Thursday, August 8, 2013

Completed: Elisalex #'s 1 & 2

Well. I've been on a bit of a procrastinatory bent sewing purge this week. My impulse purchase made it from bolt to machine in record time, AND I busted my stash for one of my planned Elisalexes. I LOVE THIS PATTERN. No wonder everyone's been making 500 versions of it. The fit is immaculate, and even if I'm a shitty photographer and look like a total looming squint-machine, I feel fabulous in them. I also think I look pretty good in the mirror. If only I was like Garbo, and transformed into a magically gorgeous being before the camera lens, but alas, it is not so.


Goldilex is the result of giving into the shiny pretty fabric buying impulse last week. Turns out that metallic fabric is almost as difficult to sew as slippery silk! Because of the way the little hearts were woven in, I turned the pattern 90˚ and cut across the grain, so that the hearts would sit upright and flow around the body. Matching up the little lines is not one of my strongest suites, but I think I did ok.

And look - Cowboy print pockets!

I apologise for my terrible photography. But I do love the shiny, pretty! Partly because it is (a) shiny and pretty, and partly because anything (a) makes me think of (b) a Jimmy Neutron episode where Jimmy's brains get totally fried and he says "Shiny. Me like shiny." And besides that, I feel like the femme fatale from a Bond movie (and I always did think they had the most fun of anyone, death be damned).

The bodice fit was beautiful, and easy as to achieve. Hemming the skirt was less so; but damn it was long! Not a problem I often encounter (in all my 6'2"ness). This particular fabric frays like hell, so I having carefully lined the skirt up with the selvage I was want to trim it up to reach the desired length. In the end, I kind of rolled it, and stitched it in place every two inches, which preserves the gold-foil effect somewhat. I'll probably only wear it a handful of times, so what the hell! I also adapted a pocket from one of my New Look patterns, and stitched it into the side seams with a couple of little furfies. 1) I really should sit it down the hip a little, and 2) I stitched the pocket onto the side seam at 5/8" instead of 3/8". Stumbling across Charlotte's fabulous pocket sewing tutorial lead me to think about all the things I'd done wrong and correct for the next version...da-da-daaah! 


Having tested on the Elisalex pattern fit with my shiny pretty slipper fabric, it was time to crack out the Starry, Starry Night fabric from Spoonflower. I bought this fabric to make something that I could remember my friend Adriaan by. Adriaan was a blacksmith, and a complex and wonderful friend whom I've known for 13 years. Last year, he took his own life after a long battle with depression, and his family chose Don McLean's Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) as the funeral song to reflect his life. 

I apologise for my own goofiness, and somewhat half-heartedly for my pocket obsession. They're Pockets! You're surely aware of how few dresses actually have them. Apparently it's got something to do with not making women's hips look bigger. 

I'm afraid I got a little over enthusiastic and stuffed up the patten matching in the bodice-to-skirt direction. Spoonflower's Cotton Sateen is BEAUTIFUL to sew with, but expensive, so I had to squeeze this dress out of only 2 yards. It was quite a challenge, and I did manage to match the pattern around the bodice, if not skirt-to-bodice. If I were doing this again, I think I'd cut the bodice first and patch the skirt together to work a better flow; and possibly invert the pleats. But then on the other hand, it does become something of an example of the disjointed nature life experiences of mental illness. And in a similarly disjointed segue, I did not stuff up the pockets this time. (Win!)

For future reference, I think I'll not wear it with the thicker belt again. It just makes me look too top-heavy.

Overall, I'm quite in love with By Hand London's patterns. This one goes together so quickly! I suddenly need all of their patterns. And the tutorials are fabulous.  


  1. I decking love both of these frocks! I love shiny pretty too :-)
    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I will be posting again soon, Ive sewn a million things but there seems to be a time bandit in my life that won't allow blogging time! damn the man. I feel sorry that you have to destash.... I am in aux yes. Over in melbourne. what is in you give pile?

    1. Thank you! I've had to pop them in the skinny-bin for a while. I've put on a bundle of weight and don't fit them anymore.
      I fully understand the Time Bandit. TB could be an evil character on Dr Who.

      I'll have to unearth the destash pile and review what's in it. One's gone to Katie Writes Stuff and another to Chris Lucas; so my little brain can't remember what's in the last one just at the moment. But I'll get back to you ;-)

    2. Darn that skinny pile. We all have one of those I think. Another joy of being female.
      The bloody time bandit features prominently in my life! I'm so sick of that guy.
      I just read katies post about you tee hee very nice.
      No rush!