Tag Archives: By Hand London

Completed: The Flora Dress

5 Mar

Here’s a lovely, floaty warm-weather dress, just in time for another massive cold front! Ha! :)

Flora dress

Haha! In all seriousness, let’s welcome the newest member of the By Hand London family – Miss Flora!

Flora dress

Flora is a lovely dress with two bodice options and pleated circle skirt with a straight or hi-lo hem (or, as I like to call it, mullet-hem). I’ve dubbed this a floaty warm-weather dress because that’s specifically what my version is made for, but I imagine this could make a pretty sweet cold-weather dress, too, sewn up in the right fabric (preferably with some kind of crazy awesome contrast lining in the skirt, so it peeks out behind your legs and ooooh!).

Flora dress

My version is the the dipped hem skirt with mock wrap bodice. Man, I love me a good wrap bodice, mock or not.

Flora dress

I did have to make a few changes to get a good fit on the pattern, but nothing that runs outside my ordinary alterations. Let’s get them all out in a pretty list. I started with the size 2/6:
– 3/8″ rounded back adjustment + 5/8″ darts at the upper back
– Lowered the shoulder seams 1″ – also lowered the vertical waist darts 1″ (I also should have lowered those horizontal bust darts too, looking at all the wrinkles on mah side boobs. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 blah blah)
– 3/8″ tuck out of the front neckline to keep it from gaping

The rounded back adjustment is a new thing for me – I’ve noticed on a lot of my old handmades, there is a weird gaping at the upper back, right under the nape of my neck. It looks STUPID AS SHIT. Apparently I have a ~rounded upper back~ or a Dowager’s Hump, which yes, sounds even worse. I am pretty certain this is in relation to a change in posture, which means I need to start doing yoga or something. Lord.

Flora dress

You know what, though? My upper back no longer has ANY gaping, at least not in this dress! Fuck yeah!

Flora dress

The rest of the dress came together without any additional alterations – even the skirt length is as-printed on the pattern. I know some people really hate this type of hem – that was me, for a long time, and still to some extent (on the really bad ones, YOU KNOW WHICH ONES I’M TALKING ABOUT), but I reeeeally love it on this dress. Combined with the circle skirt, it kind of makes me feel like a princess, without feeling like I look over-the-top. Does that make sense?

Flora dress

It should be noted that, since the back side of the fabric show behind your legs due to the hem line, you probably want to make sure that it doesn’t look totally hiddy. My fabric isn’t super gorgeous on the wrong side, but it’s passable. It looks fine.

Flora dress

Check out that hem sweep! Woohoo!!

Flora dress

I finished the skirt seams with a simple french seam – I think that just looks prettiest on exposed seams like the backside of a mullet skirt. The hem is just a tiny rolled hem, but wouldn’t it be pretty with a strip of lace so it show on the back? Yes, yes it would. Just be forwarned that this hem is looooong and goes on into forever, so if you handsew… you’ll be handsewing into forever, too.

Flora dress

Same with my Georgia dress, I stabilized the neck edges with twill tape to keep it from gaping. I really cannot recommend this step enough when it comes to necklines that have a tendency to droop and gape open – it pulls everything slightly in, and keeps it secure. I can move around all I want and there is no gaping! Yes!

Flora dress

At this point, I kind of feel like it’s my personal life mission to eliminate the gape.

Flora dress

This cotton voile fabric is equal parts weird and amazing, isn’t it? I picked it up from Mood Fabrics with this dress specifically in mind (I also grabbed this navy linen with View A in mind, but floaty won out. And now, the more I look at it, the more that linen might want to be a skirt. Thoughts?).

The Flora was designed to be made up in most any fabric (check out the other versions on the BHL blog if you don’t believe me… as a side note, MAN I am jealous of that cleavage! Dang! Haha!), so I chose to go on the lighter side – lightweight, floaty, almost see-through, you know the drill. What’s interesting about this fabric is that it has all the qualities on voile, with an extra kick of giant embroidered dots scattered everywhere. The dots are slightly thicker than the voile (not, super duper thick like you’d think when you think embroidery… more like the equivalent of a couple extra layers of the voile in thickness), but they don’t affect the drape of this fabric. Also, they’re cotton, so they didn’t do anything crazy when I hit them with my iron. Win!

