I promised that I’d try and catch up with a few of my recent makes, so I’m going to make a start with Lilou from Tilly and the Buttons’ Love at First Stitch book! My ex-housemate Caroline came down to stay about a month ago and requested that we make a trip to the fabric shop down the end of the road (it’s a 5-10 minute walk from my front door, it’s great). I hadn’t intended to buy anything but when I saw the fabric and the price I snapped up a couple of metres with a half-baked plan to turn it into a Lilou at some point. The fabric is a medium weight cotton not dissimilar to quilting cotton which gives it a bit of body but is still light enough to get away with a fairly full skirt.
Unfortunately the fabric was too narrow to make the pleated skirt so I just used the same pattern pieces from my Clémence skirt (more on that another week!) and attached it to the bodice as instructed. I was also hoping I could sneak in some more side seam pockets since I’ve learned how to put them into French seams (again, more on that with Clémence) but only having 2m of fabric meant that there wasn’t enough left for pockets.
For once I actually made a toile for the bodice as I’ve had issues with back neck gaping on all T&TB patterns I’ve tried so far if I cut the right size for my measurements. With the helping hand of my housemate I took about 4cm out of the back neckline and redrafted the back bodice piece to reflect the change, also including an extra half centimetre along the waist seam to allow for big dinners! This seems to have done the trick as the bodice fits really nicely without being either too snug or too baggy.
This is the first thing I’ve made since purchasing an invisible zip foot for my machine and it really made a difference in how concealed the zip turned out. I made sure I pressed the zip teeth well before stitching to get as close as possible so along with having the correct foot for the job I’m really chuffed with the “invisibleness” of my zip. I even somehow managed to get some of the vines to match across it!
The bodice is lined with the same fabric as the rest of the dress which leads to some very pretty guts along with the French seams in the skirt. The method for lining the bodice is really clever and leads to a really neat finish especially since it’s slipstitched rather than machine stitched to the rest of the dress. In desperation to get the dress done in time for Easter Day I finished the bodice at 1.15am on the day whilst sitting in bed trying to stay awake – not my best planned moment! Overall I really enjoyed making this dress as it taught me a few things I’ve not done before like lining a bodice and redrafting pattern pieces for improved fit. I’m definitely thinking another of these dresses in a drapier fabric could work its way into my sewing pile at some point…