The Lola sweater dress from Victory Patterns is inspired by your favorite crewneck sweatshirt. Except Lola has style and feminine wiles for miles.
This sweater dress has become one of my favorite cold-weather looks, paired with leggings, boots, and a tank underneath for added warmth. If you’re looking for a casual-yet-chic winter dress, get to know Lola, L-O-L-A, Lola! (Sorry not sorry, Kinks.)
Lola Sweater Dress Pattern Description
I’d call it more dress length than tunic or oversized-sweatshirt length (you know that length — it skims your bum when you’re wearing leggings). The sleeves are three-quarters length.
The sleeves, hem, and neck are finished with bands. The neck is gorgeously rounded, a generous crewneck opening that never chokes but instead shows off prime neck real estate.
I can’t decide on the coolest part of this sweater dress pattern. Is it the mega-sized pockets? Or is it the curvaceous princess seams? Could it be the raglan sleeves? Don’t make me choose!
Old Lola, New Lola
Victory updated Lola in November 2018, and the version you see here is the old version. (I received this pattern as a thank you for testing another pattern for Victory, presumably before November 2018).
The new-and-improved Lola featured lengthened sleeves and a reworked neckline to eliminate gaping (among other bullet points). You can especially see in my version that it would have benefitted from the reworked neckline.
Lola comes in sizes 0-16, and I sewed a straight 8. My hip measurement was closest to size 8, and, to be honest, grading between sizes felt like too much work for this pattern at the time I was sewing it.
Normally I wouldn’t opt out like that, but I every once in a while, a straight size is good enough. It’s a sweatshirt dress, not a wiggle dress. However, upon reflection, I have some thoughts about this decision. [Keep reading!]
Lola Fabric Choice
This is a knit cotton fleece in a dreamy ocean blue. Guys, I pored over my email, and I cannot find my order for this fabric. I think it might have been from Harts Fabric or Mood Fabrics? I definitely ordered it online.
It kills me that I can’t remember its origin, because it’s the softest fleece against my skin. It’s so soft, that I turned the fabric wrong-side out for neck, sleeve, and hem bands. Plus, the intense color of the fleece side gives me heart eyes.
What’s Great About Lola
My two favorite things about my blue Lola are:
1.) It has Pockets of Epicness. Yes, capital “P” and capital “E.” Not only can I carry my phone with ease, I can carry my husband’s phone, your phone, her phone, his phone, and a 12-pack of La Croix. All this on top of looking sweet, natch.
2.) This pattern has visual and sewing interest in spades. Princess seams, guys, it’s all about the princess seams. They curve over your curvy body and make pattern pieces fun to sew. No, really.
What Could Be Better
While I do love how this sweater dress turned out and it’s in my regular winter wardrobe rotation, I see two major opportunities for improvement:
1.) The sleeves are too short for me and my cold body. I love the look of a three-quarter sleeve, but for cold-weather clothes, they don’t provide enough coverage. Next time I make this dress, I’m definitely making the sleeves full length.
2.) I need to size down and/or shorten the overall length. Upon further review, I should have measured the pattern pieces and thought for a few minutes about ease, proportion, and my body and made some reductions in width and length. This dress looks too big on me.
I added flair with a colorful heart patch on the back of the neck. This patch is one of a set of four from the kids’ section at Target.
It was a fun technical challenge to sew the heart to the dress with a short zig-zag stitch. I had to think through whether I wanted the needle on the left or right as I changed direction. Applique delights me, y’all!
Would I Sew Another Lola Sweater Dress?
I absolutely would sew another Lola sweater dress. The way the pattern pieces came together with the princess seams relaxed me and tickled my brain. The seams were curved, which is fun and challenging, but they were perfectly trued, which is satisfying!
When I make this pattern again, I will shorten the overall length, size down, lengthen the sleeves, and tighten up the neckband. The question then becomes, What should my second Lola be? What’s your favorite cotton fleece? Leave a comment!
The Lola sweater dress earns my recommendation, for sure! The seams make Lola SO MUCH MORE interesting than the average sweatshirt dress. If you’re looking for a majorly snuggly cold-weather dress that’s more stylish and figure conscious than an oversized sweatshirt, Lola is your gal.
Over to you: Do you have a favorite sweater dress sewing pattern? Honest to goodness, I could do a whole winter wardrobe out of Lola and Simplicity 8738 and leggings.