Lace Dove and Toffee Velvet

Posted Saturday, 26 October, 2019

Good evening lovely friends,

This post is about a make that I’ve been envisioning for ages, made possible by my latest pattern review, courtesy of Indie Stitches. 

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I’ve had this make finished for a few weeks now, but our first set of photos didn’t yield the results I was after. I’d left it too late in the day and everything was a bit too dark.

Living in the desert, the bright light and clear days are wonderful, but can make it a bit tricky when trying to photograph outfits. I find that you either need to accept that there will be shadows across your face and lean into the style (more of that in the coming weeks) or wait until sunset’s gorgeous ochre glow, which the Red Centre is renowned for. I mean, sunrise is also spectacular…but I’m not a morning person and so can’t attest to its beauty according to recent experience…

Anyway, this latest make is twofold. I’ve sewn a gorgeous lace Dove Blouse (pattern by Megan Nielsen, kindly gifted by Indie Stitches) and topped it with a toffee coloured velvet York Pinafore (pattern by Helen’s Closet). My vision for this make was a nod to the current 70s trend that we’re seeing and loving everywhere right now. I wanted something with a bit of a Stevie Nicks vibe as well, so hopefully that shows through.

As we’re heading into summer in the southern hemisphere, I’ve just scraped in with enough time to get a few wears out of the ensemble. Because my version of Dove is lace, I can style her easily throughout the warmer months and she’s already been out to play (and receive compliments) several times now. For any readers in the northern hemisphere, I feel as though this outfit would be right up your pumpkin patch, so to speak. There are some definite autumnal vibes going on here, perfect for warm drinks and kicking up leaves.

Sewing Notes: (Get a cuppa for this one)

  • Both the velvet and lace were purchased from the Fabric Store (the lace doesn't appear to be available online, so I've linked to an alternate colourway).
  • All seam finishes were done with co-ordinating linen bias binding, also purchased from the fabric store
  • For Dove, I sewed version 3 as I wanted to go as dramatic as possible sleeve-wise. The lace was a corded cotton dream and feed through the machine beautifully. Sometimes bulkier laces can cause skipped stitches, but not in this case. I used a regular stich length.
  • As is to be expected from Megan’s patterns, I found this to be a very enjoyable sew with maximum impact. Dove is a very versatile pattern and the examples provided online in the product description, alongside the line drawings really highlight this.
  • New sewists may be a little intimidated by details such as the curved hem and neckline facing, but honestly, they make for lovely finishes and the instructions are so well illustrated and explained. I encourage you to just have a go!
  • The only thing that I would change for this version of Dove, would be to make it into a crop for layering as it’s a bit bulky underneath my pinafore (as I’m sure that you can tell in some photos). I was aware of this as I made it, but knew that I also wanted to be able to wear the blouse without the pinafore and wanted to keep the length.
  • When it came to sewing the York Pinafore, I kept the (already simple) style lines minimal and omitted the pockets. This was because I didn’t want to interrupt my delicious velvet.
  • Speaking of which, the velvet was non-stretch and very easy to work with right up until it came time to do the hem. If you look closely at the photos you will be able to see where I’ve botched it a little. I’m taking some time away and will go back and adjust the binding when I’m feeling a little more patient. It was my fault as I was too rough. I pulled the hem through the machine and wasn’t careful – I just wanted it done!
  •  As all instructions for working with velvet will tell you – remember to pay attention to the direction of the pile (i.e. the way that the threads or tufts of the fabric stand). Think of it as you would a carpet. When you run your hand over it one way, it changes the look and depth of colour (sometimes lighter, sometimes darker). In the same way, decide which way you would like the garment to look and stick with it as you cut out the pattern pieces. For me, I generally prefer to brush the pile downwards after I’ve been seated, therefore I cut my fabric according to the direction that it will be worn. I’ve read that some people like to do the opposite, such as in the case of velvet trousers. The idea being that as you push your body out of the chair the pile slides upwards and adjusts itself. Does that make sense? Feel free to comment with any questions!

So there it is. My lovely trans-seasonal, 70s-esque outfit. I’m going to try to wear her in the mornings or on our cooler days, if we have any left, that is.

In the meantime, to everyone in shifting climates and seasons, be it physical, environmental or emotional, I hope that you have a lovely week. I look forward to continuing our chats in the comments below or via insta.


 P.S. Lip colour is Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Bawse; Shoes are Ariat Darlin’ Western Boots