There’s been so much feet dragging with my Make 9 this year, and the Sew Over It Lulu dress has been partly to blame. I saw the lack of darts and waist shaping and thought there was no chance it’d work on my pear shaped self. Guess what? I was totally wrong.
Sew Over It Lulu dress
An awesome pattern for beginners
There’s no zippers or buttons or darts to sew in this pattern! What? What a rare bird among woven dress patterns! I have a friend who’s terrified of buttonholes and zippers of all kinds, so this pattern would be perfect for her.
And because there’s none of these things, this dress sews up pretty quickly. The only thing that might be intimidating for a beginner is the facing for the keyhole. But the instructions are good on this point.
Can you hack it?
As far as pattern hacking goes, there’s a couple of good options. You could use a contrasting color on the sleeves for a little colorblocking. You could even take off the sleeves entirely, bind the sleeve holes with bias and make a tie neck as a neck binding for a summer halter.
For me, I used this striped cotton shirting from Cali Fabrics. The stripes are actually 60 degrees to the straight grain, so while it looks like I put the stripes on the bias, they’re actually on the straight grain. Sneaky… To get the alternating stripes, I didn’t cut the front and back on the fold. Instead, I cut 2 fronts and added a seam at CF and CB so I could alternate the pattern. It took some time to cut this right so that the stripe matching could work. I even managed to mess up the right side on one of my sleeves and had to take it apart and re-sew it. Still, it wasn’t too bad since this is a pretty simple pattern.
Styling for a better fit
Because there aren’t any darts and this has a pretty loose waist, I think Lulu could benefit from some extra styling. I myself am a pear shape (A shape!), and without any waist definition, I do not feel particularly polished. You might find yourself in the same position if you have more of an hourglass (you lovely X shapes!) silhouette. So what do you do dear?
#1 Grab a belt or a scarf
Cinching loose waists is not a cure all, but in this case, it really does help. I tried a pashmina and a simple fabric belt and liked both.
#2 Try an asymmetric cowl sweater
This is a style you might not be able to find, but an asymmetric cowl sweater is easily crocheted. I bought mine from a woman in Sew Much Talent, but check out this tutorial if you crochet or this quick sweater refashion from See Kate Sew. The asymmetry adds a little more waist definition to the Lulu, and it’s a good addition for layering for the coming cooler months.
Mine is open on the sides, so I’m holding it together with a kilt pin!
#3 Jackets make everything better
Name one outfit a jacket doesn’t make better. I paired my very tough looking Rose Tyler jacket for a purple explosion. Any other jacket or even a cardigan would work well too. For me, my shoulders get lost in the raglan sleeves, so the jacket helps me remember where they are. Plus, it’s cool. Wear a jacket. Look cool. The end.
My life as a Sew Over It newbie
I know Sew Over It has been popular for a good long while now, and I finally get it. Cute styles, easy sewing, and at the end of the day you feel pretty great. While this won’t be my go-to pattern, it was good to try something outside of my style comfort zone and explore how to make it work for my body type.
Have you tried the Sew Over It Lulu or another Sew Over It pattern? How did it go?
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.