Friday, 29 July 2016

Lilou Tie Shoulder Dress Hack

I like Pina Coladas and getting drunk in the rain. Actually I hate cocktails and well I live in England so I have been drunk in the rain, In fact its probably a statistical fact that I've been drunk in the rain more times than drunk in sun.

Anyway ! This dress! I mean THIS DRESS! Sometimes you can have an awesome pattern and awesome fabric and its still a bit lacking but not this time! I love this dress, Rikki likes this dress, I think I might want to be buried on this dress [well this one or my wax cotton one]

I mean its a Hawaiian print, so lets just start with that. I don't normally do colour but as soon as I saw this on the craft cotton company website I fell in love. Suddenly I had visions of myself strutting down a sunny street with the beach boys playing in the background.

Its like someone took the whole of summer and wove it into a print! Anyway its a 100% cotton, didn't shrink in the wash, ironed beautifully and no colours ran at all! And it was a dream to sew with and cut out, it doesn't shift and yo can finger press a lot of your seams! I didn't bother pattern matching but I did cut all my pieces the same way up.

In fact my only fault with this dress is that the zip is about 0.5cm out, but I've added a big button and it doesn't really bother me to be honest! At least it doesn't bother me enough to unpick everything and start again! 

So lets get to the nitty gritty! the top is the lilou bodice from love at first stitch by tilly and the buttons. But I hacked the bodice so I could keep with the 60's beach boys theme and have tie shoulders! 

It really was a simple hack and I think it looks awesome!

First I traced a copy of my front and back Lilou bodices.

Then using my ruler I just extended the strap by about 4/5 inches and rounded it off. I also curved in the edges where the original strap ended to reduce bulk. [sorry for the rubbish pictures they were taken on my phone]

Then cut of your new pattern piece!

Construction is pretty much the same as in the book, you stay stitch the neckline, but when it asks you to join the front bodice and the back bodices at the shoulders you just skip that part! Then you attach the front bodice to the front bodice lining right sides together and stitch all the way from one armscye up the strap around the round strap end through to the neckline and up the other strap and to the armscye again!

Then you do the same with the left back bodice and the right.

Then you just turn all the pieces through [after your clipped the edges] and then you can follow the instructions again for joining them all p at the side seams and adding the skirt and zip.

Here's me demonstrating the toe of the shoulders with the creepiest look on my face ever.

In hindsight next time I would only extend the straps by 3 inches instead of the 4/5 I used because I think mine are a touch long. But you live you learn! And it think it looks really cute and summery! Although you do have to line your bodice to have these straps so I'd recommend picking light fabrics.

The skirt is from the 2nd Great British Sewing Bee book. Its the box pleat skirt again, however I altered it to have a centre back seam and I omitted the waistband. The skirt was actually a touch too long for the bodice so I used a 2cm seam allowance on the skirt side seams instead of a 1.5cm one. Its definitely worth basting it in before you have to do lots of unpicking! or even worse MATHS! 

I think this might be my favourite Lilou dress hack so far! 

In other news! 

So if you had a burning desire to see my actual face talking about sewing then all of your dreams have come true!

But in all seriousness its something I've wanted to do for a really long time and I'm glad I took the plunge! I do have to give a HUGE thank you to my lovely brother in law Keith though, because he has been patiently watching my failed video attempts and providing feedback since about March!

So yeah you pop over there and actually watch me talk about sewing! I can guarantee its far more awkward than any pictures I've ever posted on here!

And there's a cheeky video about this dress as well!

Much Love




  1. Another super dress! And congrats on starting a YouTube channel, I haven't watched it yet but I will do. BTW maths is FUN (honest!!)

    1. You lie! Maths is not fun! It males my brain hurt! X

  2. You know, Elvis did make a movie called Blue Hawaii! Maybe you saw it as a child--- or another life ; )

    1. You know what that actually rings a bell? was it the sort of hing that was shown on a weekend on channel four? we watched a lot of channel four moies growing up!!!

  3. You know, Elvis did make a movie called Blue Hawaii! Maybe you saw it as a child--- or another life ; )

  4. I think your dress is fabulous!! You really rock it and love the ties, I am definitely going to give it a try very soon, there is a indie top with ties but now I can make my own, maybe I will take your advice and be less bunny ears, I like the peak of lining on them too. I really enjoyed watching your video, I do feel like I know you more now I've heard talk (is that weird??) and look forward to seeing your vintage entry as think it will great, I've no idea how to subscribe though or even what on but would love to continue to watch them if you post them on your blog too x

    1. definately try the tie shoulders! It feels super summery and its so easy to hack a pattern into having them!!! Im so glad you enjoyed me videos! I cant wait to make more its something I'm really excited about at the moment!


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