Third time’s the charm!
I have attempted the True Bias Lodo dress twice before, but neither has been successful for me. The first one I sewed was in a wool jacquard, in tunic length, and I promptly shrunk it in the wash. The second one wasn’t even photographed, worn or blogged – I chose a fabric that was too lightweight and not drapey enough and it was just a big NO. This time? Just right!
I now suspect that the key to making this dress work is in the fabric choice. You need something that is soft and drapey, but still substantial. This printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics was perfect for it.
The fabric is still available on their website here. It’s described as coming in a dark navy colour. There’s nothing navy about this fabric – it’s black. I held it against all the navy and black fabrics in my extensive stash, and believe me, it’s black! I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I’d known it was black (I find it a pretty harsh colour against my extremely pale skin tone) but the goldish geometric print lifts it enough to still be workable for me.
The neckline and armholes on the Lodo dress are faced with a woven. The entire dress was sewn on the sewing machine, with no overlocker involvement. I really like the finish that the woven facings provide, and made sure to understitch the facings before turning them to the inside, pressing and topstitching.
I chose to sew the longer version of the dress this time, view A. I sewed size 12, did a half inch forward shoulder alteration on the dress and the neck facing, and did a half inch sway back alteration to account for my short back waist length. I also took a one and a half inch hem rather than a one inch hem – I’d meant to shorten the pattern at the lengthen/shorten line before cutting out, but forgot. I was concerned that the finished dress would be too long, but it turns out that it’s quite okay.
The centre back split is extremely easy – it’s an extension of the back pattern piece, so the centre back seam is simply sewn down to where the extension begins, then it’s pressed open and topstitched. I used double sided fusible tape to hold the extension in place before topstitching it down, and used the tape again to secure the hem before stitching.
From the True Bias pattern page: The Lodo pattern is an elevated take on a basic t-shirt dress. It has a straight fit through the waist and hips and a slightly tapered hem to create a subtle cocoon shape. It has a flattering deep V neck at center front and an extended cap sleeve. Both the neckline and armholes are finished with a woven facing for stability and structure. View A has a hem that hits at mid calf with a slit at center back for moveability. View B’s hem hits a couple of inches above the knee. Suggested Dress Fabrics: Medium weight stable knit fabric with an approximate 25% stretch such as ponte, cotton interlock, and lightweight scuba.
The Lodo dress was originally launched in April 2017. It has recently been re-released in two different size ranges, and now comes in 0-18 (C cup draft) and 14-30 (D cup draft). The 14-30 size range includes bust darts. Now that I’ve made the right pattern adjustments for my shape and have worked out the best fabric type for me I will be sewing more of these! I reckon they’d be great for winter layered over a long-sleeved tee, with colourful tights and boots. And of course, I’d like to give the just-above-the-knee option a try.
I have some of the fabric over, hopefully just enough to eke out a Blackwood cardigan. I’m going to be on a constant lookout now for just the right type of fabric! I have noticed that one of Style Arc’s freebies for this month is also a simple V-neck knit dress. I think there are still enough style and fabric differences between the Lodo and the Kitt for me to sew both of them. A slightly cocoon shaped dress in a knit (with a V neckline!) is really my jam.