When I saw the Elisalex dress pattern in Ray-Stitch, I knew I would one day have to make it. And when I managed to buy the very last 3 metres of Liberty’s red Solsetur fabric in tana lawn from Shaukat, my sewing fate was sealed.
I made this dress thinking of being able to wear it to work. It had its first outing at the Southbank Centre last night to see Isabella Rossellini’s hilarious and educational Green Porno lecture (I have got to make a hamster onesie like hers), but also duly travelled into work with me this morning and seemed to get on quite well there.
The pattern was fairly easy to put together, although the instructions were unclear and it was just as well I didn’t use them. Additionally, although it’s a relief to find a pattern with normal high-street sizing, the pattern pieces didn’t give a good indication of things like skirt and sleeve length. The ‘shorten here’ on the sleeve resulted in something about elbow-length, and decidedly unattractive. And having read warnings online about the skirt length (no ‘shorten here’ was indicated), I took a good 8 inches off before cutting out my pieces, but then had to further take off about 5 inches. I think it’s still a bit long… Anyway – cumulatively quite a bit of beautiful fabric was wasted.
I added pockets to the dress, and made the zip a normal length – in the pattern the whole dress opens up like a straightjacket. Lots of hand sewing of the linings around the zipper due to the general rubbishness of my zipper foot.
If I make this dress again, I definitely will alter the skirt shape. It’s like a hot air balloon, and was worse when it was longer. The stripe of the fabric only emphasises its weirdness, especially at the side seams.
The box pleats at the front don’t match up with the princess seams – they did initially, but I took it all apart and resewed it to get the fabric print to match, which was more noticeable than the pleats. And match it does! I’m rather pleased with my fussy cutting to get the skirt and bodice pattern to align 🙂