Woohoo! I finally managed to photograph my second Lilou Dress - a Tilly and the Buttons pattern found in Love at First Stitch - sans hives and basking in the natural light that our newly stripped dining room is now receptive to!
This time round I opted for viscose for a relaxed look, very much inspired by the super cute Amy of Almond Rock, who often uses drapey fabrics to make structured dresses more wearable. I think I've definitely succeeded in my mission and I reckon this Lilou Dress will become a summer wardrobe staple! I'm totally in love with my tribal print, cotton viscose - just £4 per metre from Barry's Fabric Superstore. It's a welcome departure from my usual chintzy floral preference and the fabric is so soft and swooshy...I literally want to sew everything up in tribal print viscose from now on!
A thing or two to note about sewing with viscose
Much like jersey, not all viscose is created equal. My tribal print viscose was a delight to work with - buttery soft yet not slippery, easy to press and not prone to much fraying. The black viscose on the other hand, was not so great on the fraying front, but it boasts a luxurious silky sheen. The lining is also viscose, but again of a different quality - coarser to touch and cheaper looking.
Due to the high levels of fraying and anxiety about avoiding this unfortunate situation again, I actually stitched my bodice side, armhole and neckline seams with a zigzag stitch and avoided trimming too closely. I then topstitched the armhole and neckline for extra security...I hope it works!
Ideally, I would have lined the bodice in a black cotton lawn for extra stability, but I couldn't find any at the time. As a result, I've ended up with a few annoying wrinkles here and there, as well as gaping around the back bodice/strap area which you can see in the two photos below. The gaping will need addressing next time, but I don't think these snags detract from the overall success of the dress.
Unlike my first Lilou Dress, I opted for the plain, rounded neckline this time, but I couldn't resist the pleated skirt again! With the printed viscose my pleats are almost camouflaged, but I still like not having the bulk of a gathered skirt puffing out my tummy.
What I really, really love about this make is how full the skirt is, without actually appearing to be. I can get away with wearing it in a more casual way, whilst enjoying the delicious caress of the voluminous viscose against my legs on a hot day (the hot day is wishful thinking of course).
I've got the swoosh factor!
You can see just how different my two Lilou Dresses are, proving how very versatile this little pattern is. Play with the shape of the neckline, chose different types of fabrics or switch the skirt out for another design and you've got yourself an army of unique Lilous!