Pattern Testing the Louisa Dress - plus a giveaway.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I like deadlines. 
In my other life, I'm a journalist and deadlines are everything. And I always, always take things to the wire.

So when Marte at Compagnie M asked me to test her Louisa Dress pattern, with a six-day deadline, I thought; "Yes, a deadline -  my kind of sewing project!"


Then Missy got sick, nothing serious, but I had to take time off work and spend my evening catching up, and then Mr As-it-Seams got sick, then Torin got sick and Victoria As-it-seams got tired and grumpy...."This is the week I need to finish my dress!" 




But actually making the Louisa dress provided me with the respite that sewing always does.

In the late nights I set about it quietly and methodically and it preserved my sanity in a chaotic week. I must admit though, I was hemming at midnight, the night before these photos.


I had, still have, loads of ideas for this dress. I want to make a split back version next. But for this test version, the deadline meant my options were limited. I don't have a big fabric stash (contrary to what Mr As-it-Seams thinks) and there are only two very small fabric shops in my town, (and I  know exactly everything that they both have in stock!)  So I had to make do with the fabric that I did have.

Which was this needlecord in a rather lovely soft green colour. I love corduroy for children's clothes. Cord-du-roi, the cloth of kings, is soft, cosy and practical.


But it was a bit plain, I needed to perk it up a bit. It seemed to go perfectly with the last scraps of Jeni Baker's Nordika Whimsicol left over from this dress. So that's the inserts worked out then!



But to my eye, the inserts needed some kind of 'reference' on the front. And I love the Nordika fabric so much that it seemed a shame to put it all on the back of the dress. 

So I fiddled about with Marte's pattern and added a placket insert to the front in the Nordika, complete with a couple of pintucks and pink piping. I think green and pink must be my colour combination for the moment. See my Secret Squirrel outfit here. Oh, and this dress ! Without thinking I've created a winter version of it. Oh good, a touch of Nordika all year!



This was also my first proper blind zipper, I stuffed it up to begin with (because I didn't have the right kind of zip) but on second attempt it looks pretty good! Thanks Marte for your great instructions.

I made size 5 for Missy. She's 3 and a half, but tall,  and while this dress is a little boxy on the shoulders, it's got just the right amount of room for her to grow. I made the sleeves a couple of centimetres than Marte's pattern as I wanted full length sleeves. The dress is fully lined in green polka dots, which are very pretty.

This dress has really won me over. (Could it be that it's because it's got lots of piping? So love piping!) 
It was a straightforward sew, and now it's a surprisingly practical addition to Missy's wardrobe. She loves the big pockets. And it's cosy for winter. A summer version would be fun to make too. Although Marte's called this a vintage dress, I think it also looks quite modern and funky.

Marte's Louisa dress pattern is available in size 1 to 10, and she's selling it with a 10% discount this week over here. I've also got one copy of the pattern to raffle. Just click on the raffle thingy below!
Phew deadline met...now 'hold the front page'...I've got a little announcement to make this week. Please pop back!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments :

  1. Thanks a lot for the lovely post! Always nice to hear the story behind the test! I didn't want ot get you stressed, but as you say: it surely helped to get this stunning result!

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    1. Ah, I find sewing is an antidote to my busy life! I like getting absorbed in a project, and I like a short-time frame for things, otherwise I never finish them! Thanks for asking me to test!

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  2. Oh Victoria, sounds like a rough week indeed! The whole family was sick (one after another) about a month ago and now that the cold has finally set it, I fear another round is about to hit us. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that it all holds off for a bit as I just don't have any time right now for sick people, argh!!!

    But enough about me... let's talk about this gorgeous little number you made for Missy. What an awesome little flip! I hadn't even thought of that!!! But yes, that Nordika fabric is so beautiful that it only made sense to have some of it in the front. Missy looks quite thrilled to be wearing it (and it looks like the shoot went well?)

    I love it Victoria!
    Natalie
    XX

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    1. Yep,its the time of year when illness strikes... the weather is gloomy and we're all stuck in doors. But actually I find sewing a bit of a stress-relief.
      I am pleased with the photos - but Missy was in an awful mood that morning.The secret Natalie, is always, always, have a little packet of sweets (candy?) handy for a photoshoot...blackmail is a miraculous tool...

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  3. Your version is beautiful! I love the front insert, the piping- you did a great job in the midst of taking care of sick people!

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  4. Nothing like creating something completely stunning to preserve one's sanity ;) The dress is wonderful Victoria. I LOVE green and pink combo. Just like you, I am a piping addict, so I appreciate is so so so much! Love the insert of colour on the front of the dress. Nordika matches corduroy perfectly! Love it, absolutely love it :)

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    1. Thanks Jenya! I always thrive under pressure. Makes me focus. And it was probably a good thing that I didnt have much choice, fabric-wise, as I probably would have dithered for ages.Looking forward to seeing your version!

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  5. I'm sorry your week was so rough! The dress still turned out really lovely, despite everything!

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    1. Thanks Stacia, I was really pleased with how it's turned out. And it's been worn a lot....

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  6. Love( !) this version. I agree that the insert fabric balances up nicely when it also appears in the front. Plackets are a great idea! I already purchased the pattern and can't wait to start off. Can I just ask, how much fabric did you use for the size 5?

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    1. Thanks Mieke, I'm having a 'placket phase' - watch this space. I'll need to check how much corduroy I have left and get back to you about the fabric!

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    2. Hi Mieke, I've just checked. I managed to make the dress from 1metre of corduroy, but it was 150cm wide. I've got quite a big bit left over which measures 40cm by 1metre (length of fabric) so I'm guessing you could make the dress in 1 metre of 110cm wide too (although I didn't use the corduroy for the button facing. I used the lining material for that). Does this make sense?

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    3. It does, thank you very much! I have soms fabric from my stash in my mind, but it's 2x0,5m, so I'll have to be creative :D usually brings in the best ideas. I'll be watching your blog for more plackets :D

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  7. I love this! The colors are great and the piping is beautiful! It looks wonderful!

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  8. Love your version! And it fits your girl perfectly. I bought this pattern and thinking about the fabric combo... endless possibilities..!

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    1. Thanks Shino - looking forward to seeing your version!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you, and try to reply as often as I can, either here or by email. All views, tips, gratefully received...
Victoria

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