We are so excited to be a part of the Coffee + Thread patterns blog tour. As you might know, we love Olga’s patterns, and we’ve sewn up both the Antalya dress and the Elena dress before. For the tour, we would have loved to sew either one of those 2 dresses again, but we chose to try 2 of her other patterns, the Polina Dress and the Ila Dress. With Olga’s permission, we decided to “hack” both of these patterns.
The Polina Dress is a darling vintage inspired dress with several options. We chose to make Annie a peplum length dress by using the circle skirt option and shortening it to peplum length. Annie loved and wore the last peplum we made for her to death, so we knew this would be a hit too.
The only other change we made to Polina Dress pattern to make it a peplum length was to omit the part of the slit that extends onto the skirt…just for ease of sewing.
The other major change we made to the Polina Dress pattern was to move the frill over to the edge of the bodice to become a butterfly sleeve. We just sandwiched the frill between the bodice and the lining at the sleeve, and presto…butterfly sleeves!
The inside of this Polina Peplum is fully lined on the bodice part. It is seriously as gorgeous on the inside as on the outside!
Because we felt it suited the feeling of the peplum length better, we opted to make ribbon ties instead of self fabric ties. They just skim the bottom of the peplum when tied, and can be tied in either the front of the back.
The fabric came from my stash…I think I got it at Walmart several years ago, and couldn’t resist it’s vintage vibes for this vintage inspired pattern! The large brown buttons up the back were harvested off a dress bought for $2 from the thrift store just for it’s buttons!
We all think this Polina Peplum ended up perfectly! As it was being sewn, I wasn’t at all sure it was going to be true to the vision in my head, and at one point was sure it was going to be destined for the trash! But Annie loves it and we recently made her a pencil skirt that matches perfectly.
The other Coffee + Thread pattern we made is an Ila Dress. We made several changes to the pattern too, to make it what Annie wanted. First of all, the Ila Dress is recommended for woven fabrics and we used French Terry Fabric-African Violet from JoAnn Fabrics. (affiliate link) Because of the extra stretchiness of knit fabric, we omitted the back zipper and the seam on the back, just cutting it out on the fold minus the seam allowance.
Due to Annie’s height, we lengthened the dress by 4 inches. But we do find Coffee + Thread patterns to be a truer fit to Annie’s size than most patterns.
You might notice we did a little something extra to the center panel. To add the ruching, we just cut out the center panel at twice the length and gathered the edges before sewing the front bodice together. And we had to use that same precious Art Gallery Priory Square Jersey Knit Cottagely Posy Emerald Fabric (affiliate link) for the hidden pockets too.
We used White Sheer-knit Fusible Interfacing (affiliate link) on the yoke, and made sure to attach the interfaced yoke to the front of the dress. Then we graded the seam allowances before sewing on the other yoke, due to the thickness of the french terry fabric. To keep the inside yoke where it belongs, we stitched in the ditch, catching the 2nd yoke in place on the inside. It all worked out very well, and we can see making a lot more knit Ila dresses in the future.
Annie sure is happy with this summer dress. She wanted a “play dress” for summer, and says this is perfect! With the added length, she should be able to throw on a pair of leggings and a cardigan and wear it well in to the fall and winter.
Annie wants me to note that she fixed her hair special for the Ila Dress photo shoot. She spent over an hour braiding it into many, many tiny braids and then slept on them overnight. She thought the waves were the coolest thing ever! It’s so cute how she’s developing her own sense of taste and style.
Now be sure to check out all the other stops on the Coffee + Thread blog tour…you’ll be so inspired. Also all Coffee + Thread patterns are on sale during the tour. And there is a HUGE giveaway!