Kilkenny cats that almost weren’t, brought to you by Spit Up and Stilettos

I haven’t posted since Indie Pattern Month last year, mostly because I just like to gawk at everyone’s entries instead of actually completing my own projects. But here we are and I (barely) finished this in time for New –To-Me Week!

This pattern, the Elizabeth Dress found here by Spit Up and Stilettos, was marked as an advanced pattern. I had actually been linked to that page from Pinterest (everyone has this story, right?!) and found a really great assortment of patterns. Reading through her site, I found she shifted her focus to children’s wear, and therefore had made all of her women’s patterns free. That was an added extra!

The fabric came from my mom, who bought the entire remainder of the bolt, because, well….CATS DRESSED UP IN FANCY CLOTHING!

I surveyed the pattern, layout and supply list. Sure, I’ve got an invisible zipper and bias tape! Great! Let’s GO! Maybe if I weren’t so mesmerized by finding the exact pattern I wanted, I wouldn’t have failed to notice that the dresses made from this pattern had matching bias tape for the arm and neck holes. I understand the concept of bias tape, however have never made it before. Trial and error (and YouTube videos) ended up being successful, after a fashion. I did have a very strong moment of disbelief when a cheery voiced tutorial maker exclaimed, “This is so much fun to make, and one of my favorite things to do!”

Then, once it was finally on my garment, I totally geeked out and will probably only want to make my own bias tape so it matches all pretty-pretty. I most likely will invest in a bias tape maker, a device I had no idea existed. All I can say is thank goodness for Google and that it knows what I want when I type in “Make bias tape without…”

So, here I am with my pattern all taped up and cut out. The directions suggest a 4-5 hour time frame. My perhaps not so “Advanced” sewing skills suggested more like 16 hours! SIXTEEN HOURS! I’ll save you the drama of it all but let’s just say my seam picker definitely got quite a work out.

The pattern itself went together smoothly, it was the more technical aspects of it that took me longer. Something really wonky was up with the armholes, which I redrafted, but I’m chalking that up to user error and not pattern error. All in all, I have some new skills, such as a button loop, and open back, and making my own bias tape.

Quick and Dirty Details:

Pattern: Elizabeth Dress by Spit Up and Stilettos (free pattern)

Fabric: Kilkenny Cats Pink, by Scalamandre, listed as a “printed glazed sateen”.

Notions: Invisible zipper, bias tape, pretty button

Pattern changes: Adjusted armholes, everything else was cut at the smallest size and fit quite nicely. I was definitely appreciative that it didn’t look like a potato sack, her measurements are quite true to size.

7 thoughts on “Kilkenny cats that almost weren’t, brought to you by Spit Up and Stilettos

  1. This is a great dress, I’m a sucker for great prints myself. And I admire you for picking up the glove on making bias tape, I’ve come across those tuorials too and thought…naaaahhh, 🙂 But they do look good.


  2. mioawser! that fabric is soooo purr-ty! Self bias is such a great finish, you time was well invested to learn it. BTW, a really quick and accurate way to cut bias is with a rotary cutter and ruler guide.


    • I was looking for some made up ones as well (when I thoroughly confused myself halfway through construction) and could also only find just a few. For such little pattern markings (pleats and darts) there is a lot of interest and style to the pattern that made it worth it. It’s like trendy but classic at the same time. I would recommend it. Thanks for the comment about the fit- and it’s also very comfortable. I don’t think if I made it again it would take me as long, but I was learning as I was going so… I’d love to see what you choose for fabrics and know what you think when you get around to sewing it up. I saw the ones with the netting/sheer fabric on the yoke and I thought it would be too hard for me to work with, so I actually just used an old vintage slip here. I had to dye it in a coffee bath to get it just the right color, but I’m happy with a more substantial fabric for the yoke area. Also, I think if I used a lighter material that I wouldn’t have been able to use the bias tape I did as that fabric is thicker and it would have distorted it too much.

      Liked by 1 person

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