30 December 2013

Black Ink in Water Elisalex Dress

My feedly has been filled with Elisalex dresses since its release. I knew I wanted to make one and when I found this fabric It screamed to be made into an Elisalex. So that's just what I did.

I cut the size 14, which according to the size guide, should be my size. This fabric is a rayon/spandex with only 5% stretch. But when I sewed the 14 up, everything was too big, too wide, too much fabric. I tried to sew all the seams again at 1 inch but that just made it odd-shaped. That's what I get for trying to take the easy route. After multiple attempts, I hated how it fit, so uncomfortable, so I tossed it in the UFO basket and walked away.

But I had a party. And there is little I love more than wearing a new dress to a party. So I re-traced my Elisalex pattern in a size 8. Four sizes smaller than my original. I hoped I hadn't over-corrected and would have a teeny-tiny bodice and feel like a sausage. Luckily I sewed it up at 3/8 inch, put it on, and FINALLY it fit the way it was intended to fit. 
This photo emphasizes my pear shape
I do adore this dress, but there are a few issues with the pattern in regards to my body shape; I have both narrow and sloped shoulders. This means that the wide-set neckline falls off my shoulders very easily. I tried to turn the pattern in a bit at the shoulders but it seems the pattern is still set a tad wide for me. That's ok, it is still full wearable - it is more my bra-straps that slip off than the dress itself.

So this fabric! Stunning right? It reminds me of dropping ink into a glass of water the way it swirls. It is a rayon/polyester with 5% stretch to it. It is fully medium weight - no chance of transparency - thank goodness - that is nothing I hate more than realizing a dress is opaque in sunlight. No unsightly bra sightings here. 

On to my alterations. I took off a 1/4 inch at the princess seam as it reaches my armpit so it doesn't gap. I opted to not include a zipper in the design, with the slight stretch to the fabric, the zipper would of made it easier to get on and off but ultimately would be unnecessary for me. So with the additional stress on the waist seam as I pull the dress across my chest, I added fold over elastic to the waist seam to finish the seam and add strength. I choose a gathered skirt instead of the tulip skirt as I wanted a more every-day dress vs the fancier touch that the tulip skirt adds to it. The last alteration I made was to use short sleeves instead of the full or 3/4 length offered. I used the sleeve pattern and simply cut it short. Simple.
Scotia found a Squirrel nut stash and started to rip the ground up. Oops.

Pattern: By Hand London Elisalex
Size: 8
Fabric: Rayon/Polyester with 5% stretch (Fabricland)
Cost: $4/m used 1.5m

Lucky for me it was only a balmy -8C while I took these photos. How Canadian am I eh? Out in a short sleeved shirt...

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