I have been looking for an opportunity to make the Lilou dress from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes since I first got the book. The pleated option with bow belt in matching fabric is a lovely retro-style cocktail dress:
This was the second lined dress I have made. Attaching the lining went well, but I found sewing it to the underarms tricky. I was tempted to turn it right side out, but couldn't bear to turn it inside out, then back to the right side again afterwards, so I followed the instructions in the book and it turned out fine. The pleats were made using a method that was new to me, and I have to re-read the instructions several times before finally pinning it correctly. I love the movement and fullness they give to the skirt. I had to adjust the fit on the bodice by taking a 2cm seam allowance on the back seam, and I think I could take taken more off. I think I might need to start making the next size down in Tilly's patterns soon (yippee!). Annoyingly, the waistband seam wasn't level after inserting the zip (seems to be a recurring problem for me at the moment). At least it is hidden by the bow belt!
I ended up having to ask my Mum for some help with adjusting the fit at the shoulders - she had to unpick the lining and reattach to make the adjustments. I think I might start making a toile for any bigger dress projects in future to avoid this. The bow belt ended up being trickier than I thought it would be, but I love it. I added poppers as well as hook and eye so that it would definitely sit straight.
Here is the finished result (modelled before all the champagne):
It was a great night (The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For awards dinner - we came 43rd), and I'll definitely be wearing Lilou again.
I joined Instagram a couple of weeks ago and am already slightly addicted to all the lovely sewing and fabric related posts. You can see more of what I have been up to at @adventuresinfabric
Finally, I was the lucky recipient of this stash of vintage sewing magazines last week:
I'm very excited about trying out some vintage sewing projects soon! x