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Roald Dahl ‘Lickswishy Sweets’ dresses!!!

August 4, 2014

Remember a while back I made some Matilda cushion covers?  Since then I’ve been eyeing up some of the other amazing Roald Dahl fabrics, and I decided to get some of the Lickswishy Sweets fabric, this time to make a dress!  I’ve never ordered from Plush Addict before, but I have to say I was really impressed by their range of fabrics, the delivery time etc and they even have a loyalty scheme so you can collect ‘Plush Points’ when you spend with them!  That’s the first time I’ve heard of such a scheme with a fabric retailer.  Plus, they sent me some sweeties with my fabrics.  I’m not sure if that’s because I ordered sweets fabric or if it’s just a thing they do with every order, but it made me smile.

Although the Roald Dahl fabric is described as home décor weight, having used the Matilda fabric before I knew it would be fine with the right dress pattern.  It’s 100% cotton, so even though it’s thicker than your average dress fabric, it’s still nice and soft and breathable.  I picked up a copy of the By Hand London Flora dress pattern a few months ago, and decided to use this with the Lickswishy Sweets fabric because it was the right width and in fact the fabric recommendations on the pattern mention that it is suitable for upholstery fabric!  Winner!

I really wanted to make the wrap version of the Flora dress, but when I made a toile of the wrap bodice, and it was all wrong.  It was too big under the arms, across the high bust and at the side seams, but somehow it sort of fit the bust, but gaped at the front and was baggy under the bust.  Now, I’m definitely not averse to a bit of alteration – or even redrafting – but I seriously had no idea where to start with this.  It doesn’t even look that bad on the photo, but trust me, it wasn’t wearable!  Good job I made a toile, eh?!

First toile - wrap bodice

First toile – wrap bodice

I decided that currently I hadn’t the patience to try to figure out how to make it fit ok.  I wanted that sweets dress asap!  So I toiled up the tank bodice version of the pattern instead.  This version fit a lot better with exception of some under-boob bagginess.  I pinned out the excess, drew on my toile where I had pinned, unpinned it and then transferred the markings to my pattern piece.  Finally I was ready to cut into the fabric!

Second toile with alterations drawn on

Second toile with alterations drawn on

The alteration transferred to my paper pattern

The alteration transferred to my paper pattern

I lined my dress with some plain white cotton.  I had a 40cm remnant that was just enough to line the bodice.  I didn’t have any zips to match, but what does that matter when you use concealed zips?  The whole point of them is that they are meant to be invisible.  I used a royal blue zip, and the only bit of it you can see is the pull at its top.

Invisible zip

Invisible zip

As regards the hem, I liked the idea of the dipped hem for a change, but didn’t like how short it came up at the front, so I traced the straight front piece and the dipped back, and I love how it has turned out!

By Hand London Flora dress - side view

By Hand London Flora dress – side view

Still a ‘mullet hem’, but less exaggerated and slightly more…demure?!  I finished the hem with a bias binding facing, topstitched into place.

Altered dipped hem with bias binding facing

Altered dipped hem with bias binding facing

Now…I should also mention at this point that my daughter was seriously jonesing for this fabric.  She had seen it when I ordered it online, she came with me to collect the parcel from the post office, she watched me open the parcel, she saw the fabric drying on the line after its pre-wash…and at every step along the way she asked me to make her a dress with the fabric.  I felt like the cruellest mother in the world when I said “No, this fabric is to make myself a dress”…so I added “I’m sure there will be some fabric left over to make something for you”… Well, luckily the tank bodice doesn’t use up much fabric at all, so although I only ordered 3m of this fabric, I was able to get us both a dress out of it.  Yes, that’s right, I made us matching dresses!

Matching Mother-Daughter dresses!

Matching Mother-Daughter dresses!

For her dress I used New Look 6205, which is what I am using for her flower girl’s dress and the same pattern I used for her yellow polka dot georgette dress.



