I’ve been working away on a new Lisette pattern, Butterick 6567. I liked the potential of this pattern when I saw it, the contrast yoke offered some possibilities. So I chose two denims of similar tone from Fabricville’s spring fabrics — both dark wash and medium wash lightweight denim, a shirting weight and very soft and pliable to work with.
I pictured my dress made with a lighter yoke, carrying this over to the whole shoulder & cuff pieces as well. And when I saw that distinct yoke, I knew it would be perfect for a touch of embroidery! My first thought was to create a folkloric floral spray, but then I pondered on it — perhaps with the denim, primary coloured florals would give it too much of a country feel. My husband suggested going with an abstract or geometrical design, and I thought that sounded good! So I looked through a few old books for inspiration, and ended up adapting a pattern from this 1920s era book online at the Antique Pattern Library, Broderies pour Robes. (fabulous little book!)
I drew the outline of the yoke on paper and then used handy circular objects in my sewing room to add the circular motifs, like a couple of spools and the middle of a roll of tape! I scattered the circles onto the pattern and then drew in some wavy lines behind them.
I had fun embroidering over a few nights. I used purples and greys from DMC’s newest set of colours, and filled in the circles randomly with whichever stitch I felt like using: chain stitch, lazy daisy, stem, french knots, buttonhole and more. I did use my favourite, stem stitch, for the wavy lines and some of the circular outlines. The only repetition is the central, largest circle — I decided to copy that one on the back neck of the dress to carry through on the design. I rather like the postal air it ended up with!
The dress itself is billed as “easy”. I wouldn’t call it a beginner pattern, though. It was very time consuming, especially with the odd angle of the front pleat as it attaches to the yoke. It took me three tries and some hand basting to get that on and all lined up correctly. The pockets are a really neat feature and not difficult, but again, not “easy” either. Because there are no closures to worry about it does finish up quite simply which may be where the “easy” comes from.
One thing that makes this pattern difficult to fit is that there isn’t an easy way to petite size it. I thought I’d got the sizing right, but after I finished it, I ended up taking a half-inch up at the neckline side of the shoulder seam, tapering out to nothing. That helped get the bustline a little higher and made the dress fit a little better. If you are short like me, pay attention to the length of the pattern in all areas; it was the only sizing issue I had.
This was an interesting make, and I learned quite a bit while doing it. I’m not sure it’s my best silhouette, but I enjoyed the creative touches to this pattern, and it is certainly a light and loosely fitting dress for warm days. This denim is a lovely weight and texture, and I look forward to trying out more embroidered projects.