lily of the valley dress

06.08.11 | lily of the valley dress

Hello, friends! I’m still “offline” most of the day right now, but was able to snag a couple snapshots of my latest sewing project to share with you all! (Apologies for the super messy hair and tired looks–I had been through a long day when we took these!) Do you recognize this pattern I mentioned last week? It’s the Vintage Vogue #8728 reprint! I admit, this wasn’t next on my list of projects, but since I needed a quick dress that I could just throw on and not worry about it wrinkling during traveling this jersey dress fit the bill. (I know a few of you asked about a sew-along—I’m so flattered you did! Right now is not the best time for me with taking on another project, but I tried to be as thorough with the mini-review below. Please don’t’ hesitate to ask me any questions about the pattern though!)

That’s right—I got over my fear of jersey and working with knits! I used a cream blend knit that my mom had given me. It isn’t super drapey or unstable, which made it a lot easier for me to work with. I zigzagged some of the seams and used my serger on others. It was so easy! I don’t know what my issues have been with sewing knits… I don’t think I’m going to look back. lol.

06.08.11 | lily of the valley dress

The pattern itself is a dream to work with. The design looks far more complicated than the construction is. I ended up cutting a size smaller on through the bust/waist than the envelope says is suitable for my measurement. For the bodice I cut out two sizes smaller. This is because I (rightly) suspected the gathering would be too much if I went by my “size”. I love Vogue patterns because they print the finished bust, waist, and hip measurements which helps when determining what size to cut out. After years of sewing, I’ve figured out the amounts of ease I feel are most flattering and comfortable for me. I also shortened the skirt 3”, but no surprises there—that is a typical adjustment I have to make.

06.08.11 | lily of the valley dress

The pattern comes with two side closure options: a snap placket (so fun—I’ve done a couple of those on lightweight dresses) or a centered zipper. I thought about switching to my favorite lapped zipper method, but since I was working with a stretch I thought better of it and just went with the centered zipper. Why a zipper as opposed to snaps? Partly because I felt the knit was stable enough to handle the adding weight of a zipper tape, and also because I didn’t have time to sew on a bunch of little snaps!

Construction was amazingly easy; I think an intermediate seamstress could whip this up easily in a few evenings of sewing. The most “tricky” part of the pattern was just making sure the gathers were evenly distributed and attaching the neckline binding. This pattern is going in my “sew again” stack. I think it would be lovely in another knit or even a woven. Though frankly the knit thing is really appealing to me—it’s easy to wear but this design doesn’t look like a sack. In fact, I feel a bit like glamorous movie star from the 40s wearing this dress! hehe.

More pictures of the dress are here if you’d like a peek!

June 9, 2011 · 81 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: , , ,

Hannah June 9, 2011 at 06:38

The dress is beautiful, you look like a Grecian goddess. x

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Louise, Raspberries In Winter June 9, 2011 at 06:50

This dress looks so stunning on you! You did a wonderful job on it.

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Stephanie June 9, 2011 at 07:09

The dress turned out wonderfully! And I love the accessories you chose to finish off the look =)

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Katie June 9, 2011 at 07:22

You look gorgeous! The dress is beautiful and it suits you so well.

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Jessica M June 9, 2011 at 07:26

Beautiful and so flattering!

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Tammy June 9, 2011 at 07:31

Wow, it’s beautiful! I haven’t done any sewing with knits, mostly because I had an old machine with timing issues. Now that I have a new-to-me sewing machine, I’m ready to tackle all the things that I’ve not been able to do up to now–namely quilting and sewing with knits.

The dress is very flattering on you!

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:08

Definitely having a machine that cooperates does wonders when sewing with knits! ;) I actually had to swap out the Kenmore for my Singer when I made this dress. Although the Kenmore is “newer” (both my machines are hand-me-downs! ;) ), it was being awfully finicky about the knit material. I suspect it just needs a tune-up though! ;)

♥ Casey

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Lizzie June 9, 2011 at 07:31

Gorgeous, its not a dress I’d go for normally but in a knit its perfect. x

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Portia June 9, 2011 at 07:37

Perfect!
My machine just seems tochew up jersey so will wait until I have an overlocker before venturing into the world of knits!
This is just stunningly simple and gorgeous for summer.
Hope life is being nice to you.
Px

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:09

I had that problem with one of my machines too, Portia! I eventually swapped the Kenmore out for the slightly older Singer and things when smoothly. ;) hehe!

Thanks so much for your kind words about this dress too!

♥ Casey

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Sheri June 9, 2011 at 07:51

Lovely, Casey. :)

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Annika June 9, 2011 at 08:11

The bodice is fantastic. Very pretty dress. Looks like summer!

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Vanessa, Take only Memories June 9, 2011 at 08:22

Super pretty dress!

