Last weekend I was invited to the wedding of my friend Jon and his lovely fiancée (and now wife!) Stacey. Not only is this the first wedding that I have been invited to as an adult, it’s also the first big occasion I’ve been to as a sewist. And if a wedding isn’t a good enough excuse for making something new, I’m not sure what is!!
As a result, this past week has been spent furiously sewing the Lilou dress from Tilly and the Buttons‘ book Love at First Stitch. I made the gathered skirt version (due to this lovely fabric I got in the Village Haberdashery Boxing Day sale being a bit too narrow for the pleated original) with a scalloped neckline for extra prettiness.
Given I’m still at an early stage in my sewing journey, I still learn a lot from each and every make. The thing I learnt from making my Lilou was, in contrast to my last post about Speed Sewing, taking your time actually saves you time.
Whilst this might sound contradictory at first, throughout making the Lilou I was really conscious of the fact that I was sewing to a deadline. This meant I rushed through the steps, which resulted in me unpicking a lot:
- I originally cut the bodice without the scallops. Thankfully I had only cut the lining, and i had enough to re-cut the front bodice piece with self-drafted scallops!
- I had to sew the side seams on the skirt three times; first because I had sewn the French seam the wrong way, and then again when I had re-sewn the French seam only to remember that I wanted to add pockets.
- I had to unpick the side seams on the bodice after realising I couldn’t turn the bodice the right way round with them stitched together
- I had to unpick the gathers after not pinning them to the skirt before doing the final tacking stitch. This meant that the skirt stretched out and was too big for the bodice.
- I also had to re-do the zip after accidentally getting it twisted the first time!
- I had spent so much time un-picking and re-sewing that I had to finish hand-stitching the lining and the bow-belt whilst on the train up to Scarborough for the big day itself!
All told, I could have probably finished this project a lot quicker if I’d taken a little more time over each step and actually read the instructions properly instead of second guessing myself!!
Even though it caused me a bit of grief to get right, I’m really happy with how the dress turned out! If (or rather when) I make another version I’ll probably shorten the bodice a little as it is a teensy bit long on me, but overall I think it looks pretty good!
The wedding itself was absolutely lovely, and the sun even came out in honour of the occasion. I think I will probably make another outfit the next time I get invited to a big ‘do’, but maybe I’ll give myself a little more time and pay closer attention to the instructions!!