Thursday, March 6, 2014


Have I forgotten to mention my indie pattern project? I'm making it a goal of mine to sew/blog one indie pattern each month. It's so easy to hit up Jo-Ann's when they have $1 pattern sales on the Big 4, but you can't beat the originality with independent designers. This month, I'm featuring Victory Patterns, specifically the Lola Tunic.

I received this pattern for Christmas from my husband. At the time, I was in the midst of sewing his Albion coat, and looking forward to making a Lola kept me going at the end of that project. Since then, I've sewed up two different versions, and I love them both!

My first Lola was sewn using pink owl sweatshirt fleece (from Girl Charlee) and upcycling a black hoodie. Before you say anything, let's make one thing clear: I am aware of how silly this looks. It's not for everyone (possibly including me). I had enough of the pink fabric to make the whole tunic from it, but I used the black to tone it down instead (you're welcome).

Bonus: the hoodie already had ribbing on the sleeve cuffs and on the bottom band, which I reused here. Instead of the side pockets I used the kangaroo pouch that came on the hoodie.

As silly as the print is, the garment is warm, it's cute, and hey, my husband even gave me an unsolicited compliment on it! I think I might have made a mistake with cutting, though, because it's definitely a little short. I mean, it's a tunic pattern, but the directions state it's drafted for someone 5'6"-5'9" (I'm 5'4").

I was a little wary of how many pieces were in this pattern, but since I can construct almost the entire thing on my serger, the work goes quickly. I also recommend using a rotary cutter and mat to speed up the cutting process, and for the sake of accuracy. If your pieces aren't exact, you'll have a b**** of a time trying to match all the design lines.

I also cut all my pieces very carefully to make sure they mirrored one another. I also placed the owls strategically so that none of them ran along the upper princess seams, which would have resulted in a lovely owl-boob-headlight.

I won't tell you how many times I re-sewed the front, but in the end it worked. My favorite part of the whole thing is the little owl peeking out from the pocket.

For my second Lola, I changed the order of construction. The directions tell you to assemble the top part, and then the bottom, and finally to sew the two together along the horizontal midsection seam. Maybe I'm wrong, but when you have princess seams shouldn't you sew the garment from top to bottom along those seams? I also thought it might be easier to match all the design lines if you first sewed the individual horizontal seams, then all the vertical seams.

Anyway, I gave it a whirl. I don't know if it's any faster or better (you still have to match four pieces of fabric no matter what order you sew) but it's probably how I'll sew it going forward.

This second version is made with cotton/poly interlock from Jo-Ann's, which I've had in my stash forever (since before I knew what good fabric was!). It felt great to use up fabric, even if it was a somewhat poor quality (I'm sure it will pill within a few washes).

I promise she owns more than just
My Little Pony t-shirts.

Interlock is a bit stretchier than sweatshirt fleece, so even though this is the smallest size in the envelope I ended up taking it in along the back princess seams. It's really more like a fisheye dart, because I didn't want to take it in along the entire seam and potentially screw up the pockets and bottom band, which I had already sewn.

This change did end up skewing the design lines, but since it's in the back (and they're symmetrical) it's fine.

I don't think I'll make this a permanent alteration to the pattern, because the type of fabric I use matters too much. If I altered the first version in this way, it wouldn't stretch enough to get over my head. So while it's kind of annoying that every version will need its own alterations, I'm just excited to have such a cute pattern that works in so many different knits.

This was my first try at Victory Patterns, and I'm itching to try another. The directions were clear and the diagrams were very helpful. Just make sure to note the seam allowance within the garment directions; I found that there were two different measurements (one in the "general directions" and another in the "real" directions). There were a lot of notches on the pattern but they're all useful. The pattern itself comes in a box with a stapled instruction book and the tissue paper pattern.

Next, I'd love to try the Simone. I can't get over how gorgeous the model looks on the pattern envelope.

I'm thrilled with both of my Lolas and I can see more in my future. Winter clothing is not my thing, at all. I hate long sleeves (I have to wash my hands too. many. times. every day), so the half-length ones on the Lola are perfect. With a pair of leggings this is a great winter pattern. And no hemming required! Can't beat that!


  1. Both versions are really cool! Nice to see two different looks:)

    1. Thanks! I think you can learn a lot by sewing a pattern twice in a short time period. Too bad I rarely do that!!

  2. I like both versions. You would pay a fortune for the owls in a boutique. My 23 year old daughter would wear it constantly.

    1. So I shouldn't mention that I got the fabric on sale, and the whole tunic cost about $5? :)

  3. Tee-hee! I actually like your new version better but both look super comfy! Thanks for the review.


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