Sounds like a recipe for a cheesy murder mystery doesn’t it? Presenting Miss Lulu and The Case of the Missing Sewjo! But really this is more like How Miss Lulu Got her Sewjo Back. It’s been missing for a little while folks (the sewjo that is). Ever since the middle of September when we left for our little East Coast trip (which was great btw), I’ve barely touched the sewing machine. First I came back from the trip as sick as a dog and took forever to get over that cold and then my head was just teaming with ideas - so much so that I couldn’t seem to settle to anything at all. I would be at work dreaming of finishing my day so I could go start something fabulous at home and then get there and be too distracted to actually start anything, urgh! I have even turned to knitting to get me over the hump, hence the last post about finally steam blocking that vest. What’s next, quilting? God forbid!
So I finally just pulled out this pattern one day and cut into it that night. It’s the Victory Lola pattern which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I decided to make it into a top for a couple of reasons. This was my first time making it so I really needed to do a muslin and thought that with such an easy fitting dress, the main issue would be getting the bodice to look right. Also, I knew that I would get way more wear out of a top than a dress right now. I don’t tend to wear dresses in winter as I just can’t stand wearing tights.
I made a straight size 8 and the only modification I made was to lower the bust apex by an inch. When cutting out I made all of the upper bodice pieces 1 inch longer because I was concerned that the empire seam might not be low enough for me but I ended up cutting it right back off once I got the lower part stitched on and tried it on. I had to unpick the empire seam, cut off that extra inch then sew the lower part back on. Here are the mug shots:
The fabric is a sweatshirt fleece that I got from a pattern swap. I had no idea on the content and just assumed that it was synthetic but I was happily surprised when I got to the ironing stage and it pressed like a champ, behaving like wool, yay! The right side has tiny pinstripes and the back is fuzzy. I only used the contrast for the little triangle decal at the neck though it would have been cute to use for the bands too. I was really careful to line up my princess seams when stitching the lower portion on.
I had to cut the cuffs a little longer than directed as my fabric didn’t have very much stretch, certainly not as much as the rib knit that Victory suggests you use for the cuffs. So I cut the largest size and it just about worked. And the verdict? I really like it! So much so, I made it again…
This time from a much thinner knit with flocked roses. And yes, if this fabric looks familiar it’s because not only did Dixie make a dress from it last year, but Susan made a tunic from it a couple of months ago (which I’m looking for but I don’t think she did a blog post on it) and gifted me her scraps. Triplets again! We’ll have to line up another photo op soon.
This time I did contrast bands from some super drapey hemp knit scraps that I’ve had lying around since last year. I remembered that Dixie had trouble with a neckline binding made with this rose fabric when she made her dress so I decided some contrast would work well. I’m really happy with this version. I made the neckline about an inch wider at the shoulders and an inch lower in the front but kept the back neck the same. I also took in the back princess seams about 1/2” each at the waist to get a little more shape at my swayback.
In between these two little Lolitas, I knocked together a Grainline Hemlock Tee - the unofficial easiest top in the world. I had meant to make this one before we left on our trip but didn’t get around to it till last week. Here are the mugshots for posterity -
Not so fab as is but with the sleeves pushed up (as I intend to wear it pretty much all the time) it looks a lot better.
The fabric is a rayon sweater knit that I bought at Stitched Fabric here in Austin. I added a bunch of width by placing the pattern about an inch from the fold line for both the front and back pieces (so added 4” total in circumference). I also cut a slight hi-lo hem and added 2” cuffs to the sleeves to help them stay pushed up.
Love that swing! I also wore it over a button down to work last week and it worked pretty well so not bad for a two hour top! Versatility, I has it!
The neckline binding is just a crossgrain piece, folded in half and sewed to the neckline with all raw edges even. I sewed pretty close to the foldline and used a straight stitch which has stabilised the neckline really well.Then I just pulled the edges slightly to make them curl - instant deconstructed finish.
So it looks like the sewjo is back! Hopefully I can keep on a roll and keep making things that I’m actually gonna wear. The future plans include a couple pairs of jeans and a moto jacket and maybe a couple more hemlocks, because I can’t sew to do anything in singles lately. Not a bad problem to have…