Cotton Lawn Park Lane Dress
I’m back this time with something a bit different and definitely daring… for me anyway! I generally choose things that I can hide behind and try to avoid bright colours and vivid patterns when choosing fabrics/clothing. That is changing more and more the more that I make my own clothing though I have to admit – I was really drawn to this gorgeous green, black and gold cotton lawn as soon as I saw it on the website but the doubt got the better of me…. For a couple of months at least.
I had to have it this time though as this will be my last blog post for the time being at least. It’s another totally seasonal inappropriate make as I made this when it was freezing cold and snowing and I thought the fabric would be more suited to summery weather with it being a cotton lawn. I initially thought I would make a maxi dress for the summer months but had an “itch I had to scratch” so to speak for the Nina Lee London Park Lane Dress. I was a lucky enough to be a pattern tester for Nina for the release of this pattern but made the blouse version. The dress has been weighing on my mind ever since. When the fabric arrived I promptly got it in the pre wash with the intention of starting it straight away! However a throw away comment by the husband and it knocked me all off balance and I started to doubt whether the fabric would suit me or if I’d stand out too much! Anyway it sat on my ironing board for a couple of weeks with me grimacing every time I passed it! The point came where I “needed” to get it done so I set about the Park Lane Dress. I was going away for the weekend and decided I’d take this dress with me. I was determined it was going to be worn for my recent weekend away though cold or not! I figured as we were going to be eating in the hotel restaurant it wouldn’t make a difference what the weather was as I’d be inside!
The fabric washed and ironed perfectly as I expected it would. There was no colour leaking in the wash either. I hadn’t done a side zip before so this was all new to me however it came together perfectly and lined up beautifully. I attempted to pattern match the fabric as best as I could and I’m pretty pleased with it. The fabric was really well behaved holding the creases after pressing and didn’t need to be held by pins after pressing sections of it until I got the next step which made things easier. I overlocked all of the seams to give a neat finish on the inside although it didn’t fray overly.
The more the dress came together, the more I knew my choice was correct. I fell more and more in love with the fabric as I went along! My plan was to get the dress finished in time for the weekend away and in true Lisa style I was still sewing the buttonholes literally 10 minutes before I was walking out the door! Well that’s where it all fell on its face isn’t it! Out of the extensive stash of buttons I was given by my mum from over the years, I didn’t have any that I felt was “suitable” for this gorgeous fabric. I really wanted something that would do this fabric justice and didn’t just want a plain button. Then bingo!! I remembered that Duttons for Buttons was in Harrogate so this would be the answer to my button nightmare! I’d take the dress and stitch on buttons there….bingo! I chose some black buttons trimmed with gold. I think they go perfectly with the dress. What do you think?
I teamed this dress with black tights and my black flat irregular choice shoes and have to say I felt very elegant but yet comfortable all night. No tight waistbands spoiling my meal and the fabric is just beautiful and the colour is really vibrant. The little gold markings have just the right amount of shimmer in it to notice it without being too much. I think it’s fair to say this dress will be worn plenty and even though I opted for the long sleeve version, it’ll still be suitable for the warmer weather too with bare legs.
I hope this might encourage you to push yourself out of the comfort zone to try more bold fabrics than you would normally wear. Like me, you might just be surprised!