By Hand London Elisalex in Red Linen with Half Circle Skirt

Could my post titles be any more boring? No, they could not. Back in the day before I became a harried time poor menopausal mother of two I had the energy and brain capacity to write witty and insightful prose. This blog aptly demonstrates what happens after 8 years of not enough sleep – obsessive sewing and boring sentence structure.  But I digress.

I made this up for the blistering hot summer we had this year, which is now thankfully past as we ease into Autumn.  First photos, and then the details…

Pattern: 

By Hand London Elisalex, puchased from Sew Squirrel.

Fabric:

Its a red linen blend of some kind, a mystery as it comes from my “Husband’s Vietnam Business Trip” fabric stash.  I think it has some synthetic in it as it still creases but does not take a high heat from the iron and also has a fair amount of stretch.

Notions:

Just the zip.

Alterations:  

I had to retrace my pattern as I have put on a few kilo’s (bummer, curse those hormones) and needed to go up a size.  I always need to make a few changes to By Hand London patterns in the shoulder area.  I did a small forward shoulder adjustment and a sloping shoulder plus took in the princess seam line closest to the armscye about 3/8″ (1 cm) tapering down to nothing by the first notch.  I thought I adjusted the armhole curve properly but it digs in a little at the front as adjusting for the bust/gaping armhole made the whole front of the armscye too small/tight so clearly I didn’t adjust it enough/correctly.

I also ended up with some annoying wrinkling/fabric buckling down the princess seam which you can see in the close up photo above.  I think this is a combination of the stretch factor of the fabric, the dodgy armscye adjustment and the princess seam small bust adjustment.  I don’t normally need this on this pattern but it needed one this time due to the stretch in the linen.  However I didn’t adjust for the shorter length of that seam on the front side piece and eased it into the same length centre front bodice.   That really doesn’t make any sense without a picture, so here is what I mean, taken from The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns (affiliate Amazon link).

See how  when you take off from the side front seam you need to reduce the length in the centre front? I only found this well after I’d finished this dress and had a “huzzah” lightbulb moment when I saw it.  I think this is why I have the buckling here (plus the armscye issue, which I’ve mentioned so many times this post I guess you can tell its really annoying me).  I now know better for next time.

I also took a bit out of the centre back seam tapering down to a normal seam allowance at the waist to adjust for my narrow back.

I added my trusty “self drafted” half circle skirt pattern, easy to make your own using the Circle Skirt App but I made my own the “hard way” (its really not that hard though) yonks ago.

Instead of a lining I just used some self made bias strip facings to the neckline and collar.

Extra Techniques:

It is very important to staystitch the back neckline immediately after cutting to stop it from stretching out as it is basically on the bias.  I did this this time and had no problem with gaping.

I did a lapped zipper – its my favourite method if I am not using an invisible zip.

I used a catch stitch for the hem. Its my favourite hemming stitch, as it gives a lovely lace like effect on the wrong side but is invisible from the right side.

Other Notes on the Pattern:

Despite this being the third time I have made the Elisalex bodice I am still not nailing the fit quite right.  Maybe next time.  Its not anything anyone other than me and another seamstress/sewist/person who sews would notice though.  I’m hoping.  As the weather cools down I think I will make the long sleeved Elisalex as a final crack at the pattern before I put it away and move on to other things.

And here is a sneak peak of my next to be blogged make:

Red Linen Elisalex Bodice with Half Circle Skirt

Yep, its ANOTHER jacket.

  • Cari Homemaker

    That’s a lovely dress. The bright color really pairs well with the simple lines.

    • Thanks Cari. BTW I completely adore your Dolly Clackett “Twin Dresses”. You look fabulous plus your dress is amazing!

  • Cari Homemaker

    That's a lovely dress. The bright color really pairs well with the simple lines.

  • Gorgeous – that red is amazing!

  • Gorgeous – that red is amazing!

  • Sharon

    Gorgeous red dress!

  • Sharon

    Gorgeous red dress!

  • You are so funny. My first thought when looking at the pics: wow, she really got an excellent fit! Then after reading I see you’re not happy with several things — but I know you’ll get there, as awesome as you are at that! 🙂 This is a beautiful dress, and one that seems like it would get a lot of use…. Hmmmm, is LRD the new LBD?? 😉

    • Thanks Susan!! I admit I am rather fussy about fit so I winge about issues that probably wouldn’t bother others. Its a big reason why I sew though. Can you imagine me in a shop trying on dress after dress and getting more and more irate about nothing fitting “quite right”. I think I used to drive the poor retail staff crazy, so its good thing I don’t do that anymore. This is a good dress though and in winter I’m planning on layering with black boots and my new black Pavot coat.

      • Sure, nothing wrong with that at all! I love to see your fitting processes and that’s just one of the reasons that sewing is awesome — we get to be in control of what matters most to us. 🙂 Your thoughts on styling this dress sound just perfect, too!

  • You are so funny. My first thought when looking at the pics: wow, she really got an excellent fit! Then after reading I see you're not happy with several things — but I know you'll get there, as awesome as you are at that! 🙂 This is a beautiful dress, and one that seems like it would get a lot of use…. Hmmmm, is LRD the new LBD?? 😉

  • Thanks Susan!! I admit I am rather fussy about fit so I winge about issues that probably wouldn't bother others. Its a big reason why I sew though. Can you imagine me in a shop trying on dress after dress and getting more and more irate about nothing fitting "quite right". I think I used to drive the poor retail staff crazy, so its good thing I don't do that anymore. This is a good dress though and in winter I'm planning on layering with black boots and my new black Pavot coat.

  • Thanks Sharon!

  • It is a great red. I love it too.

  • Thanks Cari. BTW I completely adore your Dolly Clackett "Twin Dresses". You look fabulous plus your dress is amazing!

  • Sure, nothing wrong with that at all! I love to see your fitting processes and that just one of the reasons that sewing is awesome — we get to be in control of what matters most to us. 🙂 Your thoughts on styling this dress sound just perfect, too!

  • Red looks amazing on you, this is a great dress. I’m guilty of boring blog titles too- sometimes I can’t even post for days because I can’t think of a title!

  • Red looks amazing on you, this is a great dress. I'm guilty of boring blog titles too- sometimes I can't even post for days because I can't think of a title!