Sunday, October 28, 2012


A couple of months ago I saw the Lily dress on the Tessuti blog and loved the look of it. However, when I made a toile to test the neck and sleeve fitting, I wasn't happy with the effect on me. On the model, it is obvious that the shoulder seams sit high up on the shoulder, but perhaps because my shoulders are fairly broad, on me that meant lots of excess fabric bunching up under my arm and vertical wrinkles on the outer part of the sleeve as the top of the sleeve was pulled up over my shoulder to meet the bodice. When I tried to take a picture of that I discovered how difficult it is to photograph your own shoulder!

To test how much extra fabric I needed in the shoulder area to cover my shoulders comfortably, I unpicked the stitching and let the fabric sit without pulling. That gave me a gap of about 3cms between the seam-lines. Here's a blurry shot showing that this is another thing that is very difficult to photograph:

I adjusted the pattern based on this experiment. I tried various options for adding the missing fabric, but in the end I split the difference, adding half to the bodice pieces, and half to the sleeve. You can see the added bits on the pattern pieces below:

And here's the best shot I could get of what that looks like when they are sewn together:
Not exactly like the original in look, but much more comfortable, with no bunching or pulling. I'm not sure about that wrinkle on the front, it may have been due to how I was standing to take the photo. Of course I didn't notice it until I saw in on the screen.

After two toiles, I think now it is time to jump in and cut my linen fabric.


  1. No bunching or pulling is what you want. Today's a great day for a linen dress.

  2. can't wait to see your version of the lily and the alterations.