I’ve mentioned this before on my blog, but I first discovered the world of garment sewing while on the hunt for a sold-out dress I’d fallen in love with. I was a ModCloth Brand Ambassador wayyyyyyy back in the day when the shop first opened, and through the Facebook Group created for communication between brand ambassadors, I found a couple of other Facebook groups centered around buying, selling, and swapping garments from ModCloth and other similar retailers.
I had fallen in love with a dress on the website that sold out incredibly quickly, and there were no plans to restock it. I searched and searched, and somewhere along the way someone pointed out that they’d found many of the fabrics used for the novelty print dresses that I loved available for purchase. This lead me down another rabbit hole of Facebook Groups and blogs centered around choosing dresses from ModCloth, Anthropologie, and other popular stores, and then suggesting similar fabrics and patterns so that you could make it yourself. I found a facebook group that hosted sewalongs using one of the suggested patterns, and joined immediately… And I was hooked.
The dress that I was after, originally, was a V-Neck woven dress with a solid bodice and a great, novelty print skirt that featured Russian stacking dolls. Despite buying a similar fabric, I never did attempt to recreate that particular dress, partially because I’ve STILL been searching for the ideal V-Neck dress pattern!! I’ve been sewing Athina’s patterns for quite a while now, and for some reason I just had not taken the time to sew the Lisa dress. When she contacted me to let me know that she’d be hosting an entire month of sewists focusing on the Lisa and Kimberly dresses, I knew I couldn’t say no – it was the perfect opportunity to sew up a V-Neck dress. Would this finally be the one??
This was my first sewing project after my Ash Jeans – I’ve got quite a few knit (read: fairly simple!) projects up next on my agenda, but this one was my only more “involved” project that I have planned in the next few weeks. I figured it would take me a few days, but I had the pleasure of almost an entire day all to myself in my sewing room this week, and I finished the dress rather quickly! I think overall, it took me about 5 hours including pattern prep, cutting, and construction. Athina’s instructions are great, and the dress came together perfectly. I sewed a size UK10, which is standard for me with AK Patterns. In the past, I’ve primarily sewn knit AK Patterns, and this was my first of her wovens. I feel great in the UK10, but I do think I could’ve also been comfortable in a more fitted UK8, so something to consider if you are contemplating what size to cut for yourself.
The dress has great lines, and I’m so happy with the finished product. I did not make any alterations to the pattern; I sewed it entirely per the pattern instructions, with the added shoulder ties and waistband as included in the pattern. I think it turned out beautifully, and I love that the shoulder ties are removable, so I have a couple different looks available to me within the same dress. As you can see in these photos, I chose to tie my waist tie in the back, and also tried the dress with a belt from my closet that matched my shoes! Lots of options here!
This fabric was purchased from Fabric Godmother over 2 years ago… At that time, I was starting to get comfortable with the idea of venturing outside of my quilting cotton comfort zone, and had tried my hand at a couple of knit and rayon projects. I fell in love with the beautiful print and colors of this fabric, but I wasn’t ever entirely sure what I’d do with it. I’d never sewn with a cotton lawn, and for some reason couldn’t see that it was really just the slightly more grown-up, apparel-appropriate cousin of quilting cotton! So it was relegated to live on my fabric shelf for 2 years until I started thinking of what I’d make my Lisa dress from…. And it was a match made in heaven!
I think that this is an absolutely beautiful dress. I’m really looking forward to wearing it, and it truly reminds me of some of the first dresses that made me fall in love with sewing my own things – bright, colorful, fit-and-flare type things! Although I don’t seem to encounter this situation very often anymore, I feel like I need to find myself on a patio downtown sipping wine during happy hour in this dress very soon. In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming up more Lisa dresses… I’m thinking about how much I might love it with a chopped, shorter length skirt hem?? So many ways to play with this pattern!
Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: AK Patterns – Lisa Dress
Fabric: Fabric Godmother – Lady McElroy – Amerillis Cotton Lawn (now sold out at Fabric Godmother, but I’ve found it still available at Minerva so the link will lead you there!)
Though the pattern used in this post was generously provided to me by Athina Kakou of AK Patterns, all words and opinions expressed are my own, as always! Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! I appreciate each click! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth