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:


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!


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!


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!


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…


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…

Winter Wiksten Unfolding Jacket

Note: I’ve been paying attention to the current conversations happening on social media about cultural appropriation and violence towards Asian communities. Since making this garment my understanding of cultural appropriation has grown and I now see how the naming of this pattern is problematic, and is a form of cultural appropriation. The pattern has since been renamed The Unfolding Jacket, and the pattern is currently not being sold until Wiksten decide the best way they can proceed with it. I’m considering other courses of action I can take, including removing these blog posts all together, I welcome any suggestions people might have regarding this. I’m very grateful to the people on social media who have done so much work to educate and inform me about these topics

A couple of weekends ago I hosted a sewing day at my place with my friends Gabrielle and Ruby. We sewed, we ate pizza and cheesecake, and my cats were total antisocial arseholes, it was great! I used the day as a chance to tick another item off my 2019 Make Nine list- another Wiksten jacket. I wore my linen version all summer, and I was really eager to make a warm winter version. And it’s such a quick sew that I knew it would be a good thing to make during a single sewing day!

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I made the same size as my linen version, but decided that the mid length variation would be more practical for a winter garment! I also used the full width collar, unlike the linen version where I made the collar a half width. I really like how huge and cuddly the big collar is.

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I used a great length of navy and white wool tweed from my stash, which was originally given to me by another sewing friend who had already cut a project out of it. I thought I might not have enough fabric, but after a bit of pattern tetris I managed to squeeze it all on! It’s deliciously heavy and warm and wooly, though it does get that classic wet sheep smell when it gets wet (reminds me of school assembly in the winter…). For lining I used some poly crepe de chine from The Fabric Store. Usually I wouldn’t go for polyester, but I love a good star print, and this one feels pretty nice!

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I stuck a whole bunch of extra little details on this jacket, it was fun sorting out a whole lot of bits and pieces! I added a scrap of leather for a hanging loop, and added a double pocket to one side. I liked the way the overlapping pockets looked on the pattern piece for the front piece, so I just added the smaller pocket from the short version as well as the larger pocket from the longer version. The tweed had a lovely orange selvedge, which I wanted to make use of, but I ended up only managing to get it onto the top edge of one of the smaller pocket. I do like the way they look! The smaller pocket is a great size for my phone too. On the other side, I added one of my favourite Kylie and the Machine labels, the delightfully snarky “You Can’t Buy This” ones.

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I’m really happy with my new jacket! It’s so lovely and warm, but is also really easy to throw on over just about anything, like its linen sister. It’s certainly getting a lot of use, now that winter is here in full force!

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Green Berlin

Tessuti released their Berlin Jacket a while ago, and I remember liking it when it came out but I couldn’t really see myself wearing it. Then I kept seeing Ruby’s awesome versons, and I started to re-think…I mean, I live in my Driftless Cardigans, and I was thinking of making a Blackwood Cardi in a hefty merino knit anyway…suddenly the Berlin seemed like a great option for in-between a cardigan and a coat. So when I saw this dark green boiled wool on the Drapers website I bought it and the pattern and got working on it!



This pattern was great to sew, and it came together so quickly! I think it went from cutting out to completed in less than 3 hours. The pattern has you overlap the raw edges and then topstitch the pieces together, so there is a raw edge on the outside of each seam. I definitely struggled to get those seams looking nice and even, and the boiled wool made it super hard to unpick, so after a couple of goes I decided that close enough was good enough! It passes the 3ft test, so I’m happy enough. The side seams and sleeve seams are just sewn wrong sides together as usual, which let me take a good 2” out of the sleeve width at the cuff to slim down the arms a bit.


I changed up a couple of things as I was sewing, I had seen a RTW garment similar to the Berlin that had a really clean finish around the neck/front edge, so I wanted to copy that. I sewed the neck facing wrong sides together, and then under stitched it and turned and hand stitched it to the wrong side. I did the same for the sleeve cuffs as well, but I flipped them to the outside to keep the turn-up look. I’ve been folding the cuffs back a second time to get a bracelet length sleeve, but its good to know I can turn them down when it gets really cold. I’m really happy with the way both changes turned out!


Boiled wool is so warm! I’ve had a tonne of wear out of this jacket already, its been so useful for these kinda random late autumn days we’ve been having. It was a really good layer to take down to Wanaka last weekend for a wedding we were invited to, it was significantly colder down there but this kept me toasty!


I love the length of this one, but next time I’ll lift the pockets up a bit, I can’t touch the bottoms of these ones! If it wasn’t such a pain to unpick this fabric I would move these ones, but I’ll just deal with it… I am thinking about making a hip length version out of some pale pink boiled wool I saw at The Fabric Store, but maybe I’ll wait until spring for that! So many things to make, so little time…


Zelda approves!