The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat…

This is my Le Wise La Sylphide, because owls! 😉

I own my fair share of Papercut patterns but, despite showing you my Bellatrix recently, this dress was actually about 90% complete at the time so it is technically my first ever Papercut make.

It is made from a 100% polyester owl print I bought from Arthur Toye especially with this dress in mind.

Yes I said POLYESTER but could you have left these tiny owls behind in the shop?

No, no you could not have.

The fabric is slightly sheer so I French seamed the entire thing which was actually quite painless, especially since the sleeves are sewn in on the flat, w00t. Also 1cm seam allowances make French seaming a dream, sew right side out at 5mm, little trim trimmy, turn and sew inside out at 5mm: DONE!

Dreamy seams

I did add 20cms to the skirt length, (WARNING: She is short!) but I probably only really needed 16cm since I chopped about 4cm off while hemming.

Lengthening the skirt meant that my back skirt pattern piece (cut on the fold) stuck out over the edge of my fabric. I considered piecing the corner but in the end just folded a bit of fullness out of the skirt at the side seam, marked by the placement of my ruler. If you need to do this then don’t forget to repeat the same alteration on the front skirt piece. You won’t miss the tiny bit of fullness you lose, trust me.

I changed Katie’s construction order a little, sewing the side seams last so I could check the fit and take it in if needed. I cut a size small but it fitted perfectly with no adjustments, yay!

Owl-matching

It took me aaages to hem this dress because I procrastinated over the length and fretted over getting it level – in the end I just went for it and it all turned out ok 🙂

I’ve always been a bit nervous about how full skirts look on me, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable in my Hollyburn. However I had seen a few versions of this dress on other blogs and loved the cute look. It was Kat’s “Purple Rain” version that finally sold me and I am so glad I took the risk because I LOVE this dress so much and, bonus, so does Nerdy Husband!

I can tell because he told me so, but also because I’ve just had to trawl through over 200 photos for this post!

I know owls don’t really belong at the beach but while trying  to come up with a witty name for my new dress all I could think of was the Edward Lear poem 🙂

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat…

We just had the most beautifully sunny weekend, it was amazing! I really wanted to take my photos around Wellington harbour but I knew it would be crazy busy in town and I would get embarrassed. Nerdy husband suggested Makara beach, we used to walk (more like hike!) the coast there when we first started going out and haven’t been back for about 8 years.

“Memories…”

The “beach” really is actually lots of round stones, hence the lack of shoes, and it was a bit windy but I decided that I quite liked the effect.

I would also like you to know that I suffered for my art since I am slightly prone to car sickness and the car journey was much longer and more winding than I remembered, so I hope you enjoyed my photos! 🙂

74880-lasylphidesewalong

I am already working on a second version for the sew along, it should look quite different and includes a few simple pattern mods that I will share with you after it’s complete.

Here is a little sneak peek:

Is anyone else planning a La Sylphide or sewing along with Lauren on the Papercut blog?

THE DEETS:

Pattern – Papercut Patterns La Sylphide (Covent Garden Collection), dress, straight size S, skirt lengthened approx 16cms

Fabric – 100% printed polyester from Arthur Toye, Wellington

Other notions – 12 re-purposed wooden buttons purchased at Fabric-a-brac in 2011

*The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear

In case you are interested, NZ does indeed have birds other than the Kiwi 😉 and we also have a few owls. My favourite is our native Morepork (or Ruru). They are very common all over NZ and we hear them all the time around our house at night. They call their own name and I think that is so cool. Click the Morepork link and listen to the “evening calls” and see if you can hear “More-pork… More-pork” 😉

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49 thoughts on “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat…

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  5. Visiting via Project Sewn, and had to comment! My Mom always read this poem to me when I was little. You’ve recreated the magic for me, and your photo of the owl and the pussycat in the boat is fantastical! Oh, and let’s not forget the dress! Really pretty!

  6. How gorgeous is that fabric…seriously. And you did a wonderful job and your pics are great. One day I shall visit that fine country of yours since you’re just across the pond, as they say 🙂

  7. Owls owls owls!!! 😀 You already know how much I love this dress, so, you know, just in case you’ve forgotten – I love this dress!! Looks so cute on you. And… owls!!! 😀

  8. Makara Beach is a fab place to go, quiet, with some great scenery to show off such a cute dress. It certainly doesn’t show that you cut some width off the skirt and after all this is windy Wellington, full skirts just don’t work (I know I’ve tried them!)

  9. What a great dress – I didn’t realise how fine the fabric was until seeing these pictures, oh and what great pictures! Those wee owlies are just the cutest and they create a bit of a stripe from a distance, so interesting to the eye. Your pattern matching is impressive. I’m sure this one will wear this one loads and loads this summer.

  10. Wow I love this dress it looks great!
    You have also reminded me how much I love Makara Beach and I also haven’t been there since my hubby and I were first dating! How strange!

  11. Beautiful as always Mel 🙂 I just finished a la sylphide skirt. I feel like the skirt instructions were bung but I got there lol. Can’t wait to see your second with its mods 🙂 awesome!

  12. I’ve looked at papercut patterns and the model they used really turned me off the patterns but you look amazing! Makes me want to make this dress very very much. And there would be no way I would leave a fabric store without those owls if I saw them 🙂

  13. Looks great, well done! I don’t mind a bit of polyester, I love that yoh can just throw it in the wash and no ironing required!

    I have this pattern as well, but haven’t got round to actually making it yet, I should be starting on a rather big project soon (dress for my wedding in July) so it might be a while before I get started on this one, but I’ll have to remember your version when I do!

  14. You don’t offend me using polyester. 😉 I love this dress on you. This is one of my favorites from the first collection. However I was a bit intimidated by the thin model and flowy fabric in the sample. Now I think it’s more attainable. Thanks for sharing.

  15. What a gorgeous dress. It really suits you. That pattern has definitely been added to my wish list. Love the fabric too, so cute. We also have a lot moreporks that call across the valley at night. And a cat that looks just like Harri! 🙂

  16. Just gorgeous and the owls are really cute too. And that green boat!! I’ve been a little put off by the Sylphide pattern just ‘cos it looks really short and I think I’d be adding in lots of length too. Love moreporks and tuis etc – we have lots of kaka here too at the mo’. Looking forward to seeing your second Sylphide.

    • I hope I can convince you to try this pattern, just extend the hem like me, lots 😉 it makes me feel so pretty, swishy skirt 🙂 One of my sewing friends woke up to a Kaka on her balcony eating her flowers, hehe, I’d love to see one of them near my house, they must be around.

  17. We have a morepork that lives on our street, and it’s bloody annoying when you’re trying to get to sleep!

    I like tui best – up here in the Tron they’ve recently done a big project to encourage them back to the city and it’s just fabulous. I loved them when I lived in Wellington, and now I can have them here too!

  18. Gorgeous Dress Mel! Love the pic of you and Harri in the boat :). l like that you can’t really tell this fabric is owls till you get up close. It’s so sophisticated till you notice the owls, then its just so much fun!

  19. The dress is beautiful and the owls are super cute! It’s always nice to go back to a place where you haven’t been in a long long time and go for a stroll down (romantic) memory lane!

  20. Gosh I love the makes you guys have done of this dress. I think the sample on the pattern does it no justice as a ‘fit for sexy grown up ladies who eat’ dress!! Pretty owls. I also get why you decided not to patch the corner of the skirt- finding a piece the right colour and lined up even without matching the owl itself would have been Tricky.
    And lovely to see that trusty fabric from Globalthatwas on your second make, It’s going to look completely different but just as fab! 🙂

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