I was very happy recently to be offered the new pattern by Pattern Review - the Lillian dress and top. Deepika at Pattern Review kindly offered her newest pattern to all the contestants from Round three of the PR Sewing Bee competition. I didn't make it past Round three, so this was a very welcome consolation prize!
I love knit dresses and live in them throughout the summer. If I'm not in a dress, chances are I'm in a t-shirt, so this pattern ticks all the boxes. The unique feature of this pattern is the front bib panel, which provides lovely shaping and fit and offers endless opportunities for colour blocking. Clearly there is no colour blocking in my dress. Instead, I sewed pintucks into the front panel before cutting the pattern piece, for some subtle detail.
This fabric is spandex/rayon from a local designer sale at Morrison. It is a gorgeous, soft, drapey, two-way stretch fabric, but unfortunately does get an imprint from pressing (above), even though I used a pressing cloth.
My first project with this pattern was a t-shirt to test the fit. I was between sizes and decided to size down to the Small. I am super happy with the fit. The sleeves on the t-shirt were made according to the pattern and cup the shoulders perfectly. However, I noticed that if I raised, then lowered, my arms, the sleeves stayed in the raised position. For the dress, I slashed and spread the sleeve piece in three places (to gain approx. 2cm total) to open them out a bit. I also cut four sleeve pieces for the dress, so the sleeves are a double layer without a hem. I am pleased with the way the sleeves turned out on the dress. The only other change I made was to lengthen the dress by 5cm.
I tried to lighten these pictures, but they are still a bit dark to see the details. There is a slight pooling of fabric at the lower back, but this doesn't bother me.
The dress has a bound V-neck, which was easy to sew. All the instructions were very clear and the pattern is well thought out, with the PDF pattern only taking up 16 printed pages! I also love that the pattern is named after Lillian Weber, who sewed over 1000 dresses for African girls. PR will donate 20% of the proceeds from this pattern to the 'Little Dresses for Africa' charity.
I just love this dress. The fit is fabulous and the unlimited options with the front panel are very exciting. I will definitely be making more of these. Thank you PR!