Jan 062014

Welcome everyone to the Gunmetal Sew-Along! This is a two skull (out of five) level of difficulty so we are only taking 4 sessions, including this one. Feel free to leave us any questions you may have throughout the sew-along.

To see all of the sew-along post links together, go to the Gunmetal Sew-Along page to see all the posts. If you still need to buy your Gunmetal pattern, click here to go to the Lolita Patterns shop. You have the option to buy the paper copy, a PDF copy or a paper copy with D-rings.


Part of the fun of the Gunmetal top/dress is reaching for the overlay fabrics. You want there to be stretch in the overlay fabric. Two way stretch on both the knit and the overlay is enough but you can also choose 4 way stretch materials. We recommend you find a knit with a bit of spandex/lycra in it for good recovery.

You’ll also need

Stay tape

Six 3/8″ buttons for View A

Two yards of ruffle trim (optional if you don’t want to make your own trim)

1 yd 1/4″ clear elastic for View B

Twenty 3/8″ D-rings for View B

Three yards of 3/8″ ribbon for View B

Choosing a size and fitting

When you look at the finished measurements chart, you’ll notice there is quite a bit of negative ease. You’re working with stretchy fabrics so you want your finished garment to be smaller than your own measurements. If you want to do a quick muslin, you can omit the ruched pieces and make just one layer. You can also measure a finished garment in your closet. You might be surprised to see how much negative ease your clothes actually have. All in all, it’s safe to go with the size that corresponds to your body measurements. I made the size 10 and the negative ease was quite comfortable. With Lolita Patterns, you don’t have to size down to get a snug fit- we’ve done that work for you! Just pick your size and cut it out!

With knit tops and dresses, I tend to cheat and skip the full bust adjustment. I don’t want a dart in my knits (personal preference) so what I did with my Gunmetal was to add one size to the side seams which gave me ample room.

Layout and cutting out your pattern pieces

I’ve laid out the peplum top. You’ll need a bit more fabric for the dress.

DSCN6925 DSCN6929

You can use a rotary cutter for cutting out your overlay pieces. I use my scissors for almost everything and had no problem with the overlay. If your overlay isn’t as stretchy as your knit, you might consider adding a bit of width to the peplum/skirt  pieces, but it’s not necessary.

That’s all we have for today! Join us next time as we get started with all the beautiful details that make Gunmetal such a fun make!

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  10 Responses to “Gunmetal Sew-Along #1: fabric, Choosing a size and fitting, layout and cutting out the pattern pieces”

  1. Hi there! I have my fabric ready to go, but still hmmming and hawing over the sizing. If the smallest size (2) is too big, do you think that it will have enough negative ease to still be okay? Or should I scale it down the amount from size 2 to 4, but making it from 2 to a new size 0?

    • Hey Catja! How close are the final measurements? They’re on your pattern or you can find them here http://www.lolitapatterns.com/gunmetal/
      This pattern has a lot of negative ease so you might be fine but I’d recommend you measure a top you like in your closet and compare that to the final measurements for Gunmetal. Let me know what you find. You could also do a quick muslin of the smallest side and take in the sides to see if that’s snug enough. Again, let me know so I can help.

    • I also found it quite easy to take in the side seams to get a closer fit after the garment was almost complete. If lining you lose the nice “no seams on the inside” factor, but then it you get a nice fit.

      • Oh, yes, I’m definitely lining it. I’m one of ‘those’ people when it comes to the insides looking as good as the outsides. :) For wovens, if you don’t line it, you can do the Hong Kong Seam which also looks really good, but not sure (besides overlocking, which is not pretty) how to finish the seams for knits so that it also looks good as well as neat. Any suggestions are welcome for any future unlined versions.

        • Since I’ve met you, Catja, I can totally see that you would want everything pristinely lined. I love that about you. Your cape was impeccably made! I can only imagine how all the rest of your garments turn out. :)

          • Hee hee hee. I guess for me, I find sewing more of a ‘creative project’ than a practical past-time (with the totally awesome bonus of having a finished garment you can wear), so I really enjoy fiddling around with colour and pattern matching and all kinds of finishing details

      • Awesome! That definitely works! And really, you don’t have to line it. It’s definitely an option. I’ve just happened to make the two I’ve made lined but Amity has some unlined. :)

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