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Rosy June 9, 2011 at 08:32

It’s beautiful! Wow! This week you and I share different dresses with the same name, Yeah!

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:12

Oh my goodness–that is too funny that we both dubbed dresses “Lily of the Valley”! hehe! Love your’s–the green peter pan collar is such fun. ;)

♥ Casey

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Em June 9, 2011 at 08:43

So great! I love how the bodice came out. Good call on the measurement adjustments–makes it more modern and fattering.

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Staci June 9, 2011 at 08:43

You Darling Girl! This dress is so you. I love the gathering, its very flattering. Hard to believe its a jersey dress! What a nice surprise :)

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Em June 9, 2011 at 08:44

Opps! Should say FLATTERING–and it really is such a lovely dress!

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Tasha June 9, 2011 at 08:46

Absolutely lovely! It’s so flattering on you.

I’m impressed that you used both knit fabric and white! I love white so much but always fear I’ll bumble around and spill something on myself. lol

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:14

Thank you, Tasha! Believe me, I was a bit wary of wearing something all white myself, being the klutzy gal that I am. ;) So far, any disaster has been averted and it’s still spot free! Now if I make it through the rest of the summer that way… haha!

♥ Casey

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Laura Bolčina June 9, 2011 at 08:47

Beautiful dress! I wish the shipping wouldn’t be so pricey..

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Trudy Callan June 9, 2011 at 09:11

So so beautiful. Thanks so much for the review. I will make mine a size smaller when I make mine.

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Annabelle June 9, 2011 at 09:14

This is gorgeous and it looks like the perfect “easy” piece to wear for summer. My thoughts are still with you and your family. I hope you are enjoying the extra time with them.

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estroJen30 June 9, 2011 at 09:25

Lovely dress :)

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Sara @ Sew Sweetness June 9, 2011 at 09:31

Beautiful! Your dress is just lovely on you, what a vision!

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Abigail June 9, 2011 at 09:36

So lovely. I’ve been itching to sew something in jersey, but was always a little intimidated by the idea. After seeing this, I’m pretty sure I’m ready to conquer my fears! Also, I really appreciate the notes you give on pattern/size adjustments, because they tend to be a lot of the same issues with fit that I run into. :-)

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:15

I’m so glad this was helpful! :) I’ve sewn with jersey before (it’s just been a long, long time! ;) ), and although it does take a bit of getting used to, it’s super easy! Best of luck trying jersey–you’ll do fine! :)

♥ Casey

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Jeanne Marie June 9, 2011 at 09:37

Oooh, this pattern was on my wish list, but I wasn’t sure about it since they only show a sketch. It looks wonderful. Now I must get it. My serger has been giving me fits (I think the timing is off and it needs to go into the shop), but I just did a knit pajama top with gathering on my regular machine and it came out great. There is no need to fear knits, even without a serger! Thanks for sharing, Casey!

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Laura S. June 9, 2011 at 09:47

Lovely! I wouldn’t have thought about making it in a knit, although I see the recommended fabrics include “lightweight jersey.” I know what you mean — sewing with knits seems intimidating at first, but once you give it a try you see it’s not as bad as you thought! How did they ever get such a reputation?
I have some pretty floral knit in my stash that I have been meaning to turn into some lounge pants based on my favorite pair from Anthropologie.

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:17

I wonder that too about knits! I think perhaps because so many of us who sew are used to stable wovens? Something about knits and the fact that they stretch in mysterious ways (both length and crosswise!) is a bit frightening because it could throw off the final project completely? Hmm… Would be something to maybe do a little poll on!!!

♥ Casey

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Lauren June 9, 2011 at 10:18

i looove working with jersey knits haha. they are so forgiving when it comes to fit! your dress turned out perfect – very flattering style, and the color is so easygoing & casual. might have to put that pattern on my to-buy list :)

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Sarah June 9, 2011 at 10:45

I just picked the pattern up! It’s on my list, hopefully in the next few weeks. I’m glad you thought it was easy. I have that knit anxiety so I stayed away from them and went with a woven. Much sympathy right now!

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Gloria June 9, 2011 at 10:52

Beautiful and very flattering! I am also hesitant to work with knits but since I have a new Bernina I might just give it a try! Thank you for posting even during what must be a very difficult week for you and your family. Your daily posts inspire me and bring a smile to my face!

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Emma June 9, 2011 at 10:52

I was very sorry to hear about your loss Casey, I hope that you and your loved ones can take comfort in the time you spent with your grandmother and the memories you have.

This dress is beautiful, your talent never ceases to amaze me!

Emma xx

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Stephanie June 9, 2011 at 10:55

Super cute! I’ve only sewn one knit garment and it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I’m definitely up for more!

