V is for Victory – L is for Lola, the Love of my Life

I never thought I’d see the day, but I am totally and utterly in love with a knit dress I made. I had in my stash a gorgeous ribbed knit fabric that just screamed SWEATER DRESS off the top of it’s lungs to me. After perusing Pattern Review, numerous blog posts and several pattern companies, I settled on  fell in love with Lola by Victory Patterns.

Lola is everything you would want in a girl, I know she is everything I want in a girl. She has curves in all the right places but is not too curvy, is sporty, excellent to lounge with on the couch with a cup of tea and a movie featuring Bradley Cooper (she loves Silver Linings Playbook just as much as I do and we both wished we could dance like Jennifer Lawrence), she loves a walk on the beach during an autumn storm, she looks great in leather boots, but still is sophisticated enough to take her out for drinks on a Sunday evening. And best of all, she doesn’t need to carry a huge handbag because she has pockets! Not my Lola though, I ran out of fabric, I guess I could make pockets and sew them on, but we have a husband who doesn’t mind stuffing my phone and ID in his pocket when I decide I want to take those with me, so I’ll leave it at that.

I have a very severe case of the pear. My bust measurement is about 10 – 12 cm (depends on the day and the amount of chocolate eaten the days before measuring) smaller than my hip measurement. Victory Patterns have established the difference between bust and hip for their patterns at 5 cm… I hear you thinking, “No big deal, just grade at the waist line” but that is where the trick is with this pattern. All seams are curved (except for the hem) and there is no side seam, just princess seams front and back. I solved my problem by making the pattern in the size of my hips and then take in the front princess seams and this worked out fine, but the sweet Kristiann of Victory Patterns sent me a little diagram indicating the waist line on the pattern pieces and has been so kind to let me share this with you.

Click this image, it will open the diagram Kristiann made. I had to google the way to do this twice!

Have I said I love this dress? It is awesome. The knit is super soft and warm and comfy and cozy. The dress pattern is super cool, a wardrobe essential I would label it! So I guess fabric and pattern were meant to be together…
This is the first real Autumny thing I have made, all other things I made are very Summery. It could be the beginning of a great new exploration in fabrics and patterns!

I wore it out on another day trip, to Potes this time. A cozy and warm (how compatible with my dress) little town in the mountains. To get there, you have to drive through the ‘Desfiladero de la Hermida’, a 30 km-long gorge, eroded over millions of years by the Río Deva and equally impressive in Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, no matter how many times you have passed through before. We would go to Potes just for the drive through the Desfiladero…

 I’m sure Gillian will have a heart-attack when she reads that I haven’t prewashed my fabric. Maybe it can be a reassurance that I plan to give it my standard self-made treatment; hand wash the first 3 times, normal wash (30ºC) and dryer after that… Just so you all know, Gillian is my ‘Sewing Knits Hero’, and has added a section ‘Lazy tips for sewing with knits’ to her blog, a part I often go to to make sure I don’t commit any cardinal knit sins. (Oops, just did by not prewashing).
She also came up with a way to make your own colour palette. She made one for me too, I’m definitely preparing to share it with you guys really soon!

 Maybe I should have ironed the hem, but Lola is just like me, she doesn’t care about wrinkles if it means the iron can stay in the cupboard.

 What is up with the hair?
So, how do you guys feel about Lola, or are there other patterns you would (or already have) start a love-affair with?

I wasn’t here because I was there – beach dress and shorts

*** don’t expect much sewing related stuff, because, well, SUMMER ***

THERE being BBK Live in Bilbao.

BBK Live is a 3-day festival in Bilbao. We only went the first day and we saw Editors, Depeche Mode and Biffy Clyro -the fact that the latter sing in an adorable Scottish accent doesn’t hurt, neither does the fact that they almost always have no shirt on and they look like genuine badboys. (All links go to recordings of their performances on BBK Live) 
3 bands that are absolutely a must-see! And combine great music with a beautiful scenery -the festival grounds are set on top of a mountain overlooking the city centre of Bilbao, sporting a great view of the Guggenheim Museum- and you have a spectacular summer outing…
But I’m not just mentioning the festival because I had a lot of FUN there –Kalimotxo anyone? Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds- I also wore a Me-Made dress.

*** Warning *** There are NO serious pictures of this dress, just pictures of me having fun…

I won’t go into too much details about the dress. It’s a jersey dress that came together easily, made from a fabric I had in my stash since my London fabric-binge last year, that always was destined to become a summer dress. The pattern is from Knipmode, a Dutch sewing magazine, from a special knits-only issue.

Picture with the least ‘dance’ moves involved


On the front bodice there are five pleats that give the dress an interesting detail.  The hem is unfinished. I asked my husband to cut the dress to the desired length and that was it. I did try to hem it, but couldn’t get a straight cut, so called in my helper. If you look closely, you can see he never paid much attention in pre-school, because the cuts are really jagged, but I’ll leave it as is, because the hem has the tendency to curl, so it’s not really obvious…

THERE also being the Pyrenees in the Spanish Comunity of Aragón.

We went for 4 days to the mountains, and it was breathtakingly beautiful! 
We didn’t just hang out by the lake, we also went for a walk in the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido. There are a lot of possible walks there, but we decided on the 14k-walk (7 one way) that goes past a few impressive waterfalls and through a forest of beeches. 

Ever seen a tree grow out of a rock?


I have always found a rainbow in a waterfall something magical.

And for the sewing part of the journey? 
I made shorts a few weeks ago with summer in mind. I made the pattern before, in a winter version. It is Burda 05/2012/#121A. The fabric comes from the tiniest fabric store in Corales de Buelna, a very small town -if you can even call it that- here in Cantabria. The fabric is a sheer yellow gingham cotton. I used leftovers from Ward’s dressy shirt for the facings and the pockets. I added the folds at the hem because I felt the short was too long, they are intended as beach shorts. Because the fabric is so sheer, you really see the facings, which has a really ugly effect… If I ever make them again (and I probably will, I like the shape of the pants) I’ll make a full lining, change the in-seam pockets for sew-on pockets and relocate the zipper to the side seam.
These pictures don’t focus on the shorts and that’s ok, because nothing can beat nature when it comes to awesomeness…

Talking to a tree?

And THERE also being my own town, where the Semana Grande began yesterday. 10 days of music, food, drinks, street animation and other activities – huge fireworks on the beach 24th of July and an ABBA cover band 25th of July amongst other things.

Opening ceremony in front of Townhall

Fireworks in broad daylight? Must be Spain! (Love it!)

Next time there will be more sewing stuff, but one has to know how to prioritize… And right now that is enjoying summer with my family and friends. And watch the live footage of the enthronement of the new Belgian King Phillipe tomorrow.
Do you guys have any fun things planned for summer? How do they celebrate summer where you live?