Flora dress

One more shot of the upper back, bc I’m so proud of myself :) Just a note – in most of these pictures, I’m wearing a strapless bra with my dress. You can see my black bra strap in this picture; that’s cos this came from the set I snapped and sent to BHL after I tested the pattern (just… be thankful I retook them, that’s all I have to say about that!). Anyway, my point is, the straps of the dress are not bra-friendly without a little bit of tweaking. You’ll either need to make bra strap carriers to hold the straps in, or go strapless.

Flora dress

I underlined my bodice in a lightweight cotton batiste, so the inside feels soft and breatheable and delicious. Also, no slippery lining fabric, yay!

Flora dress

Flora dress

And, of course, there’s a hot pink zip in there because why not?

Flora dress

Can’t wait for it to warm up out here so I can wear this bad boy out and about. I’m SO dying to get out of the house and just spend a day lounging around the park on a blanket, eating snoballs. God. Summer, won’t ya hurry up already??

Completed: A Lacy Georgia (+ a giveaway!)

19 Feb

As much as I’m not really one for ~celebrating~ Valentine’s Day (I’ll take the flowers and the steak dinner, though, thanks!), I *love* the excuse it gives me to make a new dress specially for going out. Last year I wore red lace, this year I decided to go with… lace again. Except this time, I thought I’d ramp up the knockout factor with some black lace and a form-fitting, By Hand London-approved shape.

Georgia dress

So. Meet Georgia.

Georgia dress

When the girls at BHL HQ asked me if I wanted a copy of their newest pattern, I did not hesitate to scream YUSSSS and start prowling the Mood Fabrics site for a perfect lace. I knew I wanted to experiment with emerald underlining black lace (when I was still working for Muna, we had made a swing coat for a client in a similar color scheme and I looooved looking at that thing. LOVED it. Unfortunately, the client didn’t want photos taken of her even though she’s totally gorgeous, so you’ll just have to use your imagination here), so I snapped up this Anna Suit stretch lace and emerald cotton sateen and immediately set to work.

Georgia dress

The prep work for assembling this dress was definitely a labor of love – I underlined every single piece of lace with the green cotton sateen, using long basting stitches and silk thread, by hand. I kept the pieces flat on my tabletop so they wouldn’t shift around, and I bribed myself with episodes of the X-Files while I sewed (two, in case you were curious) (speaking of which, whyyyy didn’t anyone ever tell me about the X-Files?? I’ve just discovered it and I’m OBSESSED! It’s like watching Ancient Aliens, except with a 90s love story. omg.). As I sewed each piece together to assemble the dress, I removed the basting stitches (this is where silk thread comes in handy; it just slides right out effortlessly!) and serged the edges separately so the seam allowances could be pressed open.

Georgia dress
Georgia dress - stabilizing neckline

I used twill tape to stabilize the top edges of the cups, so they would curve against my body and not stretch out over time. This is one of those really easy techniques that takes barely any time at all, but give you fabulous results. You basically do the same method as you would for taping the roll line on a coat – cut the twill tape to the length of the neckline minus 1/4″, then place it inside the seam allowance, up against the seam line. Since the tape is shorter than the neckline, the neckline gets eased into the length of the tape and then stitched down (inside the seam allowance). That’s it! So easy! So effective!

Georgia dress
Georgia dress

I’m really happy with how the hem turned out – I knew I wanted the scallops to roll all the way around the dress, with a wide hem of solid green below (similar to the aforementioned coat). Since the skirt has 6 panels to give it it’s shape, cutting the lace required some forethought and a lot of head-scratching. I’m happy to report that my scallops ended up pretty close to perfect – they go all the way around the hem uninterrupted, even at the zipper! Yeah!! Totally worth that extra effort.

