The Purrfect Lilou Dress

ACS_0014I am beyond thrilled that I am finally able to wear my Lilou Dress from Love at First Stitch. This has been one of those projects that I started about half a year ago, nearly finished it, then put it aside and focused on other projects because it was going so well, and I didn’t want to ruin it. It has been hanging in my sewing room waiting for a zipper and a hem for MONTHS, and I’m so happy that I finally get to frolick around South Florida in it.

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This dress holds a lot of weight with me (figuratively, not literally… I hope). I have been learning to sew over the past year, and this book by Tilly and the Buttons has been my main teacher – truly!

I took my first sewing class October 2016 at a little place called Bits of Thread in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington, D.C. It was six hours long, and at the end of it I was able to take home a little drawstring bag and a pair of shorts that I had made! I was completely overwhelmed with pride and satisfaction at the fact that I had created something useful out of what had been squares of fabric that very morning!

With every paycheck over the next few months, I saved up little by little to afford private sewing lessons. That Christmas, the only thing I asked for was a sewing machine. I researched all of the different sewing books out there, and Love at First Stitch kept coming up as a great resource for beginners. I bought the book, excited to work on it after a few private lessons.

A week before my next paycheck which would give me enough money for private lessons, I received an email from the studio saying they were permanently closing. DC is expensive, and it seemed they were not getting enough business anymore to afford the rent.

I was devastated. Not only did I feel for the incredibly sweet and helpful women who worked there, but in terms of sewing lessons, I had no other options. I asked around for other teachers, but everyone in the area was wildly out of my price range.

On a rainy weekend, I opened up my book and was instantly inspired. Tilly’s story of how she came to love sewing sounded exactly like how I had felt that Sunday when I had made my first ever article of clothing. The clear and easy to read step by step instructions supplemented by brightly colored photos was all the invitation I needed to get started.

So, first thing next morning I made the trek out to the closest JoAnn Fabrics (an hour and a half on the subway), and purchased all the tools and fabric I would need for the Brigitte Scarf and Margot pajamas. By late afternoon I was at my desk with my fabric washed and dried, ready to begin!

I worked through Tilly’s book for the next six months making muslin after muslin after muslin. I am a perfectionist to a fault, and I was too afraid to make anything out of the beautiful fabrics I was collecting because I didn’t feel like I could do them justice!

But now – look! I made a thing!

I have made other projects in this book, such as the Margot pajama pants, Delphine skirt, and Clemence skirt from the book that I wear about town. While I love them all, I am most proud of this dress.

 

 

You don’t need me to tell you this, but this book is perfect for beginners and experienced sewists (sewists? sewers? sewies? IDK). Tilly takes you through step by step and gently guides you to success. She explains EVERY.SINGLE.DETAIL. She truly takes your hand, and walks you through different techniques like how to sew darts, add an invisible zipper (which is still my ultimate nemesis, and the reason why this dress was left unfinished for so long), and pretty much everything a beginner needs to know to graduate onto other patterns. I also love that she encourages the reader to take every item of clothing and make it their own! She is a true creative who embraces and inspires others to make things that are unique to them.

Anyways – I’m extremely excited for her newest book. I am supposed to receive my copy some time next week, and every day feels like eternity while I wait. In the meantime, I will continue to peruse all of the other bloggers who already have access to the patterns and live vicariously through them.

BTW: Let’s acknowledge the gigantic cat in the room. And by that I mean HOW CUTE IS THIS FABRIC? Pardon the cat hair on the brim of the hat – I had just wrestled this from Loki. No – not the Norse god. And unfortunately, no – not Tom Hiddleston. Loki is my adorable but mischevious Siamese/Tabby cat with the same name.  She also has a brother named Thor, and yes, they were the inspiration behind my fabric choice. Okay… like I was saying: HOW CUTE IS THIS FABRIC???

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In summary, these are the details for this outfit:

  • Dress Pattern: Lilou Dress (with gathered skirt instead of pleated), Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons.
  • Fabric: Crepe de Chine from Fabric.com – sadly it’s no longer available.
  • Hat: Target
  • Shoes: A tiny boutique near my apartment in South Korea.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what patterns you are currently loving.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,

Allie

12 thoughts on “The Purrfect Lilou Dress

  1. Allie! I LOVED your blog and journey into sewing! It will be a lifelong pursuit, believe me! I took my first formal lessons at the. Bernina Shop on Louisiana Ave. in Pburg and surprised myself by creating a blouse, suit skirt, vest and suit jacket. I wore them proudly for many years. Here’s to you and sewing! ❤️ Mrs. A

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! I believe I bought this fabric back in February of last year and didn’t cut into it until July because I was terrified of ruining it. But don’t let that fear deter you! I’m so happy I finally got over my own anxieties because now I can show it off around town. 😊

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      1. I feel like I’m performing surgery when I cut fabric 😀 I’m very new to the sewing world too so I’m super cautious. Looking forward to following your next creation!

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