‘Lilou’ dress (Tilly and the Buttons)

Lilou is the final pattern in the book Love At First Stitch, which I’ve been working through for a couple of months now. The projects get harder as the book progresses so this is the most challenging one, mostly because it’s lined (eek!).

For the lining I used a cotton lawn, and for the outside I chose a navy viscose crepe, which was a real challenge to sew as it has a will of its own and frays like crazy! The hardest part was keeping the crepe still whilst the pattern was being cut out- I now understand why people use rotary cutters!

One thing I found out through this pattern is that I love pleats! Especially with this crepe, they give the skirt a wonderful drape and make it feel lovely and swishy against the skin. In the photo on the left you can see the drape more clearly.

Aside from the tricky fabric, the biggest challenge was the straps. When I toiled it they were much too wide, so I altered the pattern accordingly. However, I didn’t realise that later on I’d have to fit the entire back of the bodice through the strap in order to turn the bodice right-side out. Because I’d made the straps so narrow it was near impossible to push it through. In the end I managed it by spending a frustrating hour using a chopstick to ease the fabric through- luckily I didn’t make a hole in the delicate crepe!

The lining, which I was super nervous about, wasn’t actually that hard. It peeks out from the neckline in some places, but I’m generally happy with it.

I’d love to make this pattern in a fabric with more structure, but I probably won’t because if the fabric was any thicker it wouldn’t be possible to turn it right-side out.

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