'Drinks on Me' Dress

‘Drinks on Me’ Dress

Photographic proof of my finished Elisalex dress.  This photo is a crazily cropped photo from the wedding I went to.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics that day, but luckily there was a wedding photographer that got a few shots of it.  The pics were great of that day but not so much of the dress so I will have to take separate shots to show the details.  So those are coming soonish, but until then I need to put the details down before I forget them.

‘Drinks on Me’ Dress

Pattern: Elisalex Dress

Size:  US 14 bodice/US 16 skirt…oodles of alterations

Fabric:  Michael Miller  Happy Hour  Black

Michael Miller Happy Hour Black

Bodice Lining:  Bright orange cotton voile

Notions:  Orange reversable 30″ zipper (originally was going to be a reversalex then I changed my mind)

Let me first say that I absolutely adore this dress.  It is by far the most comfortable dress I’ve ever worn, and it is my first ever finished garment that I’ve sewn.  I actually had a lady come up to me during the cocktail hour to ask where I got it because she loved how flattering and original it was.  She even said it was the only dress she’d ever seen with an exposed zipper that ‘actually worked’ for the dress.  😀  I was totally happy and a little embarrassed by it.  And then I pretty much danced the rest of the wedding.

Getting to the finished product was a long and kind of arduous journey though.  Apparently I have an interesting and original shape. lol.  Originally I cut a muslin for the size 16 bodice and skirt going by my measurements.  The gaping around the armhole at the upper bust was epic.  Then I read somewhere that I should cut the size for the upper bust measurement so I sized down to a 14 bodice and left the skirt at a 16.  The bodice then was too snug feeling and the epic gaping was still there so further alterations had to be done.

This is where I laugh at myself a little because I was totally scared of attempting to make alterations to it by myself, like I was going to ruin it.  Yes, I was scared of ruining A MUSLIN.  It’s the whole point of the muslin!  Way to go me.  But back to the story…

The changes I made to the bodice are:

  • I took the center front panel in by one inch.  This made the princess seams run closer to the apex and made it easier to alter the armhole gaping.
  • I pinned the excess out of the upper bust area by unsewing down a couple inches and taking out the excess, mostly from the center bodice piece.  I followed the princess seam shaping on a bernie dexter dress I have and it seemed to work pretty well.
  • I lengthened the bodice by one inch.
  • I increased the seam allowances to 6/8 all around.  For the front bodice seams the increase of seam allowance was for the under bust to waist area.
  • I have a slopey shoulder thing happening so I changed the angle of the outer shoulder seam by 1/4 inch.

elisalex 2

Pardon the weird pose in that pic, I was being pulled into a large group shot…but it was the only one that shows the skirt shape.  And also, pardon the face stars…I’m still a bit shy of me plastered over the internets. 😉

Extra Notes:

  • Next time, muslin the skirt too, and maybe go down a size.  I altered the sizing from the hip area up to the waist so it would match the bodice but it was a huge asspain and required some unsewing and redoing the pleats.  I still feel that the skirts is a bit too big but it’s not a dealbreaker.
  • Put on my big girl panties and tackle altering the sleeves.  After all the issues with sizing the bodice my brain refused to even try to tackle the sleeves, which were also completely wonky.  Fit for Real People is my friend, and I can do it (right? lol)  Because who doesn’t want the option of sleeves?
  • Hem the skirt to the knee, not below it.  The only other thing I’d change in future iterations is to shorten the skirt length a little more than I already did.  I had The Beloved helping me straighten the hem when I was wearing it and he pulled the hem down from where I had it.  I plan on going back to shorten it in the future, once I get over having to unhem/repress/rehem it. 🙂
  • Lint magnet.  I love the print of the fabric but holy hell does it attract every piece of lint and pet hair.  I’m going to have to walk around with a lint roller. lol.

Would I make it again?  Hell yes.  But for more everyday wear I think I’ll skip the tulip skirt.  I’m pretty casual and the tulip skirt demands girl shoes.  I need dresses I can wear boots with.


So, you may have seen the latest pattern by By Hand London…the Anna Dress.  I am in such deep smit I ordered it the minute I saw the post online.  Now I’m checking my mail  every day waiting for it, even though I know it couldn’t possibly be here yet.  Oh, the wanting.

But do you think any of the super fast sewists out there and/or the pattern testers could post about it so I can dream and live vicariously through others until I get a chance to make it?



(Just kidding, lol)

I have plenty to keep me busy sewing-wise, if I’d just sit down and finish what I started already.  But for realz…it is too damned hot.  I get absolutely heat stupid when the temps are over 90F.  I’m a winter baby.

An example of my heat stupidity white making my larkspur elisalex with a gathered skirt:

I sewed the bodice shell pieces all together and the lining and THEN  sewed the lining and shell together and wondered why I couldn’t turn it right-side out.  DERF.  So very much unstitching had to be done…AND THEN, while unstitching I accidentally ripped out the wrong seam and unsewed one of the bodice side pieces completely and had to sew it back on.  DOUBLE DERF.

I need some Autumn up in this piece.

I totally get where this girl is coming from ROFL:

So, true to form, I’ve blipped right out of the blogosphere again.  Sorry.  But I have been busy, if that’s even an excuse. 😉

So, not that I have good pics yet, but I DID sew up an Elisalex dress to wear to a friend’s wedding.  WOOT!  That post will hopefully be up in the next few days…just as a teaser, I had a hell of a time trying to fit the damn bodice.  It was a nightmare.  A nightmare that I pretty much fixed. 🙂  Details soon!

