We are so glad that you are loving the Lora Dress pattern so much. Today we want to go over all things fabric and notions so you are able to choose the correct items to make your own version.
The Lora calls for medium weight woven fabrics such as rayon, linen or cotton. Any of these fabrics, or similar, can work for the Lora, but I have found that I have some preferences. The first thing to consider is your comfort level with a fitted dress. With the empire waist and fitted waist and hips, some of my testers found that they preferred something with more structure like a linen. You certainly can still sew it up in a rayon or similar, but maybe be aware of not overfitting the waist so it doesn't pull when you sit.
Cotton / Linen or Similar
The Lora really shines in a woven fabric with a bit of structure like linen or cotton. Personally I have found that I prefer something like this for the spaghetti strap views. It really shows off the style lines in these fabrics. It also just gives a bit more structure to the midsection since the dress is fitted through the waist and hips.
Here is a photo of the three linen fabrics we used for the Lora samples. All three were from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics. From left to right they are Monaco Linen in navy, Washed Linen in avocado (unfortunately out of stock), and Washed Linen in emerald.
Rayon or Similar
My personal preference for the puff sleeve views is something with more drape like a rayon. You can still sew the sleeved views in something with more structure like a linen, just know that the sleeves will be big and a statement. In a rayon the sleeves have a gorgeous drape.
The rayon crepe used for the samples was a mood exclusive print from Mood Fabrics. I used the blue colorway, but they also have it in a green colorway which I am saving for a Lora for me. Keep in mind that this fabric does have a tendency to grow when sewing so be extra careful when handling it.
Optional Other Lining Fabric
If you are using a fabric that tends to shift and grow like the rayon crepes above, I have found that it is nice to use a more stable fabric like a cotton lawn for the bodice lining, front facings, and sleeve casing. It's not required, especially if you are a more advanced sewist, but I have found that it helps keep the structure of the pattern in place.
We use quite a bit of interfacing in this project. You will interface the facings, button shield, and the necklines and armholes of the main bodice and bodice lining. I personally prefer a nice woven fusible interfacing, but any lightweight fusible will do.
You are going to need a few special notions for the Lora dress. First, you are going to want 12 x 3/8" shank buttons (or more if you lengthen your dress). You can buy a pack of shank buttons from our shop here or buy them at any sewing store. Because of the button loops, a button with a shank is required. You can create a shank on a normal button if you want. We will be showing you how to do this in a tutorial next week.
Perhaps this is a given, but you will want a nice all purpose thread that matches your fabric. There is some hand sewing, as well as some topstitching so you want a thread that matches well and is nice to work with.
Loop turners are a great tool to have on hand when you are turning small tubes. If you don't have one, you can use a safety pin to turn the straps (views A and C) and a hand sewing needle (tutorial coming next week) to turn the button loops. A loop turned is definitely the easiest way though.
Hand Sewing Needle
You will need to hand sew on the shank buttons. It's tedious I know, but doesn't actually take that much time once you sit down and do it. There is also the option to hand sew the bodice lining to the inside of the bodice. It's a higher end finish and not necessary, but adds a nice finish.
If you are sewing up views B or D (puff sleeve views) you are also going to need some 3/8" elastic. This will be used on the shoulders and the wrists.
And that is it. I hope this answered some of your questions and helps you feel prepared to purchase your own fabric and notions for the Lora dress.