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Corinne June 9, 2011 at 11:00

This dress is lovely and so nice on you. Thanks for the information on sizing. When I want gathers to be very evenly distributed i like to gather the fabric using my ruffle attachment . I like to gather a piece of yardage first, lay the pattern on the pre-gathered yardage, trace the outline of the pattern, then baste/staystitch the shape on the yardage. I cut out the pattern piece about 1 inch beyond that basting line to allow for fitting and adjustment if necessary. Then trim the seam allowance and serge or bind the raw edges.

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:19

Gah!!! I always forget about using a ruffle attachment when gathering! I think maybe I’ll put a big, neon Post-It note on the board above my machine so I’ll remember next time. lol. Although the gathering wasn’t too much of a nightmare with this one (sometimes–especially with skirts–it seems to go on forever and ever!), it would have cut down a bit more on the time spent gathering up the threads. ;)

♥ Casey

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Marilyn June 9, 2011 at 11:01

Wow I love that dress! I want to make one! It really works with the white knit fabric you used. I have been avoiding knit as well but you inspired me to give it a try.

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Rachel June 9, 2011 at 11:01

Oh, lovely!! I’ve been contemplating buying this pattern and you just convinced me to give it a try! thanks!

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Renee June 9, 2011 at 11:03

Your dress turned out so pretty. Great job and great pattern

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Daughter Fish June 9, 2011 at 11:09

I love the yoke and you do look like a 40′s movies star wearing it:) I’ve never tried one of the reissued vintage Vogue patterns, but this one inspires me to try!

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:20

This was one of the few Vintage Vogue reprints I’ve sewn up. I have a bunch, but I’ve not made many of them. I was really impressed with the directions and fit–as I usually am with any Vogue pattern! :)

♥ Casey

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Sally June 9, 2011 at 11:16

What a perfectly lovely little white dress!

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Elise June 9, 2011 at 11:39

Ooh its so pretty, love the style, altho I’m a bit scared of that fabric, my sewing machine doesnt generally like to be messed with! :)

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Casey June 13, 2011 at 09:21

I’d definitely recommend doing a few test swatches to get the hang of it, if you’re interested in sewing with knits, Elise! :) I do those all the time and it helps avoid loads of sewing-headaches. ;)

♥ Casey

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Trisha June 9, 2011 at 11:43

Love this dress! Last year, I fell in love with sewing knits, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of your knit creations in the future!

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Helena June 9, 2011 at 12:10

Oh, I really like that dress!

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Catherine June 9, 2011 at 12:30

I have overlooked this pattern many times, not thinking it would work for me in a woven, but now I see a knit might just be the thing! You’ve got a gorgeous garment there!

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Amanda June 9, 2011 at 12:54

Okay, I had already seen a couple versions of this dress I really liked. But this is so pretty and light I am now moving this pattern to the very top of my list!

I’m so very sorry about your loss, and I hope you are enjoying the time with your family.

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Katie June 9, 2011 at 13:15

wow! amazing job! i hope someday i can be as good of a seamstress as you! i tried my first project last week–curtains. and i used a stretchy jersey material. i didn’t know it would be harder!!! luckily, they came out ok enough for bathroom curtains! as long as no one looks to closely!

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Carolin June 9, 2011 at 14:59

It’s beautiful, I want it! ;)

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Anna | Mormor hade stil June 9, 2011 at 15:02

Truly a lovely dress!

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Jojo June 9, 2011 at 15:36

I really love the details on the bust line and in write you can see them all the better.

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Lauren June 9, 2011 at 16:07

I really like this dress and I love wearing jersey. However, I’m not just scared of sewing with jersey, I’m scared of sewing clothes period! I need to get over that, because now I really want this dress!

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Tilly June 9, 2011 at 16:39

Oh wow… you’re right, the design does make it look complicated – maybe because the illustration views are quite “dressy”. I avoided that pattern in the past, but I’m definitely adding it to my wish list now – yours is so lovely! The kind of dress that is glamorous but I could imagine wearing all the time.

Lots of love to you and your family x

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mala_14 June 9, 2011 at 17:27

It looks lovely! So elegant and fresh. Great job! I’ve been eyeing this pattern for the last little while now…

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Marie June 9, 2011 at 17:40

You look stunning as always Casey! I recently came across this pattern in a sale and wasn’t sure about it, but after this posy I’m convinced I need to go back and get it ;o)

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KatyDidStitches June 9, 2011 at 17:42

Just gorgeous, Casey! Thanks for the pattern notes. This design looked intimidating to me…glad to know it’s not as hard as it looks!

Kathy

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Lucy June 9, 2011 at 18:17

That dress is fantastic! Love the pattern, love that it’s on sale, don’t love that it’s $15 shipping to NZ!

Guess it’s another one for the ebay/etsy wish list ;-)

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