Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Michael Miller Eiffel Towers By Hand London Elisalex

So, this is my second Elisalex and if I look smug, it's because I love it.  I have to tell you though, using the Michael Miller Eiffel Towers fabric wasn't my idea.  I just happened to have it in my stash when I saw the wonderful Roisin's dress and obviously, shameful though it is to copy someone outright, it seems I couldn't stop myself and had to make my own, albeit in a different colourway (actually I prefer Roisin's).  Thanks to Roisin for being so gracious about it, and not minding me copying her and then posting the dress on my blog.  

Right.  I had mentioned that in this version I might take a little off the shoulders, and it ended up being about 5mm on each seam (equalling 10mm per shoulder).  As there was enough gapping in the armscye - above the bust - to show my bra straps, I took a little out of the princess seams above the bust.  There is still a little gapping but I didn't want to end up taking so much out that it would restrict movement.  It's that old fitting chestnut again: striking the correct balance between it looking like it fits and being comfortable to move around in.  I think I have got it right in this dress, with very little effort.

Now that I have the fit right, I could make up this dress very quickly indeed.    And that's even allowing for matching the pleats up with all the seams perfectly.  Mine do match utterly perfectly, all round.  So does the waist seam at the back.  When I make anything with any kind of pleat, or indeed anything that has to match up - seam-wise - I always pin the pleat in place and then pin the skirt to the bodice to see how everything lines up, and then make any adjustments necessary.  I also do that before inserting a zip.  I pin the waist seam together at the back, to make sure the neckline edges don't need adjusting.  I take every precaution I can think of, in order to avoid seamlines that don't match up.  I didn't used to...it's just something that has evolved over time, due to shoddy things happening in the past.

This dress is lined with black medium weight lawn, which I enjoyed hand-sewing at the waist and zip edges whilst sitting in from of the TV with the rest of the family.  I do like a bit hand sewing.  I find it very satisfying.
The hem is finished with black satin bias binding, and my seams have been turned back on themselves and sewn but I don't know what that's called!  Oh, and I top-stitched around the neckline and the arms.
I will wear this dress a lot.  Usually I fall into the trap of making my dresses uncomfortably "fitted" (!) at the waist, in an effort to make them look more flattering (delusional).  Yes, well.  It doesn't work, and the dresses are a bit uncomfortable to wear (STUPID!)  The Elisalex is so flattering, due to its emphasized hip area, that I actually made the waist a comfy size and it still looks brilliant.  Yay! for Elisalex.  This is a brilliant pattern, it really is.

Now I just need to make the tartan silk dupion version and not mess it up.  I already have a little sailor-themed burlesque pillbox hat to go with the dress, so there is no going back.

Have you seen the By Hand London Victoria pattern?  I might like the photos of it but I would be more likely to buy it if it had a line drawing to go with it.  I like my line drawings...


  1. Love this fabric in this colourway. And the fit is spectacular. Can't wait to see the tartan version!

  2. You should love it! The fabric is Devine and you are spot on about the cut.

    1. Thanks Gail - it's really comfy to wear, so it must fit okay!

  3. Aw this looks spectacular! And totally different in that different colourway too. Well done!