Georgia dress

I changed up the construction of the straps because my fabric was too bulky to pull right side out. Instead, I treated them like belt looks – finished one edge, folded the strap into thirds, and slipstitched everything together. As a result, my straps are really secure and I think they look great!

Georgia dress

The only part about the dress that I’m not happy with is the bodice size – despite my muslin, it ended up toooo small! Whoops! Thankfully, it’s totally wearable (the smallness is in where the bottom seam hits, not in a scandalously-low way or anything), and it’s not terribly noticeable in real life, thanks to the lace. But it’s there, I know it’s there, and next time I will be giving this lady a big ol’ FBA.

Also, in case you were wondering – I can wear my dress with or without a bra. It’s fitted enough to give me some support without a bra, but it also works fine with a strapless bra.

Georgia dress
Georgia dress

What I love most about this dress, though, is the 90s throwback style. It really looks like I’m wearing a Cher Horowitz-approved, super fancy slip. The whole time I was making this dress, this scene from Clueless kept running through my head:

HAHA! But seriously – someone make this shit up in white silk! DO IT NOW!

Georgia dress
Georgia dress
Georgia dress

The pattern itself was very easy to follow, even with my added changes. I made the size 2/6, with the skinny straps and the mini hemline. Just a warning – it is pretty short! If you are considering the mini and you are not a petite person, you may want to consider lengthening it. I personally did not have to make any sizing alterations to the pattern, but like I said earlier, I will be doing a FBA for the next round.

Georgia dress

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Ok, so here’s the prize if you made it through to the end of this post – the gals at By Hand London graciously sent me an extra copy of the pattern, so let’s have a giveaway! If you’d like to win your very own copy of the Georgia dress pattern, simply comment on this post and let me know what fabric you’ll use to make it up. That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the entries next Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 8AM CST.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Good luck! Here’s a bonus picture of me and Landon on Valentine’s Day, smug wine smiles and all~

Valentine's Day!

Completed: A Luscious Silk Anna

28 Aug

Hey guys. I would like to introduce you to Anna, my newest piece for the Mood Sewing Network.

Anna Maxi

So, Oona and Sonja originally planned this silk challenge, in which they both would make Anna dresses with a notoriously difficult fabric. Once I got wind of what was going on, I walked straight into that party and invited myself to be the third wheel. I can’t help it; I love being part of a Mood Fabrics sandwich. Especially when it involves Thakoon Crepe de Chine. I mean, COME ON.

Anna Maxi

So, as we all know at this point – this is the Anna dress, the newest offering from By Hand London. For mine, I decided to try my hand at the maxi version with the slash neckline, after getting good results with my wearable muslin shorter version. Since the dress itself is very simple, it was the perfect excuse for getting my hands on the aforementioned silk Crepe de Chine.

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

I’ve never sewn with this type of fabric before, so I was admittedly a little nervous. Would I regret my decision?

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

Really, though, it wasn’t so bad! The crepe texture of this fabric actually made everything a LOT easier – it gave the pieces something to “grab” onto (as opposed to being all slinky and slippery all over the place). For cutting, I did pin my selvedges together to keep everything intact, and I used a lot of pins on the actual pattern pieces as well. One protip – make sure you use silk pins; this stuff is very delicate and normal pins may leave holes! I also used a microtex/sharp needle on my machine. The fabric fed through very smoothly (again, thanks crepe, for your grabby lil hands!) and it pressed with very little fuss. I like this stuff!

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

Construction was very straightforward. I finished every seam with a french seam, and tackled miles of blind stitching by hand along the thigh split, sleeves, and bottom hem (I just want y’all to know that I watched the Great British Sewing Bee while doing this, and as a result I am celebrity-in-love with Patrick. Don’t tell Landon.). The facing and zipper edges are finished with pinking – I actually deliberated on this a lot, pinking isn’t necessarily my favorite seam finish, but I felt it was important that the edges were not detectable from the outside of the dress as this silk is very thin. Fortunately, it doesn’t want to unravel much so I’m not concerned about that.

