By Hand London Elisalex in Red Linen with Half Circle Skirt

Could my post titles be any more boring? No, they could not.  This blog definitely 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 blisteringly 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” (it’s 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 time and had no problem with gaping.

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

I used a catch stitch for the hem. It’s 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.  It’s 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.