I added rick rack to the neck line, a ribbon waistband secured at the side seams and sewn into the centre back, and a ribbon hem facing on the outside of the dress.  Little Tweedie’s dress is lined with red cotton I had in my stash.

I accessorised my dress with a red sash I made ages ago, to better co-ordinate with Little Tweedie

I accessorised my dress with a red sash I made ages ago, to better co-ordinate with Little Tweedie

I declared to Aileen that I would never go out in public with us both wearing our dresses, but it was too good a photo opportunity to miss.  I did it for you guys, you know.  For the blog.

Ice creams!

Ice creams!

I’d be interested to know what your opinion is on matching mother-daughter clothing.  I’m cringing inside and rolling my eyes at myself.  I LOVE Little Tweedie’s dress (and mine), but wearing them at the same time makes me feel like a total muppet.  Like it’s so unbearably cutesy and twee.  Like people might actually vomit at the sight of it.


Hahahahahahaha.  Check out my amazing sunglasses though.

Anyway, we wore them together for these photos and that will be the last time.  Probably.

Matchy matchy

Matchy matchy

So there you have it: two dresses for the price of one!  And most importantly, a very happy Little Tweedie!

  1. August 4, 2014 3:28 pm

    Oh my word your dresses are AMAZING!! Sooo cute! I think if it were me in a matching dress with either of my daughters I would feel very self conscious, but I’ve got to say you two actually look great! You’d draw attention to yourselves but I’m sure you’d get compliments and people wondering where you got them from!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:20 am

      I did feel really self-conscious, and I don’t think I’ll wear mine again at the same time she wears hers!

  2. August 4, 2014 4:22 pm

    Back in the 50’s I begged my mother for a matching dress as that was the normal thing for mothers to do but no dice…she refused. You two look adorable and you should do this more often in public because nothing says I love you like a mom taking the time to fulfill a daughter’s request. One day when she is getting married you can display these photos at the reception and everyone will say, “AHHHH” and she will be so proud you did it for her.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:22 am

      I’m really glad to have made her the dress like she wanted, but I have to say I think that’ll be the last time we wear them together!

  3. August 4, 2014 5:53 pm

    Oh my go, that is soooo cute! I love your matching dresses. I think the tank bodice was a good choice too, you look fab!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:24 am

      I’m actually not that taken with the tank bodice, actually. I mean it fits nicely, but I’m a bit “meh” about it. I love the skirt, though!

  4. August 4, 2014 8:39 pm

    How have I missed this fabric?! It’s fab! Love both of your dresses, but you’re a braver woman than I for wearing them at the same time, hahaha. Although, I don’t even like matching kids clothes… Anyway, both dresses are awesome and you do look kinda cool in all your matching glory! :mrgreen:

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:25 am

      The fabric is ace. I don’t think we’ll be matchy matchy again! I do like the photos though.

  5. August 4, 2014 9:48 pm

    I loooove this post! Your dresses are Ab Fab and the photos really made me smile. You both look wonderful. You can so get away with the sweetie fabric! I did cringe but I smiled more.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:26 am

      Thanks Lucie! I love both dresses but won’t be wearing them together again!

  6. August 4, 2014 9:51 pm

    Freakin’ adorable! My daughter and I sometimes wear matching dresses. I know it’s totally dorky but I love it.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:28 am

      I felt really self-conscious! I don’t mind *owning* matching dresses but I haven’t got the confidence to wear them together again. I do love the photos though, so I’m glad I did it the once!

  7. stgilbert permalink
    August 4, 2014 10:04 pm

    Eeep!! Both dresses are awesome!!! My daughter LOVES to have matching dresses so I am happy to oblige her. We get lots of compliments when we wear matching clothing. I think it’s a special thing between mothers and daughters.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:30 am

      My daughter was certainly happy to be matching but in retrospect I think I felt too self-conscious!

  8. August 4, 2014 10:44 pm

    Love them both! I don’t think I would ever wear matching clothes with my nonexistent daughter. But, maybe just once would be alright… 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:31 am

      Agreed. Just once was alright!

