Welcome to the first day of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. The Lodo is a very fast and easy dress to sew up so this sewalong will be much simpler than my others. That being said, I hope that the extra pictures and tips will still help those of you who need a little extra hand holding so that everyone can get the best results possible when sewing a version of their own.
Today I will simply be sharing the schedule for the sewalong (below), talking about the best fabrics for this pattern (including some links), and giving a few tips. Expect to spend less than an hour each day this week and you will have a finished Lodo dress of your own by Friday.
Here is the schedule for the sewalong. We are really only sewing 3 of the 5 days. As I have mentioned, this is a beginner friendly pattern so I hope the tips and photos that I share this week will make the dress accessible to sewists of all levels.
Day 1 / Monday April 24th – Fabrics and Prep
Day 2 / Tuesday April 25th – Back, Slit, and Shoulders
Day 3 / Wednesday April 26th – Neckline
Day 4 / Thursday April 27th – Armholes and Hem
Day 5 / Friday April 28th – Finished Dress Photos
I really think that the key to success sewing up the Lodo Dress is mostly in the fabrics that you choose. You will need two separate fabrics – A stable knit for the main part of the dress, and a small amount of woven fabric for the facings.
The main knit fabric should be medium weight and stable. This means avoid slinky knits with tons of stretch. You want the amount of stretch to be approximately 20%. Check the amount of stretch of your fabric on the stretch chart on page 2 of the instructions. You can still use knits with a bit more or a bit less stretch than recommended, but be aware that it may affect the fit of your final garment or make it more difficult to sew. The types of fabrics that seem to work best include ponte, cotton interlock, double knit and lightweight scuba. These fabrics have enough structure in them to hold the slight cocoon shape of the design while still being very comfortable and casual enough for daywear.
Here are a few examples of fabrics that I think would work great:
The woven facings can be made in any non stretch fabric the is easy to work with and presses well. I would avoid anything lightweight or slippery (avoid polyester) and instead pick up a scrap of fabric from your stash such as quilting cotton or linen. Be aware that you may see little glimpses of the facing when wearing it, so make sure that the fabric coordinates with your main dress fabric. I think that this is a great way to not only use up the scraps of leftover fabrics in your stash, but also to introduce a bit of print or pop of color for some added interest.
Here are the fabrics that I am using for the sewalong. I am sewing up two dresses. For View A (midcalf) I am using a black and white striped ponte knit for the main dress and a fun jungle print quilting cotton for the facings.
For View B (short version) I am using a burgundy cotton interlock in a medium weight for the main dress and a fun scribble print cotton for the facings.
-I realize that woven facings are uncommon on knit garments, but because the neckline and armholes do not require any stretching for wear or changing, they not only add some stability and crispness to those areas, but they also make it a bit easier to sew and get good results. You will want to test sewing some of your knit and woven fabrics together to see how your particular machine handles it. You may want to play a bit with the tension or use a walking foot if it gives you any issues. As long as your knit fabric is stable and not too stretchy you shouldn’t have an issues.
-It is always a good idea to use a ballpoint or stretch needle on your sewing machine when using knit fabrics. This will prevent you from possibly damaging your fabric and creating holes.
-View A of the Lodo Dress hits around mid calf, while View B hits above the knee. If neither of those lengths work for you, feel free to find something in the middle, or add even more length to the bottom. I do think that a maxi version would be pretty great.
-Sergers are so wonderful for sewing knitwear, but this pattern does require you to use your regular sewing machine for much of the construction. The instructions will have you switching between a regular stitch and a stretch stitch depending on the step. Most sewing machines include a stretch stitch option, although you may also use an elongated zigzag for the same results. Practice on some scraps of your knit fabric to see what you like the best.
-The dress is drafted for a model who is 5’5″ tall. There are lengthen shorten lines on the front and back pattern pieces if you need to adjust for your own height difference.
OK, that’s it for now. If you want to purchase the pattern you can do so here. I am not going to walk you through printing your pattern or cutting out your pattern pieces, but if you could use a little help with that you can check out one of my former sewalongs here. Come tomorrow with your dress cut out, marked, and ready to start sewing.