The Lodo dress from True Bias is my new favourite summer dress pattern. Three so far!
So much to love about this pattern. It has a nicely shaped V neck, it’s loose through the waist, has excellent shoulder coverage, is designed for a stable knit, a woven fabric is used for the facings and (bonus points) the instructions encourage you to use fun fabrics for the facings.
My first version was in a ponte from EOS that I didn’t love as much once it was delivered. I think it’s the slight brown cast to the background plaid. You know, the perfect fabric to use for a trial version.
It turned out to be an excellent corporate look that has worked perfectly for work Zoom meetings. Accessorised with bare feet. The hand, stretch and recovery of the fabric makes this dress a delight to wear and absolutely easy care. It’s a poly/viscose/spandex blend.
Despite the colour not really being one that makes my skin tone look the best it’s been worn at least once every week since made.
This was the trial version so I cut out the longer version with the back hem slit.
I removed 15 cm from the length and turned up the hem 5 cm That makes it 17.5 cm shorter than the long version and 10 cm longer than the short version is drafted.
Making a longer version and then chopping some of the length off also means it has a micro walking slit. All stitching, apart from the facings, was done with a narrow zigzag using a ballpoint needle. Slightly wavy stitching lines, as you can see below, but worked a treat.
Despite the encouragement to use fun woven fabrics for the facing I used a very boring black poly cotton wove. The back of my fabric being black ‘inspired’ me. I didn’t turn under the edge, just overlooked, so it’s wider than drafted. I like it.
Lodo is a loose shift dress with a slight cocoon shape seen from the front and back. Yes that is annoying pattern twinning on the back! Didn’t think of it whilst cutting out. At least the plaid matches well.
The straightness of the style is obvious in this side view.
The second version was in a softer rayon/nylon/spandex blend ponte from EOS.
This fabric drapes more and also creases more. The photo below was taken after a morning at work, an afternoon at a work Christmas party, an hour and a half in a car, unpacking at a beach house and then a stroll on the beach. Not too bad, but my first version would not have shown a single wrinkle or crease. But also nowhere near as much fun as bright red!
This dress has already had a busy schedule at Christmas events. Here’s another photo of it looking a bit more dressed up and ready to go out to a Christmas lunch.
As lovely as this fabric is, it was a bit of a problem to hem and my normal trick of stitching down the top of the inseam pockets (Yes! It has pockets!) resulted in skipped stitches and drag lines even without anything in the pockets – like in the photo below where my hands are actually in the pockets.
I unpicked the pocket stitching and secured the pockets to the dress with one hand sewn tack 11cm from the side seam.
The pocket tacks show as two evenly spaced dimples in the dress. Pocket bags flapping around on the inside would be worse!
I was a bit surprised by the issues I had with the hem. I’ve used this fabric before and my double needle worked fine. It didn’t matter which needle I tried – ballpoint, stretch, microtex, universal – I got skipped stitches. I suspect it may be because my double needles are blunt, but a ballpoint double needle and a normal new universal or microtex needle didn’t stop the missed stitches either.
All this happened after shops had closed so I hand sewed the hem because I wanted to wear the dress the next day. Of course it took less time to hand sew than all the trials on scraps with different needles and stitch styles and rethreading and rewinding bobbins *eyeroll*
No boring facings on this one. And these ad their edges turned under so they are as narrow as drafted.
The extended shoulder/sleeve facing shows as does the pocket lining when seated but when it’s as glorious as this Liberty print there’s nothing to forgive.
The third version is in a stretch cotton woven. Not a recommended fabric but worked perfectly well. Absolutely no issues with skipped stitches with this well behaved fabric! Look at that lovely double needle hem!
I made a 2 cm forward shoulder adjustment and took the centre back seam in 1 cm through the waist. This more structured fabric seemed to need these changes.
Back to boring facings and overlooking rather than turning the edge under. I like the wider look. I didn’t cut the extended shoulder/sleeve facing on the bias but ‘on the stretch’ (is that even a proper term?)
This one has pockets too. Also stitched into place with no issues.
All versions are size 16.
I haven’t worn the white one yet but its a likely contender for Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. I know many of you have had to cancel plans due to COVID-19 or , even worse, are back in lockdown, but I hope you can enjoy moments of peace, joy and love despite the circumstances.
Keep sane and keep safe!