Sunday, April 26, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Lilly Look-a-like

I have always been a fan of Lilly Pulitzer and the fun, unique prints used in her garments. I was first introduced to the brand while I was an undergrad in a fine arts program. During a luncheon, we listened to an alumni that worked in the fabric design department at Lilly headquarters in King of Prussia, PA. While she talked about various aspects of her job and the Lilly brand, she told us how they get inspired by traveling to exotic locations around the world. I thought that sounded like a lot of fun and from that day on, I was hooked. 


I was also one of many that trekked to their local Target last Sunday to snatch a piece of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection. But with dismay, I came home empty handed. I didn't feel the need to sit outside the store before it opened, but rather walked in around 8:20 a.m., only to find everything was gone! I don't believe there was a huge line out front of my local Target (I have three within a 5 mile radius of my house.) I believe though that there was not a lot of inventory to be had. And when people went to the register with a cart full of pieces, a very select number of people got something. After that experience, I decided two things--- 1) I will just spend the money one day on an authentic Lilly piece that will become a timeless piece in my wardrobe, and 2) I am graced with the ability to sew, so gosh darn it, I'll make my own version of Lilly pieces! 

And so I did it.


This week I cut out and assembled my first "Lilly Look-a-like" -- a knit shift dress from a fun and bright print. I used McCall's 6612, a pullover dress with neckline and sleeve variations. This is a TNT for me, and it's really nice because I don't have to make any alterations! I cut out size 16. The only changes that I made were to the neckline and brought in the seam allowance on the sleeves to make them more fitted. 


The fabric I used was a striped ITY knit from Maggy London. I've had the fabric in my stash for about a year and had a shift style dress in mind from the day I laid eyes on this print! The colors also reminded me of Lilly -- bright and cheerful, but also sophisticated! Did you get a piece of this fabric last year? Although it is sold out, you can find many other ITY knits on our website


I also knew that since it is a striped print, matching the stripes would be key! But before I worried about that, I had to worry about stripe placement. The stripes are various sizes and I wanted the stripes to hit me in the most flattering place. On the photo above, you can see there are two large stripes -- green background with blue print and blue background with green print. I used my mannequin to decide the best placement of the stripes. The larger stripes were best placed below my hips, as to not bring more attention to that area. The small stripes all worked out really well from the bust line through the hips. And the large blue stripe was placed at the shoulders. 


I carefully cut out all the pattern pieces so that the stripes matched on the dress and then also carried that out into the sleeves. When deciding the length of the hem, I wanted to keep the hem above the knee. I played around with having the hemline at the end of the large blue stripe, but decided upon the one stripe just below the large blue stripe-- it reminds me of a little bit of lace embellishment, just like a Lilly dress!


I wanted to keep with a high neckline (almost boatneck,) so I cut the neckline to my liking, not following the pattern. I used techniques I learned in the Pretty Peplum Top Sew Along to finish off the neck. 

And with vacation just two weeks away, I'm definitely going to be wearing this dress to dinner on a fun-filled Caribbean vacation!


Happy Sewing! 
Julie

17 comments:

  1. Enjoy your vacation.Your dress looks nice. Can't wait until I have a chance to drive up to Fabric Mart from Schwenksville !
    Best Wishes,
    Gail

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    1. Thank you! Hope to see you in the store sometime :O)

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  2. I love this dress!! What's better is that your handmade one is perfectly fitted to you... way nicer then a garment made with some random block they have created for mass production.

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    1. Thank you! Being able to sew and make things that suit your body is the best thing ever!

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  3. Fantastic! Your dress is far better than any I show advertised by Target!

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  4. Great dress, Julie! It really suits you, and looks wonderfully comfortable to wear. Have a great vacation!

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    1. Definitely comfortable! Vacation is just two weeks away and I can't wait!

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  5. I also like their clothing they are so bright and colorful and look really comfortable but their prices are too high for me. i also sew for myself and my daughter so I have been looking for similar fabric. I've come close a couple times. i wish they would sell some fabric exclusively for retail like some of the other high end clothing brands do.

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    1. I would love to find their fabrics! I haven't come across them in the market. I'm thinking that copyright laws may keep them out of the market because their prints are very specific and sometimes have their signature on them. (although I've seen plenty of signature fabrics in the market from other designers.)

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  6. Looks great! Sometimes the most satisfying makes are the simple ones! Have fun on your vacation.

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    1. Thank you! Simple is definitely better sometimes!

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  7. Your dress is beautiful. I love the style you chose.

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  8. Oh I love this! Clean and classic patterns can really be dolled up with bright and beautiful prints! Excellent!

    www.StyleSewMe.com

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  9. I had a wild hair and decided that I would purchase LP fabric to make my 25 year old daughter a dress. Well, it certainly was an eye opening experience. OMG!!! I am a cheap Southern mama, and those prices dang near made me have a coronary!!! ACK! Sweet baby Jesus, help me! $130.00 a yard? Oh. Puh-leeze. Made me rethink that idea. Then, I found your post. Yes!!! This is the way to go. Thank you for the tips and ideas. I'm sorry, those dresses are cute, but not that cute. Sorry Sarah, you get a cheap knock off from Mama! Keep up the good work.

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