Monday, 15 April 2013

Material Conversations

Dear Readers,

This is my fourth month of using stash, only stash and nothing but the stash.  I have decided to try to ease up on my pattern purchases as well and if I get an idea for a garment but already have a pattern that is similar, I try to modify the pattern instead of buying a new one. Having an extensive pattern collection helps and it also doesn't hurt to have access to an excellent local library that carries Burdastyle magazine.
For a while now, I have had my eye on Tessuti's Lily Dress.  link here
It reminded me of this Style pattern that I have had forever..Does 1998 count as vintage?

Modifying the pattern wasn't hard. I brought the edge of the shoulders in a bit, extended the length of the sleeve and added an elbow dart and one vertical dart, eliminated the diagonal seam from the body of the dress, shortened the dress by 6 inches and was ready to go.

What fabric could I use from the stash? I had some lovely teal pure linen that is too good to use on an experimental garment. I had some chambray that had washed up too crackly and did not have enough drape. I had some smoky blue linen/lycra blend that could do. I am going through a 'blue' phase so the colour was appealing. I knew the material was slightly too thick and springy but nothing ventured nothing gained so I preshrank it then laid it out and cut..

The material kept saying ha ha you will end up with a Very Plain go-work -the-feilds Olde Worlde Dress.
I kept saying no I won't. You will be casual, winter-beachy with the slightest arty edge.

I worked, I tweaked, I fiddled with the fit, fiddled with the sleeves, fiddled the square pockets which weren't working and re cut them into rounded off ones. I trimmed the outer corners of the skirt and put in hemline pleats, then added some more.  
I fiddled with the length from too long too short, to just right (with heels).

The dress said "I've won".

I said "No, you haven't".

Either way, I love you. Thank you for the inspiration Lily.
Detail shot:

How are you all doing?


  1. Adorable. You did win! I like the proportion on yours better than that on the Lily, which is too long IMO.

  2. Very cute! Those pockets are fab.

  3. You definitely won! What a great cas dress.

  4. You win! It is all in the accessorising, and it is a great look. I'd love it in white, too. Great dress, Valerie. xx

  5. Hahahaha! I really thought the dress had won, based on the first photo... but you are definitely the victor here. Very stylish!

  6. Thank you ladies.
    Coco - I think the Lily would have been to wide as well as too long.
    mknieczki - I don't know why I never did rounded pocket shaped pockets before..
    BJ - casual is what I was after
    Patricia - Yes, a crisp light swishy white linen, maybe next summer
    Kat - where's a rake when you need one..

  7. Oh, Valerie, you make it all sound so easy but my little brain is boggled. Either way, the end result looks totally fab and the beads are the perfect touch. You won, for sure!

  8. Fun dress and you most certainly won :)

  9. What a wonderful ensemble!!

  10. Really well done! On all fronts (stashbusting, pattern-busting, pattern hacking, frugality,great new dress)! I was trying really hard to avoid fabric buying this year but had to give in gracefully in Auckland. I mean, you cannot travel all the way to the ends of the earth and NOT buy merino wool (and a little silk/linen and there might have been a few other bits too).
    I've got Lily, even cut her out. Might even sew her up one day. It will be interesting to see if the proportions are wierd on me - we are about the same height aren't, but I'm a little more generously (!) proportioned! May eveen blog about her! (Pigs might fly!!!)

  11. Hi Sheila! It is an unwritten travelling sewist's rule that gorgeous material just has to follow us home from the ends of the earth! I'd even break my self imposed fast for that one!
    I hope you do make up your Lily. No one seems to have done a review except on the Tessuti website. I think it would suit you and your original might be better than my argumentative copy ..

  12. You definitely won!

    I'm being better about saying "no" to new fabric purchases, but 4 months is something I can only aspire to! Do you want to start a support group? ;-D

  13. I love everything about the dress : the shape, the colour, the length and you wear it beautifully. I have been using my stock too, not in material as I don't sew but I haven't been buying cosmetics or clothes or shoes for ages. It's an enlightening experience ! Thank you for becoming a member of my blog, I'll be back to posting soon !xoxo

  14. Jilly, Haha ..fabriholics anonymous.. I'm OK really ..
    Silver Bunny ..I have been reading your blog for ages then realized I hadn't folllowed so I did!

  15. Fantastic copy! You'd never know this wasn't the real thing. It's lovely - so breezy, flattering and wearable. Definite win :)

  16. The one with the hat got me :-)

  17. How funny! I love how you beat the dress into edgy winter beachness with your accessories.

  18. Me again - I could do with some of that autumn you mentioned in your comment :-)

    1. I could do with one more year in Europe. I hope to make it happen. I want some snow!

  19. I love your make on the dress. It looks so comfortable, but stylish too.. Great choice of fabrics.Happy sewing.