This is the very seasonally inappropriate Darling Lou dress. It's a mash-up of Megan Nielsen's Darling Ranges dress, and Tilly And The Buttons Lilou dress.
This dress has been in the planning for a while now. Since last May to be exact, when I saw Lizzie's Darling Ranges dress with a gathered skirt. I really loved this, (especially the birdies fabric!) and thought the gathered skirt looked great. Also, it has a faux placket (so no faffing about with buttonholes) and a zip in the side seam.
And this is what I had planned to make until about three weeks' ago when I saw Jo's shirt dress. How gorgeous is this?! I love this dress for several reasons. 1 - It's purple, and I have some very similar purple fabric which I had already planned to make a shirt dress with. 2. I love the details of the pleats on the skirt and the sleeves. The skirt pleats reminded me of the Lilou dress, so this is what I decided to use instead of a gathered dirdnl skirt.
|I used the sleeve cuffs from Tilly And The Buttons Mathilde blouse|
I drafted the bodice and sleeves using my block, but instead of following Lizzie's example and using a faux placket, I gave myself extra work by making a proper placket. I'm glad I did though, because I wanted to practice plackets, and I love how it turn out. Also, it helps to be able to unbutton the placket to get it on and off.
I'm so glad that I went with the Lilou skirt, it is lovely and flouncy, even in this light weight fabric. I just folded in the seam allowance on the centre back and cut the skirt back on the fold. Expect to see this skirt featuring in other makes; I have fabric for two more dresses that I plan to use it with (one being the purple shirt dress), and have ideas for another two.
The seasonally inappropriate fabric is some random viscose fabric from Sew N Sew in Belfast. It was £3 per metre and 60" wide, so I bought 3 metres, and have about a metre left. I soaked it in gelatine to stiffen it up a bit using the tutorials here and here, which I have done before with success. It is then washed out when the garment is finished. I recently read a tip about laying slippery fabric out on the carpet before cutting it to stop it shifting so much. I wish I'd tried this, as I cut it on the wooden floor, and it still shifted a bit even with the gelatin. But I'll know for next time, as I have some more of this fabric in a different print.
And because my fabric is so light, I thought a rolled hem might look nice on it. Ages ago, I had got a Craftsy class called Beginners Serging, and learnt how to do a rolled hem on it. This is a 4-thread rolled hem, and I thought it looked a bit sturdier than how my 3-thread rolled hem turned out. My overlocker is a Brother 1034D which seems to be a popular model, so for anybody that is interested in trying this out, here are the settings that I used.
Remove the stitch finger - see page 42 of the instruction book for how to do this.
Left needle tension - 4
Right needle tension - 4
Upper looper tension - 4
Lower looper tension - 6
Stitch width - R
Stitch length - R
This is the first rolled hem that I've done, and I love how it turned out. I would definately advice practising on a fabric scrap first though!
I'm delighted with my dress, even if it's too cold to wear such a light weight fabric just now; and because I didn't have any instructions to follow, I wrote some out as I went along on this notepad that my Dad gave me. How great is this? It has buttons on it, and ric rac!
Have a great week!