Almost fell for my Lola..

LolaSo – after a hugely positive start to the year with my Archer – which I love – my next make has been a bit of a flop.

This is super annoying as I love Lola by Victory Patterns and had been really inspired by all the amazing versions I have seen – it seems like everyone has been making a Lola. Examples from Tilly and the Buttons, What Katie Sews, Lladybird and Sleek Silhouette – these have all been coming up as I have struggled and failed with this one. Bad enough to be making something that isn’t working but even worse when everyone else is turning out fabulous versions!

This has been a bit of a struggle from the start

First – the fabric is a very stretchy sweatshirt fabric – thicker than any I have used for making knit tops so far and probably more stretchy than I should have used for this as the pattern suggests ‘slight stretch’. I was excited to be able to use the stretch stitches on my new sewing machine, but when I tried them out on the fabric I found that both the lightening bolt stitch and the triple stitch seemed to really stretch out the fabric and resulted in wavy seams. I may need a walking foot to resolve this I think? The best results came from using a narrow zig zag stitch in the end.

I originally cut a size 8 bust/waist grading to 10 at the hips (having to guess where the hips are as it isn’t easy to judge from the pattern as the front and back pieces are different lengths) I stitched it all together and tried it on and it looked like a shapeless bag. I thought it still had potential though so I decided to unpick the stitching, cut it smaller and start again (this alone was a hideous job – unpicking tiny navy stiches from soft navy fabric was not fun!

Second attempt – I cut the pieces down to a 6 and 8. I used a narrow zig zag but I still got wavy and out of shape seams where the bodice joins the skirt pieces – worst at the points where all the seams meet and there was a lot of fabric being pushed under the presser foot. I can’t see this effect on anyone else’s version so this is clearly down to my need for a walking foot or something else I should have done differently with this fabric. I have steamed the seam a lot and tried washing it to tighten it up a bit but it hasn’t made much difference.


And after all this I tried it on and it still doesn’t really work on me – better but still not something I want to wear out of the house. It isn’t fitted enough at the waist but is rather too tight on my hips. If I am honest I think perhaps this shape just doesn’t quite work for me. I generally avoid very high-waisted skirts or empire line tops – I prefer things that fit at the waist and then flare over my hips. The high front means that I lose the waist definition that I like and the stretching around the bodice seam makes this even worse.

Finally I found myself questioning where I was even going to wear this – it isn’t a work dress but it’s not quite what I would wear at the weekend either – though I love it so much in theory!

Following this I was rather stalled, so I have been following Sarai’s Wardrobe Architect series at Coletterie to try to work out what I want to do next and making a couple of easier projects – so there will be more to follow and hopefully it won’t take another two months to post again!

Has anyone else found out after they made something that although it looks lovely on everyone else it just wasn’t for them?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. twirldesigns says:

    I never attempted Collette’s Laurel for that very reason. Most shift dresses will never look right on my pear shaped body.


    1. mrszandstra says:

      I know – I feel the same about Laurel – I know it wouldn’t work on me but for some reason I was totally seduced by Lola! Even now I kepp wondering if I should try a different fabric or redo the waist seam!



  2. can you reduce the pressure on the presser foot on your machine – that could help? or clear elastic around the waist seem to stop it stretching out? you could try a good steam with the iron first to get it back into shape and attach the elastic?


    1. mrszandstra says:

      I can’t adjust the foot pressure sadly – and on other knits it hasn’t been a problem. I got a walking foot so may unpick and give it one last try. I will do some tests with clear elastic as well (or even both) and see what works best! Thanks,



  3. Nakisha says:

    Aww. Sorry it didn’t work out. It is a super cute dress though. I’m not quite pear but looking at the finished garment measurements I’d have to grade over several sizes and meh.

    I’ll just admire everyone else’s! 🙂


  4. Carolyn says:

    Chalk it up to an experiment, I guess? I’ve had the same issue with rippled seams in knit fabric, and I do think a walking foot is the answer, although I don’t actually have one to confirm this statement. Those babies are expensive! If you’re not comfortable wearing it out, can you wear it as loungewear? That’s where all my unsuccessful knit projects wind up, ha.


    1. mrszandstra says:

      Hi Carolyn – I just bought a generic (much cheaper than my sewing machine branded one) walking foot so will do sone experiments with it! I thought I might be able to wear it over jeans but it doesn’t really work. I may try again if I find a more stable knit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s