Making a Dress Version of The Lollapalooza Top Pdf Pattern by George + Ginger Patterns.
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As an affiliate member of George + Ginger Patterns I'm obliged to make at least one of their patterns every three months. This is usually great for me - I love their designs! However, this month I didn't really feel inspired by The Lollapalooza Top. Firstly, I don't tend to wear tops that length and, secondly, it's off-the-shoulder and I'm not keen on strapless bras. I thought I would give it a try though with the intention of lengthening it to dress length and somehow adding straps.
Making The Lollapalooza Top into a dress was an easy case of lengthening the hem ruffle which is a simple rectangular shape but I had to measure carefully as I only had 2 metres of fabric. I found that if I cut the skirt on the fold rather than two seperate pieces I could easily get enough length from my fabric which was 57" (146cm) wide.
The Lollapalooza Top is perfect for any occasion! With an elegant, off-shoulder design and flared gathered sleeves, it's a flattering yet comfortable style for every day.
Source: George + Ginger Patterns
Suggested fabric for The Lollapalooza Top is quilters cotton or lightweight linen but I used Royal Micro Satin purchased from www.poundfabrics.co.uk. It's always a risk buying fabric online but I like the feel of this micro satin - it has a nice drape, and is soft without being too flimsy. Ofcourse mini yellow monkeys on a black background were hard to resist too! You'll also need 3/4" wide (20mm) elastic for the casing around the shoulders and waist.
The Lollapalooza Top is available in sizes Tween - 5X which is a full bust range of 28.5" - 55.5". The pdf is layered and comes in sizes A4, US Letter, A0 and Projector versions. You choose your size by your full bust measurement so I printed and cut a size 16. I didn't grade smaller for the upper bust or waist like I would normally because it's elasticated so I'll be able to adjust to fit with my length of elastic.
The Lollapalooza Top is drafted for a height of 5'6" so, as instructed, I shortened the bodice front and back by 1" - leaving the skirt as I knew I wanted to make that longer anyway.
The sewing instructions were easy to follow as The Lollapalooza Top is quite a simple design. The bodice comes together nicely and construction is well explained. I had enough fabric for the sleeve ruffles but after going to the effort of gathering, sewing and hemming them I decided I didn't like the look and cut them off! I found them too long and wide and they made the dress look very unflattering on me. I don't know if this was because of my choice of fabric or because I had changed the design from a top to a dress - certainly the sleeve ruffles look nice on all the models (who come in all different shapes and sizes) on the listing page.
The Lollapalooza Top instructions include a cut chart showing what length to cut your elastic for the shoulders and waist. I found the given length too tight for me across the shoulders so I would recommend measuring yourself first with your intended elastic and once you have threaded your elastic through your casing just pin with a safety pin and try it on - adjusting for fit before sewing the ends together. Surprisingly, this off-the-shoulder design is very comfortable - I can move my arms about quite freely without the shoulders slipping up or down.
I made straps for my Lollapalooza Top by sewing long rectangular casings but whatever position I sewed them on I couldn't get them to consistently cover my bra straps - they just kept shifting around too much. Therefore, I chopped off the straps (as well as the sleeve ruffles) and had to concede to wearing a strapless bra!
My finished Lollapalooza Top/Dress isn't exactly the look I originally wanted but I'm pleased with the outcome and it certainly feels lovely and comfy to wear. I haven't used micro satin before but it feels very soft against the skin and was a nice fabric to handle and sew up. I wouldn't normally choose an elasticated waist like this as I think it can sometimes give the look of a 'sack of potatoes' but the skirt doesn't have too much gathering so remains reasonably flattering. I really like the wide elbow length sleeves too.