The “Lilly” Dress
Fabric: Amy Butler Modern Midwest II Fresh Poppies (Sky), $8.98/yd x 2.5 yds. from Fabric.com
Pattern: McCall’s 5882 (Dress F, without contrast)
Year: 1960s style
Notions: Invisible zipper, Hook & eye (all from stash), Lace trim (eBay, $6.99)
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: Plan to wear for Savannah Philharmonic’s Afternoon Adagio in February!
Wear again: Yes! Once I fix the crooked lace and maybe fit it better.
Total price: $30 (a real Lilly would cost $200!)
I live in the South, and the ladies around here love their Lilly Pulitzer frocks. My girlfriends go gaga when there’s a sale on these bright, preppy gems. That said, their retail prices are out of my league! So I thought, why not try and recreate a similar dress for a fraction of the price?
In the end, I decided to splurge and buy some fabric that reminded me of Lilly Pulitzer’s Palm Beach style. In the end, I fell in love with Amy Butler’s Modern Midwest II Fresh Poppies, which comes in a variety of colors. While I felt the Ivory print was closer to the look I selected (see photos of both fabric colors), I chose to go with Sky; I wanted something with more green to it, in case I wear it for St. Patrick’s Day.
Making this dress for the challenge really motivated me. My attempts at last week’s Buttoned Up challenge ended in another UFO; I just wasn’t feeling my chosen project, so I tabled it. And once I let go, it felt great. When I began this dress, I was rolling full speed ahead! I did collar/arm facings for the first time, learned to understitch, and even discovered I had a zipper foot so I could truly NAIL that back zipper. Woohoo! I had everything but the lace and hem done, but then I had to wait due to shipping of my eBay lace.
Sadly, it didn’t arrive until JUSTAMINUTEAGO, so I dropped my combat boots (literally) and set about to finishing the dress! The lace was hard to place “straight” with the shape of the dress (would have been easier to add during construction), and my hem is a bit messy, but I finished in time to post here. Well, not in time to take photos during daylight hours, put makeup on, or do my hair… I hope to take some time to fix the crooked lace a little bit, but if I keep moving/don’t stand up straight you really can’t tell, right? :)
Despite the mistakes, I can honestly say this was a dress of triumphs, with new skills learned, a fabric/design that motivated me, and an in-general improvement in construction. I think that my goal for this year with the Sew Weekly is already happening… improve my sewing through practice, practice, practice. And it’s still January!