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Guest blog – Lynne

I was thrilled when I was invited to be a guest blogger for Felicity Fabrics, one of my favourite fabric companies. I love that it is run by a mother and daughter team, Caroline and Fliss, as my daughter Tamlyn (@sewn_on_the_tyne) and I are also very close and have worked together. I particularly love the shopping experience with Felicity Fabrics as every parcel is packaged so beautifully. It’s like receiving a gift which feels so special.  I love the fabric care swatches which come with each piece of fabric. You can also request several swatches to help you choose the perfect fabric for your project. 

I did this when choosing the fabric for my Closet Core Elodie dress (the pattern was bought for my birthday by Tamlyn). I chose three fabrics to help me decide which would be the best, although I already had a firm favourite. Sure enough the fabric I preferred online was the perfect choice. By Lady McElroy, one of my favourite fabric companies, it is called Aviary Lounge. It’s a stunning pewter, polyester hammered crepe with a gorgeous bird and birdcage digital print. I absolutely fell in love with it and placed my order. I was thrilled when my parcel arrived and I could drape the fabric around me and do a twirl. Yes, this is going to be a perfect combination, so I set to work. 

The Elodie dress is a fairly new pattern from Closet Core. It’s a wrap-over dress with bust and back bodice pleats and a structured waist band with long waist ties to give definition to the upper body. There are two sleeve options and I chose the elbow length. The skirt is full and can be short, midi or maxi. I chose the midi version which suits my height better as I am quite petite at 5 feet tall. The pattern is classed as intermediate. I’ve just been dressmaking for two years, so I expected a bit of a challenge.

The fabric is so precious and I wanted to do it justice. I selected a fine needle to protect the fabric. It frayed easily so I decided to sew French seams throughout – my favourite way to finish seams since Tamlyn showed me how! I’m a real convert as they make the inside of my garments so neat and professional looking. I also edged the bodice facing with a beautiful satin bias binding.

The project went well, although the structured waistband was a real challenge. My first attempt required unpicking, which I did with some trepidation, not wanting to damage the beautiful fabric. I’ve since discovered that I wasn’t the only one to struggle with the pattern instructions for the waistband, so I don’t feel too bad! I went back to square one with it, and voila! This time I got it right.

My next challenge was the skirt, with two front skirt pieces and two back. The French seams worked well, but I wasn’t happy with the free edge of the wrap-over skirt front. I’d followed the pattern instructions to edge the skirt –narrow fold then a second fold before stitching, but the edge was rippled and the bottom of the skirt flapped open to reveal the reverse of the fabric. I think this was because the fabric was so delicate. Although I’m far from being a perfectionist, I couldn’t cope with the appearance of this. I considered various options to rectify the problem, possibly adding a facing, interfacing, stabiliser, or a bias binding. I wanted a lovely smooth outline when wearing the skirt, so decided to cut another front skirt piece and attached this to fully face the skirt front. I also edged the wrong side of the skirt front with a strip of interfacing before adding the front facing, or lining. This hack worked perfectly and really enhanced the look and drape of the skirt. 

All that was left now was to make and attach the waist ties, which was a breeze. I’d completed my Elodie dress and I absolutely adore it. The fabric is really stunning and extremely wearable as it doesn’t crease. I’m so grateful to Felicity Fabrics for providing it. Now all I need is an opportunity to showcase the dress, once we are allowed to have parties again.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first ever blog post and that it has perhaps inspired you to have a go at making the Elodie dress. I highly recommend this fabric if you want to make an impression at a special event. 

Thank you for reading,

Lynne x