For the love of lawn

Red rose print cotton lawn dress

What have you ByHandLondon girls done to me? How am I ever going to make another dress that doesn’t involve an Elisalex bodice?

red rose cotton lawn dress

To be fair, it was the fabric that led the dress time. A three metre bolt of cellophaned gorgeousness that has patiently lain in wait for about 18 months at the bottom of Fabric Mountain. It is a rose printed cotton lawn. So silky soft and so very light, in need of a failsafe design. I haven’t seen this print anywhere since and I wasn’t about to bugger it up in a moment of madness. So, having made some fine fitting adjustments to the Elisalex-with-FBA-test-garment, I was able to go straight to and cut.

red rose cotton lawn dress detail

I toyed with a sleeveless version but having seen a few with sleeves and knowing that I wouldn’t suffer the consequences of plastic under pits, I had to give it a go.

I knew the bodice would be an even better fit than the last one as this fabric has a magical elasticity about it. Not a strand of spandex to be had. Just to do with the fineness and high yarn-count of the weave I think. It really is such a luxurious material. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to use any.

red rose cotton lawn dress over shoulder

I used the whole 60″ width of the fabric to create the gathered skirt but it looks and feels half as poomfy as the vintage rose version. Just because it is lighter. Further confirmation that at some point I must make a full on layered petticoat. I say ‘make’, because I know I will find it impossible to go buy one, even though I am wincing at all that endless, time-consuming, middle-stare-inducing gathering involved!

red rose lawn dress in the park

The sleeves were easy enough to set in. Well if you inset them the right way round that is! I was wondering why, when I tried it on, the sleeves insisted on twisting round. I thought at first that the FBA had reduced the armscye somwhat, but oh no. Just a tired, dippy moment last night.

Note to self (and to anyone else who has ever made the same mistake): 
2 notches on a pattern piece indicate the back; 1 notch indicates the front

I had the moment of clarity, as I often do, standing in my blurry morning haze, under the shower head. A Eureka moment, kind of. So, following this one, I ran downstairs in a towel to check the notches on the sleeve. A bit tricky when you’ve clipped all the seams (doh!) but sure enought, that’s exactly what I’d done.

red rose lawn dress

You’d be forgiven for thinking that that was the end of my dippiness. But oh no no no. Having unpicked them and swapped them over, I then proceeded to pin the hem edge of one of the sleeves to the armhole. Can’t believe I openly admitted that. But better out than in, I say!

red rose lawn dress profile

Quite a bit of hand stitching re bodice lining to armscye and waist seams and hand hemming. Only because I feel like I’m cutting corners if I do otherwise. But I have temporarily machined the sleeve hems just because at that point, Mr O was politely tapping his foot with a camera round his neck.

Best not upset the photographer, hey?!

red rose lawn dress on the kerb

79 Replies to “For the love of lawn”

  1. This is beautiful! I am so impressed with the style, the fabric and your model’s attitude 🙂
    I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who makes mistakes with sleeves like that!
    Gorgeousness all through this post.

  2. Ahhhhhh!! I passed out a little there, this is so fabuous! The fit, the fabric, the roses, all so beautiful. You should definitely wear this one to death!

  3. That is one gorgeous dress.I too love the fabric and would love to touch it’s fineness. I have bought this pattern and I will make it up soon for our oncoming summer so I appreciate reading all of your comments about it.

  4. A gorgeous dress – your version is beautiful. I have the pattern and was thinking of doing those same sleeves but still haven’t made my mind up about the skirt part. I’m wondering about a straighter skirt option and I’m sure somebody, somewhere, must have made one that I can have a look at. I must have a read of your FBA adjustment thingy before I forge ahead with mine.
    I’m sure you are turning heads in that dress whenever you go out in it.

  5. Oh wow, this is so gorgeous! That fabric is fabulous, you look like an old style film star. And thank you so much for ‘fessing up to your silly but completely understandable and forgiveable mistakes, it is nice to know that I am not the only one who does things like that (… just hiding the skirt panel I’ve just sewn on upside down for the second time..:) )

  6. The dress and fabric are amazing. I love the shoes as well. Thank you for the reminder about the sleeves. It’s reassuring to know others make the same mistakes. 🙂

  7. This is really gorgeous – seeing your plastic dress on Saturday and now this – it’s convinced me that I need to make another full-skirted Elisalex but with elbow sleeves. You look so elegant here, gorgeous lady, and fabulous shoes as ever! xx

    1. Thank you gorgeous. It was so lovely to get a wee while with you and what a treat to meet your lovely man too. Will we ever move on from these dresses? I’m making a determined effort to make something else but I just want to make another with a circle skirt like you did now!!! Together we are dangerous! xxx

  8. Just stunning, the fabric is really special. The Elisalex bodice is brilliant isn’t it? Inspired by yours and Roisin’s I made my first one a couple of weeks ago and now I have many more planned.

  9. I love this dress, the color is great for you. And red obviously is right up my alley…!
    Reading about other sewers’ mistakes is sooo funny. Sorry, not sorry. 🙂 But seriously though, I like that you feel confident enough to admit little mistakes like that. And to read it, for me, makes me realise we’re all real human beings. So thanks for sharing! And thanks for making me laugh.

  10. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous… you’re killing me over here!! I love the colour, the fit, everything – you look stunning, as always.

    As for the sleeve thing, every time I sew set-in sleeves, I always triple check them because I have a nasty habit of pinning them in backwards, and it’s happened enough times that I’m gunshy about it now. LOL. I still don’t know if my Laurel sleeves are on the right way because I couldn’t find the handy trusty double notch on my pattern pieces, which would have been my only clue LOL.

  11. Thank you so much for your sweet words lovely lady. I’d like to say at least I wont be making the same mistake again, but stranger things have happened! 🙂

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