Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Miss Myrtle Celebrates a New Decade

This, kittens, is what thirty looks like.

Or, at least, this is what I look like at thirty. I'm sure other people have looked much more glamorous. At the same age, Elizabeth Taylor was filming Cleopatra and wearing fabulous headpieces. Lack of tiaras aside, today was pretty fabulous. It was filled with all of my favorite things: flowers, cupcakes, chicken parmigiana, lots of time with my love, and a new dress! 

Another Myrtle, of course. Did you expect anything else?

Colette Myrtle - Blue and White Floral Lillestoff Jersey - Idle Fancy-18

This particular Myrtle is my favorite iteration yet. The lovely cotton jersey was sent to me by Lillestoff, along with another fabric to try and one to give away. While the other fabric will soon turn into an autumnal wrap dress, this gorgeous tropical lily print seemed like a perfect birthday dress. It just felt so very "Mary!"

Now, I have to admit that I've always lusted after Lillestoff fabrics. Until now, however, I have only used their children's prints in my own sewing. (Lillestoff onesies are instant baby shower hits!) This review was always going to be biased, no matter the gifted fabric. I am a sucker for bright colors and cute prints, which Lillestoff specializes in. Luckily, they do have an expansive line of women's prints. They're just as high quality as the more famous children's prints, but in more mature designs. I was really impressed with both jerseys I received. Not only do they have excellent stretch and recovery, but wash really well. This dress has been through the laundry twice already and the blue is still rich and bright.

Colette Myrtle - Blue and White Floral Lillestoff Jersey - Idle Fancy-back side

While I adore this dress, you'll notice it drapes differently than my two previous versions. One of the curiosities of sewing with knits is how dramatically disparate their properties can be. They're all drapey sure, but how do they drape? How heavy is the drape? Do they cling or do they glide? Medium-weight cotton jerseys, like this one, have a denser drape than a light rayon jersey will. Details are less slinky and more softly folded than they would be otherwise. 

All that is to say that this cotton Myrtle feels like an entirely new pattern. The cowl is more of a pretty folding of jersey and the elasticized waist is more dramatically gathered. I really love the effect that both of these slight changes have on the dress. It's much more of a day dress--easy to wear for an afternoon out and as cozy as a nightgown. An ideal summer dress, in other words. Considering we have two more months of legitimate warmth in Texas, this is fine by me. 

Colette Myrtle - Blue and White Floral Lillestoff Jersey - Idle Fancy-26

The construction of this Myrtle is identical to my orange version. Everything was sewn on my serger, except for my hems, which were stitched with a twin needle. I used lightweight fusible webbing to stabilize the skirt hem, so that it didn't wave horribly. Pockets were omitted, as well. Neither of my first versions have pockets either, though I usually love them in dresses. With knits, I feel like they always make the skirt hang strangely. No matter how much I press, the hips still seam to bubble!

In the end, this dress is so much fun to wear. It's bright, covered in flowers, and amazingly comfortable! Even better, I have high hopes that it will stand up to years of careful laundering. There's a remarkable difference in how well this fabric is wearing already, versus cotton knits I've used in the past. Lillestoff might have just hooked me on their adult fabrics. I'll keep y'all posted on how the wrap dress turns out, with my other option, and will give away a third cut soon! 

As for the last few hours of my thirtieth birthday, I have grand plans. Namely: watch Harry Potter with my Sam, drink boozy root beer, and eat parmesan rosemary popcorn. This next decade is off to a brilliant start, so far! 

Colette Myrtle - Blue and White Floral Lillestoff Jersey - Idle Fancy-39

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