Maternity Lola Dress

Hello! Again, it’s been a while. This year has been a lot, I simultaneously can’t believe that we’re already half way through and that its only been 6 months so far… I’ve hardly sewn anything this year, compared to my previous output, but I have managed to make a few necessary garments to get me through the winter with my third trimester bump. I’ve been really reluctant to make anything specifically for maternity wear, I hate the idea of a garment that will have such a limited lifespan. Instead, I’ve been trying to make things which I can easily adapt back to a non-pregnancy shape later, or which are just oversized enough to go over my belly. I’ve made a couple of long sleeved Mandy Boat Tee’s and a Jocko Sweater which fit into the latter category, but this dress is more the former:

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This is the Victory Patterns Lola Sweater Dress, a pattern which I’ve owned almost since I started sewing but which I’ve never got around to sewing until now! I really should have made it earlier, it’s a great pattern. Sewing it was so straightforward and fun, everything fitted together and matched up perfectly and it was just really satisfactory to make. I made this at the end of April, while we were in Level Four lockdown in New Zealand, and it was a perfect snuggly comfy dress to wear at home for six weeks!

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I didn’t need to do much to alter the Lola pattern for my changing shape, the curved waist seam and princess seamed skirt make it pretty ideal for maternity wear already! I raised the waist seam an inch all the way around, which to be honest I would have done anyway as the pattern is drafted for someone longer in the torso than I am. The only other change I made was to grade out to a size 16 from just below the waist seam at the front skirt seams, then taper back to the size 10 before the hem. The rest of the dress is all cut at a size 10. My plan is to nip that extra width out of the front skirt seams when I don’t need it anymore, which should hopefully extend the lifespan of this dress!

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I used all stash fabrics for this project, as there was no online shopping in level 4! I used a fairly weighty cotton/modal french terry, which I originally bought from The Fabric Store to make something for Hamish, but he didn’t like the colour. So it’s sat and marinated in my stash for a few years, and I’m glad I pulled it out for this dress! It’s so soft and snuggly, and I like the colour matched with the navy ribbing I also dug out. It’s only flaw is how creased it gets, I feel like you shouldn’t need to iron a knit dress! I do wonder if the terry is a bit heavy when matched with this fairly strong ribbing, it’s a bit wavy and bulky looking at the hem band and sleeve cuffs. I’m planning to make another one in a bamboo terry, which is much drapier and softer, so hopefully I can get rid of some of that bubbling next time!

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Because of the weight of the french terry I didn’t add the enormous side pockets that are a feature of this pattern, but I do miss having pockets in this dress! The lack of side seams mean that there isn’t really anywhere to put more subtle ones, but maybe when I modify the skirt for post-partum wear I can look at putting some into those skirt seams…

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I took these photos a while ago, when I was around 25 weeks pregnant, but I’m still getting plenty of wear out of this dress thankfully! There’s less room in there now, but it should last me for another six weeks…

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