Orla Kiely’s Cars

In the sales a few months ago, I didn’t only score this gorgeous Serendipity baby duvet cover, but also a pillow cover by famous Irish designer Orla Kiely. Norah is very fond of cars, and I immediately liked the idea of using a rather ‘boyish’ print for a girl’s dress.

Originally, I wanted to use this pattern, but then I remembered all the difficulties I had with it (tiny armholes, to mention just one) and decided to play it safe and use Citronille’s Violette pattern (again, yes). I shortened the sleeves, made the bodice a bit longer, and replaced buttons with a blind zipper. In the skirt, I made 4 pleats instead of gathering the fabric.Ā 

At the time when I bought it, I thought I was pretty smart. Now, I know better. I didn’t think for a second about how difficult it would be to work with such a geometrical print. About the fact that the cars would need to be aligned both vertically and horizontally. And that that would be pretty complicated with the pleats in the front and the back. And with the blind zipper (4 attempts, dear readers, and it still isn’t perfect!).

The result is a dress which I’m far from happy with. The pleats are too big and placed too much to the center of the dress (both because I focused on the print running through), and the waist is too wide (same reason).

I look forward to work with some simple, ungeometrical fabric. I want to feel smart again.

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11 thoughts on “Orla Kiely’s Cars

  1. Oh that is adorable and I'd bet there isn't a dress like it anywhere in the world.

    BTW, I've just had a similar experience matching prints and it took more than 4 goes at a zip and centre back …. and it still isn't perfect šŸ™‚

  2. The dress is lovely, and Norah sure seems to like it! We are our own worst critics, aren't we? I have found that geometric prints reveal sewing mishaps so much more readily than solids or prints, and the larger the geometric design, the more apparent the mishap. Once I made a clothespin bag out of a Laura Ashley plaid, and the front of it was just a little off kilter. Not too bad, you'd think, but oh, so evident every time I looked at it!

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