Chintzy Floral Lilou Dress


You caught a cheeky little glimpse of her at Tilly's book launch and I'm now excited to show her off in full! I'm talking about my Lilou Dress of course, which is arguably the most advanced pattern of the seven featured in Love at First Stitch.



The Lilou Dress is only advanced in comparison to the other patterns in the book, so please don't let this description put you off! It's actually a very simple dress to stitch together, made super easy by Tilly's crystal clear instructions and illustrations. In case you're wondering, I stitched mine up in a straight Size 3, but decreased my seam allowances to 1cm from the armhole to the bust dart. Call me lazy if you want, but it got me out of an FBA situation so ner, ner, ner, ner, nerrrrrrr!

The original pattern is for a round-neck bodice and a pleated skirt, but Tilly includes variations for a scalloped neckline and a gathered skirt - ensuring that this is a highly versatile little frock. For my first Lilou (a second is already in the pipeline) I opted for the scalloped neckline and pleated skirt, a combo I truly adore! My scallops are fairly shallow and fluid, but because Tilly gives you the tools to draft them yourself, you have the power to design them exactly how you want to!



The instructions don't require any topstitching, but I opted to do so for my neckline and armholes as I couldn't bear the thought of unsightly lining peeking out! I decreased my stitch length to better navigate the curves and I don't think it detracts from the overall effect, so I'm pretty happy with the finish.


The bodice is lined in the same clever way I recently discovered with my Emery Dress, but it's still not my favourite method. This time I took steps to avoid the lining getting caught in the zip, like not stitching it too closely to the zip and aggressively pressing it with the iron. This seems to have worked a tad better at least and it sure does looks neat.


Other than the sweet scalloped neckline, I really love the pleated skirt! More specifically, I'm a huge fan of the pleat placement. Instead of going all the way round, the pleats are only placed off-centre, eliminating unwanted bulk from the tummy area. I find that even gathered skirts can sometimes be unflattering around the tummy area, so this style is a great compromise.



I know by this point you're probably dying to know more about my chintzy, floral fabric. Am I right? I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint you if you want some for yourself, because it's an old pair of curtains from a local charity shop - the St Michael brand was ditched for Marks & Spencer back in 2000, but the quality of this medium-weight cotton is so lovely!



Are you as much of a fan of Tilly's Lilou Dress as I am? Which version would you make?

102 comments:

  1. Gosh it's really pretty! I love the scallops and yes, the pleats are really well placed.

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  2. This is gorgeous! It's great to have found your blog and even better to see that someone else has made a dress out of curtains! I've just made what was meant to be a toile for the By Hand London Anna dress, but I love it so much I'm going to make it up properly.

    Look forward to seeing Lilou number two!

    Liv
    livjaa.tumblr.com

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    1. Thank you Liv, fellow curtain lover!

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  3. I can't believe this is an old pair of St Michael (sob! memories!) curtains. This is such a beautiful make and I love both the side pleats and your fluid scalloped neckline.

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    1. Thanks Karen, you're very kind!

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  4. Looked beautiful irl... Love it so much

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    1. Thanks Rachel, not as beautiful as your Flora ;o)

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  5. I was really looking forward to this post and- my word- it did not disappoint! Love the dress!

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  6. Love your Lilou, now I can't decide what yo make first: Megan or Lilou!

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    1. What did you settle on in the end?

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  7. Pretty dress! I agree about the placement of the pleats, this is really flattering.

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  8. This is so pretty on you! Love love love!!! That's it... I'm ordering the book. I can't wait for the US release!

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    1. Thank Sonja! It's a lovely book!

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  9. I love it! This is Scarlet O'Hara Revisited heheheeh! The lining is lovely and the scallopes are very well made, not a bit of the lining shows. Good job! I don't have the book but I guess I would go with the pleated skirt. I can't wait for your second Lilou!

