A Lilou in Downtown Mobile

me in street

Last weekend I started to construct the Lilou dress from Tilly & The Buttons. Since getting this book as a birthday present in December, I’ve been working through the projects as they appear in the book. I’ve really enjoyed making every item so I was looking forward to making my first ever lined dress! I chose some super wide fabric that I picked up at an estate sale for $1. Perfect for the skirt panels; wide fabric is recommended. Even though the width of the fabric was perfect, I didn’t have enough lengthwise to stick to cutting everything on the grain. After a little bit of research, I decided to cut the skirt on the cross grain – this way I managed to get all pattern pieces cut without having to sacrifice any seam allowances! The lining was a scrap of fabric I had left from another make from last year. Luckily, I had just enough to cut the lining out, though I did have to cut the pieces with the pattern running in different directions.


The construction was fairly straight forward. There were a couple of instructions that I needed to read carefully and more than once, such as the pleating of the skirt. Once I had processed the instructions though, it was pretty easy. I actually really liked the pleating method and will use it again, possibly with another type of bodice.

Me full dress view with Maisy

I had read about a couple of fitting issues with the bodice but had decided to make it up and see how it went. The fabric was hardly expensive so the worse case scenario was that it would be my ‘muslin’ for the next time around. I didn’t use an invisible zip and the one I used was not as long as the one recommended so it was a little tight getting the dress over my bust. I did need to shorten the straps 1.5 inches but as the straps were already constructed ( & lined!) I had to create a french seam; the only method I could think of that would still look neat but didn’t require me to unpick the whole bodice!!

Back of dress wide image

Full dress view back

Once I had altered the straps, I tried it on again and ‘ummmed & aaahhhhed’ about the fit! I really liked it but I had visions of the bodice being really fitted. Mine wasn’t and seemed to be a little baggy in places. I took a quick look online and compared my dress to ones that others have made. Mine wasn’t too different and many people also had a loose bodice so I wasn’t too fussed about altering mine to be tighter.

Me in market with Maisy

The dress was debuted as we headed around the farmer’s market in Downtown Mobile. It was 33°C and the dress was lovely and cool! The loose bodice was a good decision to stick with!

Head over to my blog, Threads & Bobbins to check out this post with a few extra photos! 🙂

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