I made a dress! But, more importantly I made a great dress! The last handmade dress I shared was the test run for this beauty and I'm so happy I worked all the kinks out and learned the best way to handle some steps because this dress has been filling my head since February. I came across the Bernie Dexter dress in the same print and was lost to it. I have a giant, mooshy soft spot for kitchen motifs and this print shot an arrow of love straight into the vulnerable underbelly of my soft spot. I told myself that $170 dollars was completely reasonable for a dress. I could totally buy it!
Then reality, responsibility, and reason set in. I said farewell to the dress and moved on. That is until I realized it was Michael Miller fabric. Widely available and easy to find Michael Miller fabric. I snagged a few yards. Found a book that could help me grow from occasional skirt maker to dressmaker and dove in! Except, not really because I made darn sure I could do this right before I cut into the good stuff.
I am so glad that I didn't let my impatience take over because I was able to hone my skills and modify the bodice pattern to suit my needs exactly. I learned how to change the fit of the pattern because the bodice of the first dress was too wide and short for my torso. I got brave and drafted a longer version with deeper darts and was impressed with the improvement. Then I had the idea to create a more flattering neckline by tracing the lemon print dress as that neckline makes me feel like strutting and the existing one made me feel like a frump. While this dress cost a fraction of the Bernie Dexter dress, it is customized perfectly to my body and is even better than the store-bought version because of that.
I would highly recommend the Love at First Stitch book to anyone interested in beginning to learn to sew or to improve their skills. Because I was already knowledgeable about sewing, I skipped right to the last pattern, but the book starts with very basic sewing and builds up. Even after making the Lilou Dress, I know I will benefit from the other patterns, especially the button up shirt pattern! I must confess I am terrified of sleeves! And buttonholes. Don't judge.