Workshop Louisa dress

A while ago I enrolled in a workshop for the Louisa dress by Compagnie M, organized by Jelle of BabaRum.

Saturday, March 12, I headed out to Tessenderlo with my sewing equipment. An hour drive, first through the fog, later accompanied by lovely sunshine.

I chose this workshop, not because the pattern seemed so difficult, but because I really wanted some advice about the size of the dress. So I arrived without having the pattern traced, nothing! I didn’t even bring fabric, Jelle would supply that.

Despite the great pattern, the making of this dress had some ups and downs. That was entirely my fault and had nothing to do with Marte’s pattern designing skills.

It already started at the beginning of the workshop. I had no paper pattern. For some obscure mail reason, I had not received it in my mailbox so I assumed it would be provided at the workshop. Thankfully, one of the other participants lent me theirs.

I also forgot my pins. Typical. I had, however, thrown my wonder clips into my messy bag in all my haste, so I had to make do with those. I had no paper scissors to cut out my pattern pieces, one of those pattern pieces’ corner didn’t fit the paper by an inch… all kinds of stupid little hiccoughs!

Marte took my measurements and gave me her professional size advice. As it turns out, my waist differs 3 sizes from hips! Sigh, the eternal pear-shape-problem. The only up-side here, is that my waist measurement fit into a size I have not seen up close for a decade! Woohoo!

Okey, I traced the pattern in the adjusted sized. Onto the fabric!

Eventually I ended up with a different fabric than I had chosen in the webshop beforehand, with a little help from Jelle. An Art Gallery (my fave) cotton befitting spring. According to her, this would fit my color palette, I am an autumn type, apparently. I couldn’t decide on a fabric to combine with it and I didn’t have the right color piping, so my plan to make the version with kangaroo pocket went out the window. I’m sure my pear shaped body will be delighted.

I bought two meters and started cutting. That went smoothly, even with all the chatting. It was a sociable get together! Time flew by so fast we almost forgot to have lunch. Everyone sort of ate their sandwiches quietly in between sewing.





The actual sewing of the dress went smoothly too. I chose the parts of the instruction that I could actually do, because, you see, I didn’t have the right zipper. Couldn’t you have guessed it? I brought all kinds of blind zippers, all colors of the rainbow, but they were all 40 cm. Not the 60 cm that were required. Bags!

I finished as much of the dress as I could and managed to make it to a stage in which I could fit the dress. The fit seemed alright. Both front end and pear hips and thighs were covered.




The only bodyparts that didn’t agree were my arms. I could tell you it’s because of my biceps, but alas. The surplus of fat on my arms got int the way and the cap sleeves weren’t all that comfortable. I discussed it with Marte and she advised me to try making the cap sleeve smaller before adjusting the arm hole. In comes my seam ripper! Of course I had already finished the seam with my serger. If it was too easy, it’d be boring, no?




We hadn’t realized the small hand on the clock had moved to 5 and before we knew it, it was time to clear up. Only one sleeve was removed by then. I wanted to do another quick fitting with one sleeve off. The ‘quick’ part was a bad plan. I got overenthusiastic and ripped the neck line down the middle. Aiaiaiai! I now know how it happened. I always mark the fold line with a little snip. That snip turned out to be fatal. Fortunately this was a problem I could fix. I just deepened the neckline. Deep enough to get rid of the torn part, still high enough to cover my cleavage. It doesn’t look too bad, this new neckline.

At home I rearranged the sleeves and then I had to wait for the right zipper. Once that was bought, the dress was done rather fast!






I finished the hem by hand, like a good girl. Not really my thing and I fear it might loosen over time. Maybe I could ask Marte for a videotutorial? Hint hint.






And then the dress hung around, and hung around some more. Until I finally took pictures, in between other things (it shows). Now all I need to wait for is some nice spring weather and my new dress can leave the closet!



Don’t be fooled by the nice sunshine. The wind was icy cold, brr!!!











Pattern: Louisa dress by Compagnie M

Fabric: ‘Everblooming fig’ by Art Gallery – BabaRum

Zipper: Veritas

I need a tan, I’m afraid…


I do plan on making another Louisa dress, with kangaroo pocket this time. I will adjust the arm hole opening on that one, though, for extra comfort. Other than that, the dress feels great!

Thanks to Marte, Jelly and the other participants for the fun day!

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