By Hand London’s Elisalex, hands down, is my favourite pattern. Why?
It is versatile – I have made a version for a wedding, several for work, a few for a night out on the tiles and a few for knocking around on the weekend.
It can be scaled up or down – I have made a few versions which I have knocked up in a couple of hours and three which are delux (fully lined, french seamed, bias binding hems, hand picked zips etc).
It is flattering – surprisingly, I find the tulip skirt slimming.
Mix it up- I have invested the time to do a full bust adjustment and the bodice fits perfectly. I have teamed it with all sorts of skirts including gathered, dirndl, circle, pencil and gathered tulip so on and so on.
I could go on but you get the picture. I have just finished my eighth version (but used the bodice on another half a dozen versions).
I used a sateen from East Coast Fabrics. I got it for $5 a metre along with a few other gems.
I used every single scrap of fabric as I also was able to squeeze a Charlotte skirt. This meant I had nothing left for facing or binding. I used a plain stretch cotton from The Fabric Store instead for lining. I normally prefer facing or binding the neck and armhole but didn’t have enough matching fabric.
The only problem is that the sateen was really stretchy, more than I would have thought for a sateen, and while I got one side of the lapped dress zip in perfectly, no matter how taut I pulled and pinned the other side, it just wouldn’t match. I ended up hand picking the outside lapped bit. However, after a day of wearing, it has given a little at the waist (see picture). I think this can be easily fixed by making tighter and smaller stitches.
The side seams and box pleats match perfectly with the bodice. I was really pleased with that as the fabric was stretchier than I would have liked.
I normally would post a photo with me in the dress but I couldn’t unglue my other half from watching Wales v Ireland rugby highlights!
So, the BHL Elisalex love affair continues. I think I would like a plain black shiny sateen version for those days where I need a work/ cocktail dress. Better get on Fabic.com then!!