Simple Sew Lily Dress 

A few weeks a go I was unwell and to cheer me up, my more than fabulous husband passed Abakhan in Mostyn and picked me up some fabrics. One of which is a gorgeous red with white birds and flowers on. I was so so flattered he did this for me. I hugely underestimated him as I wouldn’t have said he’d be able to pick fabrics but he’s done good!!

I had a hunt round my stash and the red colour just drew me to Simple Sew Lily Dress which was free with Issue 33 of Love Sewing but I got from EBay! It has a Chinese style feel, perfect for red, and I decided on View D with the scallop edge and collar. It has three quarter length sleeves which are my favourite and a nice shape. 

I can be a bit guilty of going for the easy option if I worry I can’t do it. However, because the hubby had been kind enough to get me this fabric,  I felt it deserved my full efforts and to become what I wanted it to be, so scallop and collar it was.

Image result for simple sew lilly dress

I really wanted this to be a slow sew, something I took my time over and I really have. I have made it by just doing one or two steps in an evening and I’ve really enjoyed the process. Having said that, I am noticing that as my skills improve, I am getting faster at sewing garments overall.

The pattern suggested that you draw the scallop edges to get them even so I did, with some trepidation, but it worked and I think they are pretty equal.

I don’t usually go for facings, as you will know if you read my blog but there isn’t much of a choice with this one. I think they’ve worked out great though. They sit right and I don’t feel uncomfortable in them.

Because of the nature of the bodice, I had to constantly check I was doing it the right way round but I didn’t make any mistakes and I’m happy with it. I pressed it and it was so far so good as far as I could see.

The skirt has a gathered waist so that was easy to match up! I sewed up the edges and inserted the zip in the side. I found this really tricky because the crossover in the bodice meets the zip. I basted it in place and sewed the zip in and it went horrendously… In the spirit of being a truthful seamstress (fails and all) here’s a picture of the disgrace that was…

I unpicked the whole thing and hand basted it in place, which worked out much better. I then inserted the set in sleeves, which joined at the top of the zip I don’t have much experience with side zips and I’m not sure how close it’s supposed to be to the under arm… Any advice on this, sewers?

I decided on white buttons and had to get my hubby to mark the placement whilst I had it on. It was hard to do on my Suzie doll because I couldn’t see where it was naturally going to meet. The buttons worked out and I also had to tack the last curved edge in place.

I really thought I was going to love this dress, the fabric is fab and the pattern looked like it would be perfect for my shape but I’m not sure about the fit… I feel maybe I should have lengthened the bodice so the skirt sits more of my hips and maybe it could have done with taking in slightly. The pictures on the pattern suggest a much lower waistline and I think because I usually need a FBA it has meant that the bodice sits slightly higher on me. Also, the collar feels a bit too big and perhaps that means the neckline is too wide but I’m not sure how to fix that!

I’m pleased with the experience though as I feel I’ve been gradually improving and this was something I chose to deliberately test my skills, which it has done and I can learn from. If I made it again, I would lengthen the bodice and omit the collar I think.

I styled this with red shows and a brown plaited belt. I hope you can see some of the details. It’s so tricky to photograph red! 

29 thoughts on “Simple Sew Lily Dress 

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  3. Yes, great print and colour, both. Your husband has a great eye! I like the unusual bodice design of this dress, but I can see how it would be a little tricky. I think it looks great on you.

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  4. Lovely colour – and another who is amazed by the fabric selecting husband!I think the fit looks good on you but I know what you mean about feeling something is a bit off even when it isn’t visible to others!

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    • Thanks a lot. I know, everyone has made me feel like he’s super husband (which he is, obviously!) I think without the belt, it’s a bit off, exactly, I think we feel it more than others see it!!


  5. Beautiful fabric – your husband did good – wish mine went out and bought me fabric! I love the bodice of this dress – really unique. I see what you mean about the waist looking lower on the pattern, but actually I think the fit looks good on you nonetheless.

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    • Thanks so much. I know! It was completely out of the blue, usually he checks before he buys bread so don’t know where it came from, but obviously I’m really happy!! I’d make it again so that can only be a good thing! 😁

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  6. What a lovely dress! I love the colour it really suits you – it’s not often I sew something in red but I may have to start… it looks great! I’ve not made a simple sew pattern before but I’m about to sew up a simple sew ‘cocoon dress’ in a lineny type fabric – do you have any advice for one of these patterns? The instructions look very straightforward so far… Thank you, enjoy wearing your dress!

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    • It’s the first time I’ve done one of their patterns, I do have the pussybow blouse cut out too though. They are exactly what they say, really simply but just use your gut. I’m sure it’ll work out. I bet the cocoon will look lovely in linen! Thanks so much for your lovely comments. x


  7. I think it looks great! Everyone should have a red dress in their wardrobe – your husband did well! I can’t imagine mine buying me fabric!

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    • Thanks so much. I know. It’s so cheerful. He must have been feeling the red that day because I have another too which is red and brown flowers with gold-ish detailing (much nicer than it sounds!) he’s a love isn’t he?! Completely surprised me because usually I’m like errmmm… No love! 😂

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  8. It looks like a somewhat challenging dress pattern so way to pull it off! I’m super impressed that your husband, on his own, went out and surprised you with yards of fabric. That’s like every woman’s wet dream. Well, every sewing woman’s wet dream. I would be completely floored if my boyfriend did this for me.

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    • Thanks so much. It was a bit of a challenge but that’s how I’ve learnt! He’s a gem, isn’t he?! I know he’s good with presents but that was something else!! I was as surprised as anyone!


  9. I think it looks great Emma! You’ve done an awesome job. I think in the photos I can see what you mean about the bodice sitting a little high. It’s certainly not high at the back so perhaps you will need to invite your friend FBA to the party for the next one. Regardless though, it looks banging on you!

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    • Thanks, yes, I think you’re completely right but we live and learn! Definitely for the next one! It’s not unusual for dresses to sit high on me but that’s not why we make our own is it?! Thanks a lot though, I don’t wear much red and it’s really cheering me up!

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