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  10. I'm a fan of that pleated skirt - love your version ;o)

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  11. I love it! I just blogged about my curtain-made-into-Elisalex dress and now see curtain-dresses pop up all over the interwebs, which makes me feel much less awkward :D

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    1. Hehe, great minds think alike ;o)

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  12. So pretty! That colour is lovely on you. I can't believe how neat your topstitching is around the neckline!!

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  13. This is stunning. Opshop fabric is the best, it's such a beautiful print

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    1. It really is the best place to find interesting fabric!

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  14. Love the dress. So flattering and the neckline is beautiful. The pleats are also great and give the dress a
    Nice swingy look. Love!

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  15. I love this! The pattern seems great...just having the pleats at the side is genius. And I love the scallops and fabric in your version!

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  16. Beautiful, love the neckline fabric and everything.

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  17. brilliant - dress is great and love that fabric. I often see curtains in charity shops that I think could make a frock, but never done it (yet)

    http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Go for it, you won't regret it ;o)

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  18. Your dress is gorgeous! I never find curtains this nice in charity shops :|

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    1. It's not often you do, but they always pop up when you're not looking for any ;o)

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  19. Lilou has been sitting waiting to be cut out for a week now! But its next on my to sew list. Can't believe your version was made from curtains :-o its awesome :-)

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    1. How did you get on with yours Jennifer?

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  20. Beautiful Marie! The fabric is great and I love the scalloped neckline. The shape if the dress really suits you.

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  21. Beautiful! and I had those curtains in my bedroom!lol! waiting for my copy to arrive....think I might add pockets....hmmmm!

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    1. Wow, you did? How cool is that!?

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  22. The colour really suits you and the neck line is exquisite. I've got a vintage dress from St Michael and remember my mum buying this label from M&S. Furnishing fabrics are great for making clothes. I'm making a skirt out of an old Jonelle (John Lewis) sofa throw I found in a charity shop.

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    1. Thanks so much and I can't wait to see your John Lewis sofa throw skirt!

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  23. Very pretty, and I do like the strategically placed pleats. Claire McCardell used to do that in the 50s and it does make a difference.

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    1. Thanks for introducing me to Claire McCardell...wonderful stuff!!!

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  24. This is such a cute dress! I feel like I might have to copy...

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  25. This looks super cute on you!

    Got to love some old school M&S goodies! I refashioned a charity shop St Michael's skirt from the 90s yesterday - it was 100% viscose and made in the UK. You don't get 'em like that anymore!

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    1. Oooh, you certainly don't...what an excellent find!

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  26. It's gorgeous! I'm ordering the book because of this.

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    1. Oh yay, so pleased to hear that!

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  27. It's a curtain dress! Love, love, love!

    I think it looks gorgeous with that scalloped neckline and the pleats - look forward to seeing your next one too! x

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  28. What a beautiful dress and just in time for some nice weather hopefully. I love the green of the fabric and the scallops are great!

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  29. I am waiting for delivery of my book but now I'm like a cat on hot coals waiting for it's arrival! It is coming free with my Love Sewing subscription so not quite sure when that will be. I love the shape of the dress and the pleat and scallop details too. I've just got into dressmaking and I'm surprised at how pricey fabric can be. What a brilliant idea to use curtain fabric from a charity store I would never have thought of that and our high street is full of them so next week you can bet I shall be rummaging through soft furnishing sections! Your dress really does look super on you. I shall look forward to your next version.

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    1. Hope your book's arrived and that you've had some good luck in your charity shops ;o)

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  30. Oh Marie, you are damn lucky I don't live closer as I'd be popping into your closet and stealing that gorgeous dress! I haven't bought Tilly's book yet since I was all caught up in getting ready for and going on our holiday, but I'm of course going to and I'm pretty sure I know exactly which pattern I'm going to sew up first. I'm gaga over this! And I think the topstitching on the neckline is a lovely touch, I'd be tempted to do it myself too as I find scallops so ornery in the wash!

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    1. Thanks so much Tasha, I can totally see you looking gorgeous in a Lilou!