Anna Maxi

I also stabilized the slash neckline with scraps of selvedge from the silk – just pinned them within a bit of the seam allowance and staystitched them down with a tiny stitch. Keeps things nice and gape-free!

“Hold the phone, Lauren – did you say thigh high split???”

Anna Maxi

Uh huh, I sure did.

Anna Maxi

Truth, I normally don’t have much of a reason in my life to wear something like a floaty silk maxi dress with a thigh split. However, it was a fun project and I am totally fine with scheming up date ideas as an excuse to give this silk lady the exposure she deserves! Do you think eating pizza in this dress would be the worst idea ever? ;)

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

Now, I leave you with some walking photos. What would this post be worth without a couple action shots, amirite?

Anna Maxi
Anna Maxi

WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT HOW THAT SILK FLOATS AND FLOWS.

Finally, here I am giving my best Angelina Jolie impression:
Anna Maxi

What do you think? Silk Anna yeah, or Silk Anna fuck yeah?

Psst! Mood Fabrics is running a one day flash sale for 20% off fabrics sitewide! If there was ever a good time to dip your toes into the world of silk, that would be now.

Completed: The Anna Dress, 1

19 Aug

Thank you so much, everyone, for your overwhelming support this past week. My recovery is going well (although I’m still not clear to lift anything that weighs more than 10lbs – that includes my CAT! HAHA! Oh well, I’m sure she’s happy about that, anyway), and I’m back to work and back to… sewing!! Yeah!!! Well, sort of. I promised myself I would take it easy (aka: laying, knitting, snoozing) until Friday, per Doctor’s orders, and only then could I get back in the sewing room. Lucky me, I woke up on Friday morning with a fucking cold! So, needless to say, the past few days have been a haze of cold meds and even more snoozin’. I’m functioning, albeit slower than normal.

But hey, look, I have a make to share with y’all today!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Ok ok, before you flip your shit on me – I finished this dress before the surgery! Haha! I actually wore it to work the Friday prior; it’s just taken me this long to take photos. Speaking of which – if I look a bit extra happy in these photos… cold meds. That is all.

Anna Dress - Seersucker

This is the Anna Dress, from my friends, the babely babes, over at By Hand London. I’m no stranger to the patterns from this line – I can proudly say that I have sewn every single one of ‘em, yeah! – but I gotta say… Anna is my favorite. Based on everyone else’s gushing about this particular pattern (here is where I was planning on linking my favorite Annas, but again, cold meds. If you made it, linky up in the comments pls!), I’m not alone. Anna is a WINNER!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Am I allowed to tell y’all that I actually saw this dress waaaaay before I was announced to the hoardes of blog readers? Truth! Elisalex showed me a sneaky peeky while she was in Nashville back in May! I have been dying to get my hands on the pattern ever since! I love my short version, but I am SO EXCITED to try out that thigh-high split, peeps.

Anna Dress - Seersucker

I opted for a very simple version for my wearable muslin, in a classic seersucker from Mood. This is one of my last pieces of fabric from the NY stash, btw. I’ve held out on making this up because it’s a stretch cotton, and we don’t play well together. But I think stretch cotton works fine with this type of dress, as long as you’re ok with how the bodice looks in a slightly structured fabric. I like it!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

My Anna is the short version, with the slash neckline. I cut the size 2/6 and shortened the skirt about 5″. I found that the back was rather large on me – I just pinched out the excess along the zipper line. Oh, I also put in a lapped zipper because I didn’t have any invisibles on hand. Sue me!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Since my fabric is stretchy, I stabilized the neckline facing with a bit of non-stretch cotton. To do this, I just cut a second facing piece from the cotton, sewed it to the seersucker facing (as you would a sew-in interfacing) and applied the facing as normal. This keeps the neckline nice and smooth and secure!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

The pattern itself was an absolute delight to put together. There’s a reason why this pattern has so many fangirls – especially considering how short a time it’s actually been available on the sewing market. There aren’t a lot of pieces, and what is there is super simple to put together. I think this would make a great beginner pattern, whether you’re a beginner at sewing or a beginner with a a certain type of fabric (meaning: yes, you should make this up in silk!)

