My fancy Elisalex

Yay, its finished!

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I’m so pleased with this dress! It was such a pleasure it make, it fitted really well with only minimal adjustments, and it all came together so quickly, I’m pretty much planning my next one already. Look at the awesome shape of it!

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I did shorten the skirt, because I’m only 158cm tall (5’2″ in the old money), and the original skirt length would have nearly reached my ankles! I didn’t just want to cut it off at the right length, as that would have lessened the awesomely dramatic shape of the skirt, so I folded the pattern up in a concertina about 2/3 of the way down the skirt, and then graded the curve of the side seam down to the hem, keeping the original width at the bottom. I have no idea if thats a legit way to do it, but it seems to have worked, though the skirt is a slightly rounder shape, rather than the tulip shape of the pattern piece. I did take a little bit of the curve out of the widest part of the hips, to compensate for the shorter length.

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The only other adjustment I made was taking in the bodice at the top of the zip, to stop any gaping. Other than that, the fit was perfect! I’ve decided that I love princess seams, I’ve never made anything with them before. They made fitting the bodice so easy! I’ll definitely use the bodice again, though I might add a different skirt shape. I also used an invisible zip, rather than an exposed one, as I’m aiming for a vaguely 1960’s vintage look. I used Lauren from Lladybird’s invisible zip tutorial, and it went in like a dream! I don’t have an invisible zip foot (I don’t think they existed when my machine was made…) but using the normal zipper foot was fine. I still need to sew a hook and eye at the top of the zip, but I seem to have run out.

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The dress is made of a lovely dark green silk dupion. I really wanted something quite heavy, and when I pictured it in my head it was made out of slubby, heavy silk, so I was very pleased to find this! The bodice is lined with navy blue silk bermberg, as I couldn’t find any in green, and it felt so nice that I couldn’t bring myself to use anything artificial.

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The downside to this fabric is how much it wrinkles! I ironed it it just before I put it on for these photos, and look at the state of it! It also frayed like nothing on earth, my whole living room is covered in slubs of thick green thread. I pinked all of the pieces before i started to sew them, and some edges had frayed right past the pinking by the time I had finished sewing. It looks like Oscar the Grouch has been shaved over my my sewing machine.

After all my planning, I haven’t actually managed to make the belt or the bows for the shoulders, hopefully I’ll have those for next week. I actually won’t be too upset if the bows never make it into existence, as I think it looks pretty good anyway, but we’ll see how I get on!

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March Roundup

How is it the end of March already? My mind boggles. I’ve done a reasonable amount of sewing this month, which has been satisfying. Its been a rather eclectic bunch of makes though, from winter accessories to a summer blouse!
This month, I’ve sewed:

A scarf
A blouse (my Deer&Doe Datura)
A pair of baby shoes, AKA the cutest, tiniest little things I’ve ever made, and
A refashioned pair of tights.

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I’ve been pretty thrifty with fabric, with both the scarf and the wee shoes being made from scraps from other projects (the scarf from my briar leftovers, and the shoes from the cotton scraps off my Datura), and i think I’ve done some of my neatest sewing this month. So I’m pretty happy with everything, really!

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I’ve finally got my long-awaited merino Briar cut out, so next month I’ll be trying to pluck up the courage to try out the overlocker! I think there will be lots of trial runs…

I’ve also finished my Elisalex dress, which I’ll post about this week, but since its technically been a March make, I’ll put a sneak peek here…

20140331-195831.jpg Its a pretty average photo, because its after dark (and theres only ‘mood lighting’ in this house), but it gives a rough idea!

Elisalex inspiration

I am currently in the middle of wedding season, I’ve been invited to four so far this year with one still to go! I’m always surprised when my friends get married, I’m sure we aren’t old enough for that! The last one is coming up next month, and has a vintage-ish theme. I’ve been very restrained, and haven’t bought anything new for any of the other weddings (actually, I don’t think I’ve bought any new clothes at all this year, go me!) so I wanted to make something amazing for this celebration. I found this picture online a while ago, when I was looking for inspiration, and I loved the colour and the shoulder detail…

20140329-180547.jpg…though the skirt is a bit over the top for what I had in mind (and the model is frankly terrifying). The next picture that caught my eye was this one…

20140329-180755.jpg…again, the shoulder bows! I like the slim shape of this one more.

So I was pondering these, and then I came across the Elisalex dress, from By Hand London, and it all fell into place! I found a beautiful deep green silk dupion, I’ll make some bows to attach to the shoulders, and probably a belt in the same fabric to give it more of a 60’s feel. I’ve got most of the dress together, i just need to put the zip in, do the hem and hand stitch the lining down. It’s been a gorgeous pattern to sew, the only reason I’ve stopped for the day is that I’m scared of sewing in zips!