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.
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!