Thursday, 4 July 2013

Blue Swallows Dress




Finished! This is Simplicity 0331, designed by Cynthia Rowley, made in a gorgeous blue lightweight swallow print cotton, courtesy of the Fabric Godmother. Quite appropriately, I was surrounded by IRL swallows as I wore this dress for the first time on the beautiful island of Vis in Croatia. Swallows, butterflies, lemon groves, fig trees, crystal clear water, isolated coves... you get the picture. (Yes, returning to Brixton was a culture shock.)


Back to the dress - it's a lovely loose-fitting, floaty design, very forgiving after a week gorging on researching the best ice cream flavour on the island (coconut, since you ask). I love all the gathers, which feature on multiple seams on this 13 piece pattern. Not the fastest make in the world then, particularly as I had to redo the yoke gathers three times when baste fitting the bodice, but one of those sewing projects that is a real pleasure if you're not in a hurry.




Next time I make it - and there will be a next time, I've already got a floral print red mystery fabric in my stash earmarked for this pattern - I might change the sleeves. I really love the loose-fitting sleeves, but while they look great on the model in the pattern illustration, combined with the other flouncey bits they kinda drown my small frame. Maybe I'll shorten them a little or add a cuff. But I'm not complaining - I still love this dress!

PS. Wishing my American readers a very happy Fourth of July tomorrow!

PPS. Going through my holiday snaps, I came across this one of seagulls tailing our boat back to the mainland. If only I'd had the foresight to take my dress photos in front of this background...



[Soundtrack: 'Sexy Boy' by Air]

72 comments:

  1. Love your Dress! It's fantastic, love the fabric print. I'm jealous of your holiday, it looks really beautiful xx

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  2. Ooooh... I love this dress Tilly! I can tell you took your time on the fit. Very successful! I had actually picked up this pattern for 1$ at a sale at some point, but the sleeves are what prevented me from making it, I think. I must say that I like the sleeves: I like them, and I like them ON YOU!

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    1. Thanks Adrienne! I do like the style of sleeves.

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  3. That print utterly perfect. I checked out the Fabric Godmother but couldn't find that particular pattern, despite searching for "swallow pattern". Hopefully they'll start offering it soon...

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    1. I think they may have sold out unfortunately. But I've seen some other swallow print fabrics around the internet.

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  4. So pretty - I am really, really loving that fabric. Hilarious inclusion of real seagull pic.

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  5. What a lovely dress. I'm very jealous of your trip to Croatia, I had the pleasure of holidaying there several years ago and it might just be my favourite place in the whole world.

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  6. We would have lost you against the sky in that last photo! What a beautiful dress, you really are so very talented. Croatia looks wonderful, glad you had such a good time.

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  7. oh I love it - it looks fab on you. gorgeous fabric and beautiful dress, I wish I could sew like you!

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  8. THis is beautiful! I have a dress I made in a very similar fabric, but mine is slightly heavier in weight. I love it! Such a lovely colour.

    Glad you had a good holiday. Croatia looks beatiful too!

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  9. Wow! Love your dress! I used the same pattern a while back, and it was SO low cut... Actually, it was low cut AND I cut it out too big because I foolishly used my measurements to select the size, even thought it was a Big 4 pattern. The unfinished dress is still on hold, waiting for me to get motivated and make it right. As someone who has made this dress, do you think I can salvage it? For example, would it be a good idea to unpicking the entire thing and recut it using smaller pattern pieces and such?

    I wish I had made a better sizing decision, because I love the fabric I used to make it...

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    1. Ah yes, I forgot to mention that! I adjusted the neckline on mine but only after I'd cut the fabric as I didn't make a toile. I just used a smaller seam allowance when sewing the bottom of the neckline - maybe you could try that if you only want to raise it a little bit? Next time I will adjust the pattern first.

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    2. Thanks for the advice!

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  10. Such a pretty dress! Love the fabric you chose!

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  11. Love it. Cuffs on the sleeves would really add a bit of sophistication I think. Jo x

    http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/denim-bag-tutorial.html

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  12. It looks beautiful! And what do you know? I am making a Mathilde blouse in the same fabric! x

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  13. Lovely, lovely, lovely!! I see your sunglasses match perfectly ;) The sleeves look just fine! You don't see that length very often on modern patterns but I happen to love it a whole lot. Beautiful dress.

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  14. Love this dress. Its inspiring me to get my sewing machine out again

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  15. Gorgeous dress! Love the fabric really cute. :) x

    lemon-freckles.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I can't believe we were so closed!! Vis is 465km far from Trieste, Italy where I live :) We spend a lot of our summer week end in Croatia, there are so many beautiful places and isle, Cres is another one I love so much. The dress is beautiful! I think the result is worth the time spent to make it! You look fabulous in it! I've just finished to make a very sample blouse from a Vintage pattern, but the finishing is so accurate!

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    1. Lovely! I adore Croatia - so far I've been to Motovun (twice for work - ha!), Brac, Split, Zagreb, Skradinski Buk, Trogir, Vis... I'll put Cres on the list!

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  17. I love the fabric and the dress, it looks great on you Tilly - will need to get a copy of the pattern I think!

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  18. I love the fabric print. Really cute. Croatia looks beautiful. I must try to visit there sometime.

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  19. Wow!!!!!!!!!!Dein Kleid ist wunderschön.
    Liebe Grüße aus leipzig von Annette

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  20. Wow I just love the dress It looks divine, the fabric sits so well. A great post Tilly as always
    Lots of love
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxx

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  21. This is such a cute little dress Tilly, you look adorable in it!

