Friday, March 29, 2019

A Literary Sewing Circle Project: Plume Dress

Once again I've waited until the last minute to get my own project for the Literary Sewing Circle posted! This time it's not entirely due to procrastination however -- I was so close to done last week, and was planning to get it finished and posted on my week off work. But. Then I caught the flu. Ugh. So it was all I could do to finish this over the whole week; the rest of my planned projects didn't even get a look in.

Anyhow! This glorious bright dress is done, and the day was appropriately bright and sunny for photo taking. I chose to make the Plume Dress by Louis Antoinette Paris, who are incidentally one of our sponsors for the Literary Sewing Circle this time around. I didn't choose to make this dress because of that though, it just happened to be one of the two patterns I bought at the beginning of the challenge because I loved the designs. (The other is the Vogue Dress, which I'd like to make up soon as well!)

A breeze catches the skirt...

I used this quote from the novel as my inspiration for this dress:
We take a moment -- Antoinette and I -- standing side by side, shoulders touching, and peering through the window in to the rue de Douai. Matilde holds a feather, rose-colored and magnificent with long strands of the vane wafting in the breeze.... She stops, abrupt, a few steps short of Geneviève and holds out her find. She gives it the little nudge that makes Geneviève understand, and she reaches for the feather, those wispy tendrils of love offered by her sister as a gift. 

I mixed the name of this dress -- Plume -- with the French pattern company that just happens to have Antoinette in its name -- and this bright pink rayon print that has been in my stash for probably a year & a half or so, to come up with this project.

The fabric is very soft and pliable, and I did find that it stretched & frayed quite a bit, so I had to be slow and careful with this one. One of the features of this design is the piped belt which is attached to the dress. I had some plum colour piping that matched well, and I also found a pink invisible zip in my stash. So this was almost entirely stash made, though I did have to buy some hot pink thread to match.

Needed to press the back a bit more! The only flaw is that my shoulder yokes are slightly mismatched, argh!

The pattern is available in English, though sometimes the translations gave me pause. The instructions are clear but fairly basic; I think you do need some familiarity with sewing to successfully make this dress. I had a long head scratch over how to attach the sleeves, and finally just used the illustrations and fiddled around until something worked. Of course that might just have been because I was sewing with the flu...

One of the features of this dress: a topstitched front facing, and a pleat at the top of the shoulder

I was uncertain about how this was going to turn out when I was halfway through, but just persevered and finished it. And I'm so glad I did. It is such a pretty fabric and a more delicate style than I usually wear. I really like it! It's intended to be short, and because I am so very vertically challenged myself it's only above the knee on me -- but I still find it a little bit shorter than I like. Something to be aware of if you try it and don't like super short skirts yourself.  I'll have to get used to it once I start wearing all my summer clothes again! And that's it for another round of the Literary Sewing Circle for me.

If you've made something for this round of the Literary Sewing Circle, don't forget to post your link! Deadline is Sunday! But if you make something later on, just add a note and link in the comments and I can share from there -- I hope you enjoyed your read if you were reading along, and that you've had fun thinking about the projects you could make even if you didn't finish anything this time. There will be another opportunity this year, most likely another round starting in late summer/early fall.


  1. Hi Melanie. Love your dress! And the colour. Rayon is certainly hard to sew with, compared to cotton or linen, so with the flu I am sure it was a bit of a struggle. But rayon has the lovely hang for this style. I recently purchased some 'technical polyester' which is just like (or maybe is) rayon and it was so slippery to cut neatly!
    I like both versions of plume. I hadn't realised the waist band was sewn on ... I thought it was some how part of the pattern, another piece.

    Is there any way you can take my apron photo off Instagram to include? I will get the hang of this all soon.

    Thank you for running a very nteresting interesting book/sewing event. I now have another book to recommend and donate to my library.

    1. Thanks Sara! I do love rayon despite some of the problems with sewing it :) I think it fits this pattern well. I've never seen technical polyester -- interesting!

      I've got your pic from Insta and linked it up to the final post. Glad you had fun with it and liked the book too.


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