It’s taken an embarrassingly long time for my Lucille dress to reach completion. The dress comes with two different skirt options- a lovely 50s style circle skirt or a sexy fitted pencil skirt. As much as I was tempted to go vintage and swish around in a circle skirt I knew that I would get more wear from the pencil skirt and also that it was about time I focussed on fitting those back darts down to a T.
Choosing the more fitted option meant I had no choice but to toile up first. I grabbed my calico and got cracking. Toile making however coincided with the Easter Bank holiday when we had yet another freak outburst of snow and my heating broke! It was so cold in my house, prancing around in my underwear trying to make adjustments to my summery dress was just too much for me!
Luckily the weather didn’t last and the following week I got my toile into some form of assemblage. I instantly fell in love with the neckline. The pleats on the bust look really effective and professional, but they were really super simple to put together. If you make sure you cut your notches then the magic really happens when you line up your centre fronts and the overlap creates this sexy plunge.
I found the cups a little too roomy so I pinned out some of the upper bodice, just before the shoulder seam. This made my arm holes significantly smaller so had to increase the seam allowance at the back armholes to allow for movement. I took also pinned a little out from the underarm seams making the bodice a little more fitted around the bust.
I like the use of pleats instead of darts on the centre front skirt, but you have to be super precise otherwise it is REALLY obvious if they aren’t symmetrical! I changed the hip shape in the skirt a little to allow the pleats to sit nicely, then in true Angela fashion I make the whole thing about 4 inches shorter haha!
I keep on putting off fitted skirts because I absolutely hate adjusting the back. I have a tiny back compared to my front so always end up having to play around with darts, which is dead hard when you’re wearing it! So further delay was caused when I spent a good two weeks redrawing various different dart placements with pure guesswork. In the end I called on my good friend Aimee of Wrong Doll, the best sister in stitch anyone could ask for. In less than 24 hours from my panicky text I was in her flat with a cup of tea talking about boys and getting my back darts SORTED. Now she’ll say she didn’t know what she was doing but the results suggest otherwise. I was SO much happier with the results than anything I’d come up with in my room.
With new adjustments fresh in my head I got home and altered my paper pattern. My next toile was cut from an old bed sheet which was a similar weight to my lush fabric sent over from Doughty’s Online. Over the course of time it had taken to get to this point (feels like we’ve been through allll the seasons!) I’d been working on getting my body into shape and building some core muscle. This caused even more fitting adjustments as I went along! Every day I was seemingly a different shape! No wonder toiling was taking so long!!
Finally I took the plunge and made the cut into my beautiful bird fabric. I think a few of my Insta followers were holding their breath too! I decided to line the skirt, as the cotton lawn was quite thin (though I must add wonderfully sturdy), and I really wanted to build a bit of form in the skirt pleats. I faced the bodice using the same fabric, adding a lightweight interfacing, again to add some structure.
I used a dark navy satin from Hillsborough Fine Fabrics to line the skirt. I made the lining about 1.5cm shorter than the dress and did a double turned hem.
Thankfully I didn’t come up against any more major hitches, no more snow, no more body changes and no more fitting drama. I tweaked a few little areas as I went along but nothing major.
My favourite part of this dress has got to be neckline on the bodice. Now that I’ve got those cup shapes perfect I’m keen to make a few tops using the same pattern and maybe insert an underarm zipper.
So glad I got this guy all finished the week before my birthday! Got a few nights out planned and can’t wait to show Lucille off!
Has anyone else made a Lucille? What fabrics did you use? Next time I would like to use something a little sturdier to add a little more form to the skirt shape. Loving my summery florals though!
Location: Redmires Reservoir, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Stop, Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club
Dress looks lovely! Did you alter the position of the front skirt pleats? I’ve just begun making a toile but the pleats on the pattern envelope look like they’re approx midway between centre fold and side seam but on the pattern sheet they’re about right next to the side seam which doesn’t look right. Wondering if it’s a misprint!