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  31. Oh Marie!! I love this!! Your scallops are absolutely perfect! And I also am a huge fan of the pleat placement - you get the adorable profile of a full skirted dress without the tummy poof! Brilliant! And I love that the fabric is made from old curtains - how Scarlett O'Hara of you!!

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    1. Yep, the pleat placement is genius! And thanks for the super kind words!

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  32. Ack, patooty! I lied, I didn't realize it was still only pre-order in the US until October. Sigh!

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    1. Nooooo! Hope you don't have too long to wait!

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  33. It's beautiful Marie, nobody would EVER guess that your gorgeous dress was once a pair of curtains! It's such a perfect fit too and sssooo flattering. xx

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  34. I have the matching duvet cover! But I promise not to make us Lilou twins.

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    1. Hehe, really!? How lovely! I think you should make a matching Lilou, that would be so cool! ;o)

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  35. Great use of an old pair of curtains! It's really pretty - I love the scalloped neckline. Can't wait for my copy of the book to arrive so I can get stitching!

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  36. Beautifully made, looks great on you

    I totally agree with you about pleats & gathers over the tummy! I think the skirt on this is much more flattering. Note to self... don't write off full skirts :p

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  37. Gahhh you are so cute! I adore that dress on you and you are so clever making it from a pair of curtains. Very Maria Von Trapp! Please tell me you are going tomorrow! x

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    1. Oooh, thank you! And, sadly no, I missed out on that extravaganza!

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  38. Hehe I always love seeing other people making things from curtains or bedsheets, they're one of my go-to options for fabric! Such pretty prints. And I adore the scalloped neckline you did, it gives it a really quirky touch!

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  39. Yes! This is as good as I hoped. Good work with the curtain! I'd be all over the scallop version if I had a copy of the book.

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    1. Thanks Amy, you're too lovely!

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  40. Oh lovely! My book arrived today and I've been devouring it. I think I'm going to make every single pattern.

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    1. It's a really beautiful road!

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  41. My Love at First Stitch arrived Weds, showed it to a friend Thursday morning at community cafe knit n natter and I haven't seen it since! Funnily enough I have some Laura Ashley curtains in a denim sprig print that I love, from 15 years ago. Put one pair up in our bedroom when we moved last year and wondered about making a dress out of the other pair, you have given me the confidence to do so.

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    1. Oooh, glad to hear it...just hope you get your book back soon so you can get stuck in!

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  42. beautiful sewing and beautiful you ;) what a gorgeous neckline, it really suits you. and great gathering look on you too.

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  43. Your projects are always so beautiful! I really want to make this dress now, the scalloped neckline and pleats are to die for!

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  44. It's a very nice dress ! And I really like the scallops !

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  45. I think the fabric really makes this dress! It's lovely! I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled for cute curtains!

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  46. Great call on the topstitching. I also think the fit works well, even without FBA.

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    1. Thanks Sally, I think I just about got away with it ;o)

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  47. It was lovely to meet you at The Make Good festival today, Marie. Your Lilou dress is really fab and thank you for recommending trying it with pleats, it looks great! Claire

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    1. It was great meeting you too Claire! Good luck with your version!

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  48. So Beautiful! I can't believe the fabric used to be curtains; so inspiring!

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  49. Love! Really useful to see this dress made up and a view from the back as well which is missing from the book. I'm about to make this with the plain neck, gathered skirt combo! Great post

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  50. Yes, the neckline and side pleats grabbed my attention.

    Cheers,

    Lyric
    http://www.sewcroandquilt.wordpress.com

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  51. Omg I bought a sheet in this exact same fabric at a car boot a couple of months ago and was planning to make a Lilou out of it to, it's so nice to see one made up.

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  52. This seems to fit you very well! I'm working on making a muslin of this pattern, but am having a few fitting woes. Did you make any alterations to the pattern? I notice in your second make that your back shoulder straps seem to move out to the side (mine do too!), do you know how to fix this? I also have some tightness across the upper bust, and looseness underneath my bust, and I'm just lost :(

    I was hoping you may have a few insights.

    Thanks!

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  53. Scarlett O'Hara! :)

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