And a second upcoming post will have to do with a certain larspur fabric that I didn’t make into a pavlova skirt.  It is being used to make an elisalex hybrid (using the elisalex bodice and making a gathered skirt.)



Where the hell is the time going?  This is the slowest week EVER and yet it is already the end of March.  WTF?  Like 10 minutes ago the pavlova sewalong started and it’s already over.  And, SURPRISE!, I have not stitched one piece of fabric for it.  ::Heavy sigh::…

I suppose I was doomed to failure from the beginning.  Firstly, I suck mop with deadlines.  Secondly, I didn’t buy material for the top and receive it until the sew along already started (and oh, pretreating my fabric when I live with no washer of my own is ANNOYING (pronounced annoyinGUH) ).  And I was all set to do the skirt first while my fusible webbing tape and horsehair braid arrived (which didn’t get here until the sew along was over)…and then pfft!  March madness, dog had surgery, the 9 to 5 job crazy long commute home, and The Beloved building a flying machine at the kitchen table…which is where I sew.  So,  though I had a majority of the top cut out during the sew along I didn’t actually sew any of it together.  Wah wah.

I’m hoping to do some of it this weekend.  Sunday, is a bust because of Easter…but hopefully Saturday I will make progress.  That is unless the weather is good for flying the newly made flying machine. lol.

I really want to get going on sewing up some garments…the pavlova separates obviously are top on the list and ready for sewing, I have a ‘wearable muslin’ cut out for tiramisu waiting to be sewn up, a muslin for the elisalex bodice, and fabric to prewash for an elisalex dress and two fabrics to prewash for a reversalex.  Wait until I show you those.  One is going to pretty much be a copy of the elisalex that Roisin did (the post id March 15th…and I have super duper undying love for it I tell you!) and the other is just going to be two sided AWESOMENESS yet to be revealed. lol.

And then there’s the list of non-clothing related items waiting to be made: two more cat blankets to sew (one of three down woot!), a curtain panel to make, tiramisu and pavlova pattern bag kits, hemming the livingroom curtains (I don’t actually want to do this but they kind of need it according to The Beloved) and making a curtain for the kitchen window.

Would it be wrong to bring my sewing machine to work? 😉

Just fyi…

I hate ikat. 

Maybe because I’m myopic…and it looks like blurry vision that you can’t make go away?  I dunno.  I just…hate. it.


And in a situation that should surprise no one, the pavlova sew along has been going on for five days and I have just laundered the fabric for the wrap shirt and will begin cutting it out today.  Go me. wah wah…  Hopefully I can get the shirt pieces cut during my 1 hour lunch…that will leave cutting the skirt for tomorrow.

I suppose I should show my fabric choices to those of you who don’t frequent the sew along page.
pavlova fabrics

My apologies for the extreme blur factor.  I swear it looked clear on my camera screen. Yikes.  Anyway, that’s Alexander Henry 2010 ‘larkspur’  for the skirt, cotton voile for the skirt lining, and some pink and black jersey for two wrap tops.

I was so excited to finally use the larkspur fabric.  I can’t tell you how much I love it and it makes me so happy.  Now that it’s coming time to actually cut it up and use it I’m dreading it.  Part of me would like to have this fabric pure and ‘unspoiled’ forever.  The other part wants a wild and crazy happy bird print circle skirt.  I had no idea I had a fabric collector side to my personality.  I suppose it goes with the ‘souvenir yarn’ part.  Well, it’s probably the same part.  How deep is my crazy? 🙂


So I would have had all my shirt pieces cut…if not for realizing I never measured the front waist length.  And so, now I get to go home, measure my front waist length and determine whether or not I need to alter the pattern piece and cut it out tomorrow instead.  pfft.  so much for starting the sewing tonight.  Unless I move the 2 cats and dog out of the living room to cut the the pieces out on the floor. lol.

When I get bored or my mind wanders at work I surf the sewing blogs lately. And because of that I’ve acquired a mess of patterns that I am excited to try. I’ve been spending my lunch hours at work tracing out the pattern pieces in my size so I can eventually start sewing. The conference room has a huge table that is perfect for pattern tracing, laying out and pinning the pieces on the fabric and cutting those suckers out. Only problem is I need a longer lunch hour. lol.

Patterns on my to do list, which should be no surprise to anyone stopping by here because they have been all over the blogosphere are (in no particular order):

  • As well as some retro and accessory patterns from the big 3 (Is that it? you know, mccalls/vogue/butterick)

I missed the sewalong proper for the tiramisu dress, but I have my pieces almost all cut out and will hopefully get to it this weekend..with a forthcoming progress post with pics, provided I charge the darn camera. Also, I traced my elisalex dress pieces because there’s a sewalong coming up for that. BUT, the pavolova separates sewalong starts next week and I kinda want to do that more…because I’m not sure I have the time, space, or brainpower to be doing elisalex and pavlova at the same time as well as having the tiramisu going. OY. Way too much awesome and I’m having an overload!

I am having fun dreaming of all the clothes I want to make in time for summer.  Maybe, just maybe, I will look nice while dressing seasonally appropriate?  Well, provided I find appropriate summer shoes that work with almost everything and don’t break the bank.  That’s been a problem for me for like every summer since I started dressing myself.