Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Lily Pond Warehouse. A treasure trove of French antiques that are collected and curated by the talented Mrs Kim and Mr Kim who are the owners of the intimate Lily Pond store. They kindly allowed me to take photos of my new Centauree dress from Deer and Doe patterns and play with their collection of antiques.
How breathtaking are those photos? Obviously the surroundings, not my quirky little face.
So where am I at with sewing at the moment? It’s been rather limited due to 3 family members with consecutive influenza, then gastro and lastly a small stay in hospital for me. 12 very long weeks. The longing has returned however and I’m starting to consider my next makes (even making a list that is prioritised!) and spend some QT with my machines. I’m resisting the urge to go with familiar favourites and trying to move onto creating clothes from new patterns. My current wardrobe is full of Anna’s, Brumby’s, Elisalex’s, Emery’s and Gabriola’s and whilst I haven’t run out of space yet I do need to acquire some more hangers. I have made many a recent pattern purchase, the fruits of which are languishing in the newly acquired filing system (black boxes in no particular order (‘_’) ) or sitting in a random file on my computer. So I’m starting afresh and listing, auditing fabric and trying to sew with purpose. “weeps, laughs, disbelieves”.
First out of the box was the Centauree from Deer and Doe. My love of Liberty, Linen and Lace continues and I had in mind a scarlet summer dress. For reasons unknown I’m bypassing the toile stage. Not entirely sure why the maverick attitude this month, but I cut out the Ute dress 4 weeks ago without even tracing! Luckily the fit on that is perfect and photos will follow. Warning: there may be side boob and I’m predicting this will be big during summer in the southern hemisphere.
I cut a straight 40 which is the skirt size I have previously used for the Chardon and Brume skirt which were perfect straight out the envelope.
The Centauree has some interesting design lines on the front of the bodice that are expertly drafted and came together beautifully. The top stitching has all the seams sitting perfectly. I knew it was going to be a little loose as I was sewing it, but for this dress I wasn’t looking for a serious fit and flare, desiring something slightly more relaxed. When I make my next one from silk I will need to bring in the side seams about an inch on each side for that slinky fitted look.
I’m all about the distressed frayed look at the hem as well. Perhaps a reflection of the past few months. After a couple of washes it gives a lovely textured edge. It’s likely as close as I will get to being edgy. (Just realised that sounded jokey but it’s actually how I wrote it, so I’ll just leave it there and not draw any attention to it….) I did cut additional length on this version, and for the silk version I’m hoping to work an avocado dye into the fabric and cut it as a maxi.
I love bias binding and whilst I had a little moment trying to work out how to attach it, the Youtube tutorial had me organised in no time. I found after I’d attached the binding there was a join seam at the centre front that although no-one would ever notice, was stopping me from sleeping. So a cute little button now draws the attention away from a 1cm seam line no one else would ever notice. Am I a funny little creature? Do others have to solve problems in quirky manners? Buttons can fix many problems.
There was also the issue of having black thread were the button was sewn on so a little square of tartan covers that and another keeps the centre seams of the bodice neat and tidy. They also match the plaid pockets. Remaining red linen binding from the straps neatens the waist seam.
I think this is going to be a lovely dress for summer although the opaque black tights will continue to be worn with to protect my legs from the sun. I have a matching black parasol and the silk ribbon around my neck will complete the little red riding hood/gothic feel.
I haven’t seen many versions of this dress over on Instagram. I would highly recommend making it. A delight to sew.
Photos by Bruce. Location at Lily Pond Warehouse. Pattern Deer and Doe Centauree. Demon Scarlett Merchant and Mills Linen purchased from Stitch 56. Boots purchased from American Duchess. Flower Crown purchased from Gardens of Whimsy. Black pullover top and tights purchased from Wolford.