Saturday, 5 September 2015

Graduation Dress: Tilly and the Buttons' 'Lilou' for Holly

Hello again!

I said I hadn't been totally idle despite my lack of blogging in my last post and it's true, my sewing machine has barely seen a rest and could probably do with a good clean! Here's my 'graduation' project from Tilly and The Buttons' 'Love at First Stitch' book, and it feels incredibly satisfying to have got to the finishing line. Here are my previous projects (the only project I never managed to blog was the Margot PJ bottoms as they were a very rushed-job gift): Brigitte, Delphine, Clemence, Megan and Mimi versions one and two

I can't promise that I'll stop banging on about this book though as I'm really keen to recreate that Megan dress that ended up too small, and in the last 'Your Makes' post on Tilly's blog there was a very covetable midi version of the Clemence skirt that I'd like to imitate! However, I plan to make things more interesting for upcoming posts by going back to tackling trousers and jeans as the Autumn descends. And there's my long-neglected Vintage Pattern Pledge- I've achieved a grand total of zero makes towards that this year! 

Anyway here's the final hurdle- the Lilou dress! To be honest it wasn't that much of a hurdle- I'm surprised I stuck out so long before making it as I've made more complex dresses in the past, including the Elisalex (which I've made twice, versions one and two) which isn't too dissimilar in style other than the Elisalex includes optional sleeves and the skirt is box-pleated. The instructions for attaching the bodice lining for the Lilou give a neater finish though so I'm glad I've tried my hand at both, and I'd probably apply some of the Lilou finishes to my next Elisalex. The instructions for the Lilou also included a tutorial to get crisp pleats- I skimmed over the instructions for this however thinking I knew what I was about, and missed a step accidentally. As a result my pleats could have been better- seeing these pictures I notice a tendency for the centre pleats to taper downwards rather than kick out as they should (sorry Holly!). 

I can't remember what size I made this in but I stuck to one size with this rather than grading between two as I had done with the previous dress I made for Holly (although that was a much more straightforward design in terms of fitting). If I'd had time to do a proper fitting process I think I would have gone down a size in the bodice, or at least made a swayback alteration as you can see there is a bit too much fabric at in the back bodice in the photo above. I would also maybe increase the length of the shoulder straps or lower the armholes a smidge. As it was I made everything up straight from the pattern and surprised her with the dress (she knew I was making her something so at least I had the measurements to work with) so it was a bit of a risk, but I figure this will fit at least as well as an off-the-rack dress. 

Overall I'm pretty pleased with it, although it's in a very light cotton so may not be wearable for too much longer this year as the season change is kicking in. Fingers crossed for a bit of September sun...It's a really pretty style and I can see myself in one, although I'll wait for next summer, unless I have a go at it in a warmer fabric and try attaching the Elisalex sleeves... Holly and I will just have to liaise about who's wearing the Lilou when!

Have you made the Lilou yet, or ever felt the joy of completing a sewing book? 

Until next time,

NorseOtter xxx

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