Anna Dress - Seersucker

I should probably tell you that I already have a couple more versions planned. Better get used to this dress! Ha!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Oh, one more thing before I tear outta here… our giveaway winner!

wins2

There were 230 entries in all (accounting for duplicates), and you ALL made me hungry (special shoutout goes to Marchelle who linked me to this lemon cookie recipe from Martha Stewart… I will have y’all know, I made this yesterday and they are delicious aaand I’ve already eaten about half of them, ha!). Random Number Generator sayssss-

wins1

Louise is the winner of the Sweet Dress Book! Yay!!

Um, will someone kindly tell me what spotted dick is, though? Here in America, that means something TOTALLY different and I’m afraid to google it…

Completed: The Victoria Blazer

15 Jul

Remember when I made those Maritime Shorts and I swore I’d make a matching blazer to satisfy my inner Tina Turner?

Victoria Blazer

Welllll that happened.

AWWHHH YEAH!!

Victoria Blazer

Don’t get mad at me, but it actually happened last week. I just got around to shooting pictures of this guy, hence the delay. Sorry!

Victoria Blazer

You can also see my camera remote in these pictures, haha! I just figured out how to use it for this ~photo sesh~, so there ya go. I must say, taking pictures is a HELL of a lot easier when you’re not reliant on the self-timer. I just stood in one place and snapped away, it was pretty awesome!

Victoria Blazer

Anyway, so this here pattern is the Victoria Blazer from By Hand London. This shit is extra special because 1. The pattern was PERSONALLY HAND DELIVERED to me via the beautiful and charming Elisalex while she was in Nashville at the end of May; 2. The fabric is yet another chunk of the endless yardage gifted to me by Sonja during last year’s swap; and 3. IT’S PART OF A MATCHING BLAZER AND SHORTS SET, HOW FUCKIN AWESOME IS THAT.

Victoria Blazer

Oh, and the inside is purple.

Victoria Blazer

So, this was a pretty easy pattern. I don’t understand why people have such an aversion to sewing lined jackets – it’s essentially the same process as sewing a lined dress. Were this jacket fully tailored, with all the padstitching and a back stay and fancy welt pockets or whatever, I could understand the hesitation. But, guys, all of you are capable of sewing this. It’s a jacket – an easy jacket, at that – with another jacket inside it, inception-style.
(oh god I just realized I inadvertently gave myself a weenie in this picture… ignore that, ok.)

Victoria Blazer

I cut the veeeeery smallest size – the 2/6 – and made the cropped version. The pattern calls for a partial lining (the sleeves are left unlined), but since the cotton voile I used the line the inside is srsly the most buttery smooth fabric IN THE WORLD, I thought it was a shame to not have it against my skin and thus chose to also line the sleeves. This is super easy – I just set them into the lining, same as the shell, and then finished the bottom with a french seam as instructed.

Victoria Blazer

I know, this looks super ridiculous with the matching shorts (hahaha y’all shoulda SEEN Landon’s face when I stepped out of the sewing room in this get-up!), but I think it will look really nice with my dark jeans.

Victoria Blazer

It’s such a departure from my normal, everything-fitted style, but I like it!

Victoria Blazer

The sleeves did give me a bit of trouble at first, but it turns out that I accidentally set them in backwards. Oops! Make sure you pay attention to those notches!

Victoria Blazer

Victoria Blazer

OH MY GOD, I took way too many pictures and I’m just going to dump them all right here.

Victoria Blazer

Victoria Blazer

Victoria Blazer

Victoria Blazer

Victoria Blazer

Victoria Blazer

I love these tags from Sweet Little Chickadee! I should also point out the running stitch along the top – that goes all the way around the jacket, through both the lining and the shell (you can’t see it from the outside since the lapels cover it). The lining didn’t want to behave and stay inside the jacket where it belonged, so I used embroidery floss and handstitched around the edge of the lining. It keeps everything in place, and I think it looks pretty as well!

