Archive for August, 2013

'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.


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