As part of our “family rules” that are 15/16ths finished and will be blogged about once the last rule has been added (“try to be you best”….. I think, or “don’t leave your underwear on the floor of a morning….), one of my favourites, is try new things. I use it often with B1 and B2 with varying levels of success and to show that I am the queen of leading by example, when it suits, I…. lead by example. This rule does not apply to vegemite for me, as they insisted it should, because I’ve tried it once and hated it. Vegemite might look like Nutella, but taste like, it does not. This rule does however include trying new patterns for frock making, which is an area in which I am excelling this week.
I purchased the Elisalex pattern from By Hand London maybe 6 months ago, and left it in the to do pile because I was head over heals with the Anna dress (7 at last count). I also had to make the usual adjustment of lengthening the bodice which was princess line and it seemed to be just a little too much effort.
However. I am determined to start making my way though my stash, as evidenced by my participation in Summer (winter down here) Stash Bust 2014 run by fellow blogger, the quirky peach. My commitment is to sew at least 3 stash pieces before being able to add 1. I think that is reasonable for me.
Time Out. Bear with. I have, for the first time in my life, a fabric stash. And I’m a little excited about it. It includes vintage fabrics, vintage sheets to be used as fabric and fabric I’ve picked up from warehouses. Not as much Liberty as one would expect or like, however I have found THE one and am saving for a piece for a Belcarra Blouse and they also sell Nano Iro which I’m keen to introduce myself to. I’ve re purposed some of my old clothes that no longer fit but are made out of beautiful fabric, mostly morphing them into the Belcarra blouse from Sewaholic . It is definitely getting a work out, and I’m up 4 at the last count, possibly 5.
Back to the main story. So, this fabric was purchased with the Elisalex in mind and being determined to try new things and not start another project before Elisalex had been completed, I set to pattern tracing, altering and toiling/muslining. I very rarely do this, but given the princess seams I thought it best to on this occasion. It worked perfectly with no further alteration required, other than the usual 2.5cm lengthening of the bodice at the waist. Perfect.
So, I attached the skirt, tilted head to the side a little when it was on the coat hanger thinking that is a rather poofy tulip shape, thought it might look better on, and was proven otherwise. The bodice fits perfectly, the skirt exaggerates the waist and hip a little too much for my liking. Plus, I could only take mini steps, and mini steps do not work for girls who are 6″ tall.
After some advice was sought on instagram, I removed a total of 40cm from the length of the skirt, turned up a 1cm hem twice, and then took to hand stitching on some gorgeous embroidered silk organza on the hem line to add a little voom that had previously been removed. I also took out some of the tulip on the skirt side seams to bring it in a little.
This is eventuated!
A little bit bubble skirt, a fabulous fitting bodice, and a finished dress that I think I can get away with wearing to work. Who am I kidding, I wear what I like to work. It’s one of the main reasons I work there. I also added the embroidered silk organza trim from France just to add a little more fancy. The colours just matched so well. And I love the back neck line! I hadn’t seen it (for obvious reasons) until Bruce took the photo’s this afternoon when the sun said hello for a minute.
The inside, as always, is finished with me spending more time hand stitching than it would take 1 person in China to make 10 complete versions. I love the lining. I’m not always one for novelty fabrics, much preferring the classics, however this made me smile and only I know it’s there.
I will definitely use the bodice again, and on the advise of sew busy lizzy, will next pair it with the Charlotte skirt, and if all things go well, will make a wiggle dress with my 1950’s silk cotton that is waiting for something special.
So watch this space for the next version, which I might proudly add is also going to be stash busting.
PS. Bear with. We had this conversation at work regarding “bear with” versus “bare with” because to me both of them look terribly wrong. The consensus was (with the assistance of google) that “bear with” was correct, although you might feel that a grizzly was going to turn up at any moment expecting a shared picnic. “Bare with” would be an invitation for someone to get naked with you, and considering it was pretty much an all staff email, I was happy to go the grizzly, not the naked. Although just for the record, bear still looks wrong to me.