The pattern comes as paper and PDF pattern from Tessuti, a pattern company and fabric shop in Australia. As usual I used the PDF pattern for at-home-printing. The Lois Dress is a Vintage inspired dress, featuring a v-neck bodice and a floaty, A-line skirt that falls to a flattering midi length.
Last month, I made 3 versions. All of them are made in a Rayon Challis but from different suppliers and made, most-likely, in different countries, they all drape and feel a little different. Neither of the fabrics are very thin, they have a bit of body and are gorgeously soft. I don't find them difficult to sew with (anymore).
The sewing instructions are easy to follow and come with pictures. The pattern level is described as intermediate and super-advanced sewers, and I fully agree with that. While it is a simple design and very few pattern pieces, it has a few couture techniques. For instance, the bias binding around the neckline is differently applied than I ever did. It is a lovely finish and I enjoy sewing it. Beside the bias binding, the invisible zipper is sewn into the side seam and also sewn into one of the skirt darts in the front skirt piece. These are the two tricky steps, and of course sewing with soft silk-like fabrics adds to the difficulty.
The pattern comes in sizes 6 - 16 AUS (bust 81cm to 106 cm). I read another review prior and was told that the dress comes up quite big. I have made this pattern once before for a friend and remembered I sized down. The only finished garment measurements given are for size 10 for waist and hip. There is 2cm ease for the waist and 11cm for the hip. Knowing the ease for waist and hip, I decided to base my size choice on my bust only. The black floral dress is my wearable toile. The fabric is from my shop and less expensive than the other two fabrics. I selected size 12 and made a small broad back adjustment. I normally do a 3/4" broad back adjustment and add a dart to remove the excess fabric on the shoulder seam (to fit the front bodice) but this time (I was a bit lazy) and only did a 3/8" broad back adjustment that meant I didn't have to add a dart and can ease the excess into the front shoulder seam - and it worked! The dress fits great over bust, waist and hip. It is so flattering, you can hardly see my little tummy 😊 I feel so gorgeous in this dress.
One thing about the PDF I didn't like ... the sizes (for bodice and skirt) are divided into 6,8 & 10 and 12, 14 & 16. The pattern pieces come on 3 sheets. So the bodice & skirt pieces are no problem but the piece for the sleeve cuff are drafted individually per size ... meaning one of the sheets (that I took the time to stick together) has all cuffs and I think the smaller front bodices on. So I only cut ONE SINGLE piece of that sheet and had to throw the rest of the paper - super wasteful! I wish, the sizes would be more grouped together to make it easier to print, cut and save some paper waste.
What I do love about Tessuti's patterns are that they are hand-drafted. So all the lines are drawn by hand, rather than with a computer program and it just gives it special touch.
Black Floral Rayon - ThreadWerk
Red Floral Rayon - StoffQuelle
Ivory/Blue Rayon - Atelier Brunette Fabrics from MeterMeter DK
As mentioned the black dress was the toile and the ivory/blue is the dress I wore to my brother's wedding. And because I loved the black dress so much, I made myself a birthday dress in the red rayon 😍
Since the pattern pieces aren't too large - the skirt front piece is the biggest and it fits on my 3 cutting mats - I decided to cut all pieces with my rotary cutter. And you know what, I might cut rayon always like that. It was su much easier to cut and all pieces where correctly. Nothing moved underneath the pattern pieces and weights - loved cutting for the first time I reckon 😂
These are the only fit adjustments I made. I made the bias tape a little wider, but only 1/4", I think, because that's my preferred width for bias tape. You just have to be careful when sewing the bias tape that you keep the seam allowance in mind. From the time lapse below, you will see that I didn't use the pattern piece provided for the bias tape. I love making my own by piecing small straps of bias tape together. You can use less fabric and have a more sustainable sewing experience.
I really like the darts for this pattern. I find it so much easier to sew darts with the dart cut out than the normal darts I had known before. It just all lines up that's the best way to describe it.
I also didn't use the Vlieseline shields for these 3 dresses. I used them when I made the dress for my friend but didn't like it - perhaps just unfamiliar ground - and I used form or stay tape instead. Works great too, and it is really just so the fabric doesn't stretch as it is cut on the bias.
My husband helped me to even out the dress hem. I find it difficult to do this on my own, so it is great to have some help. Molly joined in too so it was a family affair 😂
From all of the dresses, I think my favourite is the black dress, perhaps it the colour of the fabric. I guess it is a little more everyday (every weekend 😂) while the other two are more special occasion dresses. I really fell in love with the style of this dress and how it fits me. Like I said above, I feel so gorgeous in it that I have great plans with this pattern, stayed tune 😉
Thanks for hanging out with me. I hope you get inspired to sew a Lois Dress yourself, I will definitely make more.