  9. August 5, 2014 7:52 am

    Beautiful dresses, the print is so much fun! You both look great in them. Like you, I probably wouldn’t do matching dresses (but can only assume as I don’t have kids!) regularly but for the blog it is ok!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:32 am

      It seemed like the obvious choice in order to document the making of the dresses!

  10. August 5, 2014 7:59 am

    Aww Louise, very cute. I’ve been looking at the Roald Dahl fabrics also, but no ideas what to do with them yet. I had similar problems with my flora wrap bodice. I didn’t think it was too bad, but wore it to a wedding the other day and after looking at the photos I really noticed how poor fitting it was. I think it’s ok to wear matching once in awhile, especially when there is a nice story behind it, and it’s a handmade item. Your daughter will look back and think what a clever and caring mummy you are 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:33 am

      I may try again with the Flora wrap bodice…or maybe not! It seems like it would be a LOT of effort!

  11. August 5, 2014 9:36 pm

    So beautiful! I’m suddenly hopeful for a daughter in the coming years, so I can make us matching dresses! As a kid, I never had a matching dress with my mom, but she made matching dresses for my sister and me every Easter. They were always my favorite dresses!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:35 am

      I once made a dress for my daughter and matching trousers for my son, and I thought it was totally adorable! But I don’t think there will be any more Mother/Daughter matching dresses on the horizon!

  12. nishi permalink
    August 6, 2014 2:24 am

    Very cute! I love the fabric (Quentin Blake’s illustrations are the BEST!) & I totally understand why your daughter wanted a dress made out of it – she clearly has excellent taste! I love your dress too – the Flora pattern is firmly on my to-sew soon list!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2014 7:37 am

      Yes, the Roald Dahl fabrics are awesome: a brilliant way to showcase the talent of Quentin Blake. Bet he never thought his illustrations would end up on dresses!

  13. August 6, 2014 12:35 pm

    I love both of your dresses, the fabric is brilliant! Pants to the fitting issues with the wrap over bodice, this seems to be a common problem with this bodice. I get what you mean about the matching dresses though. I don’t have children, but do have a twin sister, and there’s no way that we would go out together in the same outfits! That said, your photos are lovely, and as long as it pleased your daughter, that’s the main thing!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 10, 2014 10:34 am

      It’s a real shame about the bodice. I’d like to try it again sometime but I get the feeling I’ll never get round to it… Didn’t realise you had a twin sister!

  14. August 9, 2014 1:00 am

    cute, cute, cute, cute, cute!!!! I think in normal circumstances mother/ daughter matching outfits can be a little twee, however you have used Roald Dahl fabric for goodness sake!!! this totally makes it acceptable in my eyes. I now need to go and purchase some for myself 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 10, 2014 10:37 am

      You do need some! I think the sweets fabric is to blame for the whole matching outfits scenario – I certainly wouldn’t do it normally!

  15. August 9, 2014 5:16 pm

    Darling! I think matching dresses are sweet, esp since they’re so fashionable. Love it!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 10, 2014 10:37 am

      Thanks Kelli 🙂

  16. August 17, 2014 4:51 pm

    It makes an amazing photo shoot but I’m not sure the world is ready for daily matchy matchy. That said I love both of your dresses and your daughter looks so cheeky eating that ice cream

  17. Nunyah Bidnit permalink
    October 1, 2014 3:48 am

    Awesome look-alike dresses! But are you serious when you say you’re self-conscious about the two of you wearing them both at the same time? That makes no sense to me. I mean – she’s your little girl! Who else would possibly deserve the privilege of dressing alike with her? Now, it would be weird if you were out dressed alike with a sister or cousin or something, because she would be another adult! But your own daughter – why would you care if someone else thought it was too corny or cutesy or anything? It is clear from the pictures that she was loving being out with you and dressed the same? And she will never be that age again! When she is a teenager and rolling her eyes at you, you will wish you had more days of wearing the same dresses! I think you and she should go out dressed alike at least once a month. Have fun with it! These days won’t last forever.


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