I was recently one of the lucky readers chosen by Zoe of ‘So Zo’ to try out her new pattern the Dolores top. Naturally, I was over and the moon! I really like the causal and comfy look of the top, and I really need some more long sleeved tops right now!
(I broke my camera the other week so I only have phone photos till I get a new one hence the not so perfect photos!)
This pattern only takes 11 pages of paper to stick together to get the pattern pieces – Zoe’s utilised the space as much as possible and has managed to loose a page entirely. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a pattern with so few pages I was really pleased by this – the number of times I have been frustrated that after cutting out pages and pages of pattern pieces only to find that one or two actually have nothing useful printed on them! Such a waste of paper. I love that Zoe’s environmental beliefs have influenced the layout of her patterns!
The pattern has a few variations for you to choose from: a top, longer tunic and dress, with or without long sleeves. I decided to make two versions of the top, a dress with long sleeves, and a tunic with short sleeves, cos, options!
First up was the dress version. I decided to use my loved mustard yellow Jersey that I’ve had for aaaages. This is a very loved fabric. I love the colour and have been waiting for forever for the right pattern to make a dress from it. (It had to be a dress!). Also, mustard is just so Zoe! The pattern calls for very light, drapey Jersey fabric and in hindsight this fabric might be a tad too thick. It’s ended up a bit more like a jumper (awesome!). However, I actually really like the look.
Now, the observant among you might realise that this is not a dress…. My machine and I had a little disagreement when it came to sewing the hem… It won, and after unpicking it THREE TIMES! and it still not hanging right I decided to chop off the hem and turn the dress into a tunic. I was sad, but actually a top is more versatile, so win! I don’t know what happened to my machine, first it kept making the hem wavy by stretching the fabric as it was sewing somehow – even with my trusty walking foot, then it would not sew without getting caught and making a big thread ball every few stitches… It looked totally nasty. I finally managed to get it to sew a passable hem on the tunic and after that it worked just fine, typical! I’ve since given it a good clean and it seems to be working fine now.
My body shape is very different to Zoe’s therefore I had to make changes to the pattern. My bust and hips fitted the size 14, and I cut down to the size 10 on my waist and shoulders. It’s still a bit baggy round my waist so I might go down another size next time I make it. I also had to make changes to the pattern due to fabric limitations – I only had a metre of fabric and was desperate to make a dress! I had to cut off length off both the sleeves and dress. The length of the dress doesn’t really matter now that it’s a top (but at least know it is possible with some sneaky cutting), but I took around 4 inches off the sleeves. The sleeves are now more like three quarter length, which I prefer anyway so that’s another win ;). Here they are when I haven’t rolled them up.
The instructions included are also really easy to understand and are accompanied by photos which really helps a visual brain like mine!
My second make was the short sleeved tunic as I wanted to see how these sleeves would look. I used a black and white Aztec-y patterned Jersey for this one. This Jersey was very drapey so probably more how Zoe envisioned it.
Comparitively to the other top this took no time at all as the hem went in first time with no problems! Zoe notes that her favourite way to sew a hem in Jersey is a 3-stitch zig zag, which I had not seen before so I decided to give it a go. I am pretty much converted to this stitch! It gives ways more stretch than a standard zig zag and looks pretty neat. I’ll be using this technique again for sure
Overall, I really like this pattern. It’s quick and easy to sew – probably perfect for a beginner. The dress is smart casual – perfect for work. A great pattern for Autumn