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  22. I love this so much the fabric is gorgeous and the sewing impeccable, but i feel the style of the neck line is not deep enough to complement you, my reason for pointing this out is I read a lot of blogs on sewing but feel sometimes the clothes just don't suit the persons body shape or compliment them. Individuality yes, one off perhaps? but does it really suit you ?

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    1. That's funny you should say that as I raised the neckline. It really does sit very low - admittedly you can't tell in the photos - and shows enough cleavage already. Any lower and it'd be positively rude!

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  23. What a lovely dress! Perfect for remote islands ;)

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  24. This is beautiful! You did a fantastic job! I don't think the sleeves would look good on me, so I'd love to make this sleeveless. Thanks for posting :)

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    1. There is a sleeveless option with the pattern too (I just don't like my arms).

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  25. Gorgeous dress! I love the fabric so much. It's just perfect for summer.

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  26. Perfect location for a lovely dress! I was thinking that about the sleeves though too - but maybe they just need a couple of tucks at the bottom to bring in a little, a-la-1940s style? That fabric is so lovely.

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  27. Love this dress and the fabric is fantastic!! I've always wanted to visit Croatia! Looks lovely (and sunny)!

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  28. What a great dress, what type of fabric is it, cotton, jersey?

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    1. It's a lovely lightweight cotton lawn.

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  29. I love it, Tilly, it is so pretty, great silhouette! You did a great job on the gathers. Croatia looks gorgeous, i'm envious.
    I have that fabric too, as soon as I saw that blue I had to have it. Mine was to be a Colette Crepe but when the Hawthorn dress pattern was released I knew that was the one. If I'm lucky I'll get it finished before Autumn!

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    1. That's going to look gorgeous!

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  30. Tilly it looks fantastic. So classy.

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  31. It's gorgeous Tilly! I love the fabric, I bought the same fabric but in red and made an Archer with it. It's so pretty! I love that you've made something more feminine with your fabric, I love the blue :)

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  32. Lovely and beautiful dress!
    I Love It!!!
    -X- DivaDaan (from Holland)
    divadaan.blogspot.nl

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  33. Ahh Tilly you look adorable,very sweet dress.. nice colour on you.. also love the glasses ;)

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  34. It's a beautiful dress Tilly

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  35. I made this dress, too, though in a tunic and I also plan on changing the sleeves. I'm not a small person but I find they take away from the bodice, which is lovely.

    Your make is fabulous, though. That fabric is perfect for the paradise you seem to have stumbled upon.

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  36. I made this dress, too, though in a tunic and I also plan on changing the sleeves. I'm not a small person but I find they take away from the bodice, which is lovely.

    Your make is fabulous, though. That fabric is perfect for the paradise you seem to have stumbled upon.

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  37. Now, that is a really pretty dress, Tilly! Though I think you're falling foul of Bloggers' Block - when you focus on drawbacks and insist on pointing them out to your readership. I would never even have questioned the sleeves!

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    1. "Bloggers' Block" - ah so there's a name for it! x

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  38. Lovely dress, Tilly. And what a trip! Hope your vacation was wonderful.

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  39. What a gorgeous dress Tilly!!! A perfect combo of fabric and pattern. So nice to see that you've found some time to sew something for yourself! xxx

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  40. That turned out so beautiful! I love your fabric. Thanks for inspiring me to sew up my pattern! Anything I should watch out for with it?

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    1. Check how you feel about the low neckline - maybe do a quick toile of the bodice if you can bothered!

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  41. This is my new favorite dress! I've been afraid of this pattern for so long because of the sleeves but they're so flattering on you!

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  42. Very pretty! I think that you might be right about the sleeves. Try shortening them to more of a cap sleeve, or perhaps to end right at the top of the 'waist' piece. Love your fabric, and it looks super cute on you. :)

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  43. What a lovely dress, Tilly! Lovely vacation spot, too!

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  44. beautiful dress and gorgeous color on you. i've had that same pattern cut out in some coral crepe for almost a year now and i still haven't even started sewing. :( maybe this'll give me the motivation to sew it. it's such a nice shape on you!

    ps. those holiday pics of the sea look amazing, jealous!

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  45. Pretty pretty! I made this up in linen and it's one of my favorite dresses (if only I could wear it right now!). I think the sleeves are fantastic. Don't change them. And I raised the neckline quite a bit, too. It is super low otherwise.

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  46. Love this Dress, Tilly! Looks great on you, and loving the fabric. I have a similar fabric to this that I used as trim on a 1920s Beach pajamas make and loved it so much I bought 3 more metres! Don't know what I'm going to make with it.

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  47. Lovely dress. You have such lovely patterns. Where do you get them from?

    I got the bug to start sewing again by watching 'The Great British Sewing Bee', so thanks. I am even finding places to buy very cheap material. The cost of material was the main reason I didn't do sewing for years. So thanks for being part of something that kicked started me.

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  48. Whattt am I reading you sew this? It looks
    really good, a bit vintage style as well c:
    Croatia looks BEAUTIFUL! Xx

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  49. Maybe even try the dress sleeveless? I liked the bodice in the progress pic, before the sleeves were attached. Great fabric & I love the dress!

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  50. Nice dress. like it very much
    http://maodewu99.taobao.com/shop/view_shop.htm?tracelog=twddp

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  51. That is a beautiful dress! I love everything about it: the color, the print, the shape. Your sunglasses complete the outfit. :)

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  52. Oh my... just beautiful. Now so very tempted to add this pattern to the large pile of makes. And oh so stylish to have co-ordinated sunglasses!

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  53. What a perfect vacation dress - it looks lovely (and fits very nicely, in my opinion)!

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  54. That dress looks absolutely lovely!

    ~Lou~
    Ps: i'm doing a fashion-related survey for my dissertation, 5 mins, much much help ♥ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2SQNKSV

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