Secret Garden Dress

In December, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my best friend from uni. I lived with Beccy for 3 crazy laughter-filled years and she knows me better than most. It’s a shame life has gotten in the way since graduating, I don’t see her as often as I’d like to.

Now, of course, every wedding deserves a brand new dress. So I decided to make one even though it was literally the week before Christmas. Oh, and I still hadn’t made my daughters’ tepee. I wanted something happy and bright so this fabric I picked up in the SewBrum swap was calling me:

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew Victoria Phillip Jacobs Lavinia Green_zpshutec2s8.jpg

I think calling this the “Secret Garden” dress fits quite nicely, don’t you? I didn’t pay any attention to the selvedge when I picked it up, but this fabric is called Lavinia Green and is by Phillip Jacobs.

Another Lilou Dress

I wanted to re-visit the Tilly and the Buttons Lilou bodice with a gathered skirt. I decided to add in seam pockets. Adding pockets isn’t hard, and it’s not something to get that excited over but I do find pockets very useful in skirts and dresses. Firstly, because I have children who hand me small things and except me to look after them. Also, I like having pockets to thrust my hands into when feeling particularly sociably awkward. So here you go, spot the pocket:

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew Victoria In Seam Pocket_zpsjulc34de.jpg

I used green gingham for the bodice lining, so I made the pockets to match:

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew Victoria Hidden Pocket_zps004elxex.jpg

And here’s a peek at the bodice. I love the little sew in label. Everyone who got a goodie bag at Sew Brum got one:

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew victoria Sew Brum label_zpsg8p9iskl.jpg

I’m pretty happy with the fit of the bodice from the front. On my first version, the straps have a tendency to fall down, so I shortened them a bit. It seems to have worked and, from the front, I have a pretty well-fitted Lilou dress. I don’t have any photos of me in the dress, it’s been so dark for decent photos.

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew Victoria Bodice Lilou Dress Tilly and the Buttons_zpsyfpf1ncb.jpg

Fitting Woes

Yes, you did read that right. It’s a good fit from the front. The back of this bodice is not good at all! My first mistake was not to re-measure myself, but I cut the same size as the first because I still wear it and it fits. Seemingly, I’ve caused more problems than I solved by messing with the strap length, because the back is gaping in the middle. I’m never going to wear this dress without a cardigan anyway as I made an error with the zip. The gaping isn’t too much of a problem here.

If I sew another Lilou bodice I need to invest some serious time in fitting a muslin. Patterns all need tweaking but if I’ve got to change the strap length and then start messing with the back too, I wonder whether it’s worth the effort? I think I’m better off finding the same style of bodice in my Lutterloh patterns and going from there.

A Zip Disaster!

So anyway, this hot mess of a zip. Well see for yourself:

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew Victoria Not Very Invisible Zip_zpsjblzjqvs.jpg

I know, I know. It’s the wrong damn colour. Of course, when you decide to sew something 48 hours before you need to wear it, you’re kind of backing yourself into a corner of using what’s available. Of course, I only had white or cream zips. It went in OK, except for one little bit where I should have gotten closer to the teeth (see on the right?) and I’m happy with where my seams line up, but argh that damn colour. I have actually ordered a green zip since with the intention of making it right, but whether I actually do that is another thing :-/ Although of course, I could sort out the bodice fit if I do that.

I forgot to mention the skirt. As with my first version, I went with a gathered skirt. It’s quick, it’s easy and I like them. Of course, when on a deadline nothing goes to plan… After letting it hang overnight before hemming, I ended up unpicking the front to redistribute the gathers more evenly. Don’t look too closely at where the skirt meets the bodice. My stitch in the ditch skills need some serious improvement. Although I do now have a special foot for that, hurrah.

The Finished Dress

 photo Secret Garden Dress Sew Victoria Lilou bodice with gathered skirt_zpsghzcl7s4.jpg

So there we have it, the Secret Garden dress with an absolutely-not-secret zip which I may or may not fix. Despite the minor issues, I’m chalking this up as a win. I know I have no photos, but trust me, it looked awesome with a purple shrug (which I knitted!), my favourite bright pink shoes and a thin bright pink belt. I really love it. The next dress I’m planning is my (hopefully) wearable muslin of the Sewaholic Cambie, and I’ll definitely be sure to use the right colour zip, haha!


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