Victoria Blazer

Another thing I really love about this jacket is how good it looks draped over your shoulder, fashion-model-style.

Victoria Blazer

Want to make your own Victoria Blazer? The girls at By Hand London are currently running a Sewalong for this pattern, so you have no excuse now!

Would you ever make a matching blazer and shorts combo like this? Am I off my rocker here?

Completed: The Charlotte Skirt

21 Jan

I always keep an on-going list of wardrobe staples (Cake, if you will) that I would like to get my sew on with. Knit dresses, a lightweight denim skirt, that cycling jacket, red straight-leg trousers (Sunni, I love you but I REALLY love your pants and I’m going to copy you aaand I hope that’s ok!), white tshirts… to name a few. One of the pieces that’s been on the list for the very longest was a red pencil skirt. I dunno why I’ve put this off for so long – red is basically a neutral as far as I’m concerned, and my wardrobe is quite lacking in pencil skirts these days. Sewing boring clothes can be, well, boring – but ain’t nothing boring about a handmade staple that gets the hell worn out of it all the time, amirite.

Charlotte Skirt
I did finally make that red pencil skirt, though.

CIMG0035
This is the Charlotte skirt I was telling y’all about last week. It’s generously sized through the hips, so those of us whose hips don’t lie can still rock our pencil skirts with minimal size futzing and fretting. It’s like, living the dream. Oh yeah.

Charlotte Skirt
I went with the plain jane, no frills view as I really just wanted a plain ol’ red pencil skirt. I based my sizing experience off the Elisalex dress and cut a 6/10, which ended up being quite a bit too big and needed some shaving down the sides. Now that I’m looking at the pictures, I might need to adjust the darts for future skirts are there is definitely some slack chilling at the front. DAMMIT. It really doesn’t look that obvious in real life.

CIMG0044
This is a very simple pattern to construct – there are only 3 pieces! I did make a few changes – shortened the hem by several inches (I think around 4″? Ladies, watch your petite selves – this skirt is long!), added a 4″ slit for walkability, and dropped in a full lining. Adding the lining was SUPER easy, by the way – I just cut out an extra front and back piece from the lining, sewed the darts and side seams as normal, and then dropped it in the shell of the skirt before attaching the waistband. As the skirt is wool (from the flea market, yeah!), it’s limited to winter wear which means tights – which means lining is a necessity.

Charlotte Skirt
I did have a little snafu with the sizing, once I put the waistband in. And by “little snafu,” I mean the skirt was too damn small and it measured out to like 2″ smaller than my actual waist measurement. WTF?! Fortunately, my zipper had giant seam allowances just hiding beneath the lining – as well as the waistband having a nice generous overlap for snaps – so 15 minutes of quality time with my seam ripper meant the skirt was saved. !!!

Charlotte Skirt
It does have a nice rear view.
Shit, I hope I don’t attract the Flickr weirdos with this picture.

Charlotte Skirt
It seems I have run out of things to say. Here is an artsy photograph for your consideration.

What’s on your staples-to-sew list?

Completed: the Elisalex Dress

14 Jan

I know I’m SUPER late to the dance party on this, but I just looooove the new goods from my girls over at By Hand London. A pencil skirt with generous ease at the hips?? That made me sit straight up and divert all my attention at once (a feat on it’s own!). So when I was offered to try my hand at the patterns, I responded with an enthusiastic “UHM YES PLEASE!!” and was immeditely given my very own hourglassy pencil skirt pattern of dreams, as long as the Elisalex dress pattern.

