Even though we are approaching cold weather here in the Southern Hemisphere, I really appreciate this new dress pattern from True Bias because we are planning a tropical getaway at the end of winter. The Lora Dress from True Bias is a really flattering empire waist dress and can be sewn in two lengths. I’ve chosen the longer length here but I’m also keen to sew the knee length version. The dress has buttons all the way down the centre front which stops just above the knees. My version of the dress has the spaghetti straps but there is also a full sleeved version. All views are lined at the bodice which have underbust gathers.
Before cutting into my fabric, I toiled the bodice up to the hips because this dress is fitted through the waist and hip area and the bodice should finish snugly under the bust area. My measurements of 35-inch high bust, 37-inch full bust, 33-inch waist and 40-inch hips sat between the size 10 and size 12 on the Size Chart. I was also considering if I needed a small bust adjustment (SBA) as the cup size for the dress is a C-Cup which is a three-inch difference between the high bust and full bust. I ended up adjusting the bodice from a size 10 to a size 12 waist/skirt and shortened the spaghetti straps by 1 inch. I didn’t end up with an SBA as I felt the cups sat comfortably.
The pattern recommends light to medium woven fabric. I was grateful to be able to have a good chat to Kelli who is the lovely Director of True Bias. We discussed how the gathers of the underbust meant that the fabric would need to be lightweight like under 5oz, but it was also good to choose a fabric that had some structure like a linen or cotton. If choosing a rayon, then the dress lining would need to have some stabilising qualities like a cotton lawn as rayon can “grow” and stretch out. I had wondered about Tencel twill as well especially for the sleeved version but thought that Tencel can be quite thick and heavy which might affect the gathers. In the end, I found the perfect Hand-block/Batik Fabric which is lightweight. It’s 100 percent cotton which will be so breathable and easy to wear in hot weather. I’ve chosen to line the bodice with white muslin fabric which will not interrupt any of the gathers under the bust.
This pattern also calls for 12 shank buttons as there are twelve loop buttons along the centre front. I had made buttons before in a previous project, so I was keen to try again. In my previous attempt, I had a very easy “press-in” technique version, but I was disappointed that the cap kept falling off whenever I used the buttons so this time, I searched for a better kit to use. I found a “sewn-in” kit which I would highly recommend because the caps stay firmly in place once made. Of course, there are shank buttons that have been listed on the True Bias website or you can also use normal buttons which have been covered in a tutorial by True Bias.
I have sewn quite a few patterns from True Bias and the instructions are always logical and easy to follow. I also find that the techniques are educational, and I often refer back to True Bias patterns. Sewing and construction went very smoothly. I especially loved sewing the button loops and I also loved constructing the bodice and found it very satisfying to hand sew the bodice lining. It’s all the details that really make the pattern so unique.
Counting down now to enjoying this dress in the tropics!
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
*Paid Collaboration with True Bias Patterns