Excuse the slightly wrinkled look here! I'd already been wearing it for most of a day at this point, but then came across a practically deserted little park which seemed like a good place to use as a background for some photos - I'm not the greatest person at posing for photos so the smaller the audience I have the better, but pretty places with not many people in them are few and far between.
I'm sticking by the glowing praise I gave this pattern, and Love At First Stitch in general, in my post on my first Lilou. It's a really lovely dress, and feels great to wear. While in this version it's the perfect dress for a summer day, it could work for lots of different occasions depending on what material you use and how you accessorise it. Without wanting to wish summer away, I have already been hatching plans for a version that I could wear on into the autumn and winter.
For this version, I used the same adjustments as in my first one - size 6 at the bust, grading down to a 5 at the waist and back out to a 6 at the hips, and with 1.5 inches added to the length of the bodice and 2.5 inches added to the skirt. As I said before, I do have a little bit of extra space in the bodice, but it's only a teeny bit and I'm totally happy with the fit. Plus, you know, it's always good to have some space to breath!
The main fabric is a pretty berry print cotton poplin that I got from Abakhan. They have it listed in their craft section rather than dressmaking, but I think it works fine for the Lilou dress. It has less drape than the cotton sateen I used for my first version, which gives the skirt a little bit more body. I really like the colours in the print - I've always thought that yellow is such a happy colour but it just doesn't really suit my colouring (trust me, I tried it in my teenage technicolour phase!), but the small amounts of it in this print combined with blues, reds and pinks are perfect for the summer.
I'm a big fan of the contrast lining in my first version, so I thought I'd do the same for this dress. Plus, it's a great way to use up bits of the stash that aren't big enough for a whole garment. Or that are too see-through to be used on their own as is the case here! This one is a cute white and blue heart print, I suspect polycotton, that has been hanging around on my shelves for a while so I'm glad it's now been put to good use.
And here's the third Lilou that I've made! This one's for my Mum though. She really liked my first version so asked me to make her one as well. Thankfully we're pretty much the same size so I could just use the same pattern pieces as for my own version and didn't need to worry about fitting.
The cotton that I used here is from John Lewis (I think it's part of their 150 year anniversary collection). At £18 per metre, it's definitely on the pricey side for a cotton but it's great quality and was really nice to sew. I'm also assured that it's lovely to wear! I lined this one in some of the voile I had left over from lining my Cambie dress.
It was really nice to do some unselfish sewing for a change, and I'm please with the final result - particularly the pattern matching that I managed to pull off down the centre front! My mum really likes it too, which is the main thing.
So yes, Lilou is a great dress - I'd definitely recommend it!
According to my vague sewing plan, this was meant to be my last "summer" dress this year, but then at the weekend the new issue of Love Sewing magazine arrived, which comes with a pattern for a particularly pretty looking dress - I think it should be out in shops today so keep an eye out if you're a fan of fit and flare dresses! Surely leaving the pattern unloved on the shelf without trying it out would just be rude wouldn't it? So, in spite the questionable weather we've been "enjoying" this week, there will probably be another pretty summer dress on these pages in the not too distant future! And for now, I'll leave you with a twirling shot! See you soon!