Elisalex Dress

I’m going to fully disclose here and let y’all know that I’ve actually been working on this pattern for over a month – we got off to a very rocky start, unfortunately. My first problem stemmed when I couldn’t find any finished measurements listed anywhere in the pattern, and for some reason I had a huge issue with measuring the pieces (which is not the fault of the pattern, I was just basically being a dumbass. It happens.). Once I got the sizing sorted out, the muslin I whipped up gave me the biggest hunchback that you ever did see. Just… oh my god, it looked like I had a growth back there HAHA. I had to cut quite a bit off the center back to get a snug fit – about 1.5″ per side. I hesitate to blame this back on BH, as I’ve seen a few of these dresses in the wild west (aka, internet) and no one has mentioned the size of the back, which would indicate that this is a Lauren-fitting problem, not a poor drafting issue. Happily, the rest of the bodice muslin looked fine, so I cut my fabric, cranked up the music, and started assembling the dress.

Oh, the fabric, by the way. Isn’t it AMAZING!? It was a (super sweet and incredibly thoughtful!)gift from my homegirl Erin of Miss Crayola Creepy. She bought a bunch of this stuff at the LA Garment District, apparently it’s ~Prada~ ooohhh!! Don’t worry, she kept some of it for herself – you can see what she made with it here. I’ve been sitting on this fabric for foreeeeever, just waiting for the perfect pattern to come up. With the marriage of the Elisalex and the dreamy Prada floral twill, I thought I had it made. I HAD IT MADE.

Elisalex Dress

But you know what? That tulip skirt, as beautiful as it is – it really sucks with this drapey, stretchy fabric. Ask me how I know. Wait, no, I’ll tell you. It droops and sags and it looks like a shit sack made out of beautiful fabric. There’s a reason they tell you to use a weighty fabric to make this dress – the skirt needs the structure for those beautiful pleats. I had done goofed, again. Sooooo I threw the bodice on my dressform and gave up for about a month. Womp womp.

Elisalex Dress
I finally pulled the UFO off my dressform last week and decided it was time to asses the situation – normally, I’d throw in the towel at this point, but considering both the fabric and the pattern were given to me with wonderful intentions, I thought it was pretty shitty to just toss them out. So I made it work. I scrapped the droopy skirt and traded it for a circle skirt – I had to shorten it a little to get it to fit on the rest of my fabric, but it works! I sewed some 2″ horsehair braid at the hem to give it some lift and combat any potential droopiness. And then I spent like 3 days handsewing the the lining and hem, bc, FUCK, there is a lot of handsewing involved.

Elisalex Dress
It was worth it, I think :)

Elisalex Dress
The finished size ended up being a 6 at the hips/shoulders, grading out to an 8 at the bust. I didn’t bother with a FBA, I think the fit is fine. In the future, I need to lengthen the bodice as it is a bit short on me and hits at a kind of frumpy place… hence the belt.

Elisalex Dress
The back is my favorite part! Love love LOVE that V detail- so pretty!

Elisalex Dress
Here it is without the belt. See what I mean about it being a hair short? It kind of makes me look like a box. A beautiful autumn box (perhaps full of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, mm)

Elisalex Dress
I added a little bit of trim around the neckline and the sleeves as well, to help break up the pattern a bit.

Elisalex Dress
Oh, and I subbed out the exposed zip in favor of an invisible one! Mostly because I really wanted to try out my new Bernina invisible zipper foot :) This fabric did NOT like that invisible zipper – it bunched up soo bad, and I had to rip it out several times. The mess you see right now was the best attempt I managed, haha!

Elisalex Dress
LOVE ME A GOOD CIRCLE SKIRT.

Elisalex Dress

Elisalex Dress
Neon yellow Bemberg rayon lining, courtesy of my remnant hoarding :)

This dress is quite comfortable and well-suited for those of us who like to be a bit active, see:
Elisalex Dress
Great for kicking at the cat when she tries to get in the picture frame

Elisalex Dress
Trying to pull the cat out from under the desk because you know she’s totally giving the camera the evil eye and could quite possibly be scaring small children

Elisalex Dress
WHAT’S THE MATTER, Y U NO WANT CUDDLEZ

Elisalex Dress
Aw, so sweet!

Elisalex Dress
Nope, nevermind.

In closing: Elisalex is a YAY, just make sure you muslin that baby out first if you are prone to hunchbackness :) And yes, I have plans for that Charlotte skirt! Just you wait and see!

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