you line up one side of the bodice ‘V’ next to that. Then you pin that side & sew and repeat with the other side. Personally I found this a bit frustrating and ended up having to unpick a couple of times as it just wouldn’t line up properly.
In the end I decided to line the two front bodice pieces together to form the ‘V’ and tack stitch them together inside the seam allowance. I then pinned the bodice to the skirt and sewed it in one go. SO much easier and my ‘V’ lined up perfectly with the skirt!!
The other really interesting detail in this dress is the way the zip is installed into the dart. I don’t have any good photos of this, and you can’t really see because of the print, but the skirt side seams actually come around to the back of the dress and the darts fall where the side seams usually would. The zip is then inserted into the dart (the instructions for making sure this lines up and stays invisible are great – I would definitely use that technique for inserting an invisible zip again)
Overall I love this pattern and would definitely make it again. I’d like to try a draper fabric next time and in something I could layer over tights for autumn / winter. Next time I will need to take some of the fabric out of the sides of the bodice so it is not as annoying (being a little bit too big)