Friday, 13 September 2013

an elisalex for a special scottish wedding

Och aye ma wee lovelies! Lang time nae see, far hiv ye been, min?

Ah. Sorry about that. That's what happens when you consult Google for Scottish phrases. Let's just move on, shall we?

Last Friday Josh and I were guests at a very special wedding up in Glasgow, at the beautiful House for an Art Lover. Our good friends Steph and James were getting married, and it was such a wonderful day! As its name suggests, any art lover will appreciate the venue - it was designed by Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He designed it in 1901 and it was then constructed in 1989-96 from his designs. It's adorned with beautiful Art Nouveau details and it was just the perfect place for our friends to tie the knot and have a traditional Scottish wedding - complete with a ceilidh!

I decided early on that I was going to make my dress for the wedding. I quickly settled on By Hand London's Elisalex dress. It had been on my "list" for a while, but for some reason I felt I needed an event of some kind to make it for. I'm not sure why - there are lots of lovely everyday versions of the Elisalex that people have made! But I also knew it would be a perfect special occasion dress and so I guess I was waiting for the right occasion.



Fabric-wise, I debated for a while. At first I was certain I wanted to make it in a tartan, for the Scottish factor. But when I struggled to find a good tartan fabric that was affordable but also suitable for the dress, I expanded my search. And then I found this lovely jacquard from www.myfabrics.co.uk and I knew it would be perfect! I bought 2.5m and have a little left over, and in total that was just under £22, which I reckon is pretty good!

Mmmm, fizzzzzz.


As MANY others have said before, this pattern is amazing! I haven't made a bodice like this before and I love the way the princess seams make the bodice look all structured and corset-y. I made a toile to make sure I got the fit just right. As I explained in this post, the toile revealed I needed to shorten the bodice at the back a bit and pinch in the top of the back too. After making those adjustments, I felt confident about cutting into my lovely jacquard.

How cute is this jacquard by the way? Cherubs and flowers! At one drunken point in the evening it did occur to my friends and I that there might be willies on my dress. But don't worry, there aren't. These cherubs are modest little chappies! I'm actually slightly disappointed.

No willies here! Booooooooo.

This was the first time I'd done any lining of a dress. Thankfully the instructions for lining the bodice (the skirt isn't lined which is fine as it's so tulip-y) are part of the pattern and are very well explained. Plus there's a great sewalong on the By Hand London website! I used a cream cotton lawn for the lining which is perfect against my skin. 

Me and Josh. He's not Scottish but all of our guys decided to hire kilts. Yay!


So the whole thing was just very enjoyable and comforting. I can't really explain why, but even though this has been my most "important" make so far (and therefore the most full of pressure), it's been the one that I have enjoyed the most - the instructions are funny and thorough, and I was really careful through the entire make, too. I took my time, and as a result this is definitely my best make to date. Woo!



The pattern instructs you to use a 30" standard zipper. I decided it would be nice to make a feature of the zipper so chose a chunky metal dark blue one, and made sure it runs the entire length of the back of the dress. I love the way it's such a feature at the back! So that the skirt didn't drown me (I'm a short-arse at 5'1"), I took a whole 10 inches off it.



Now that I've nailed the bodice I'm excited to make another Elisalex, probably one with sleeves next and in a slightly more casual fabric so that it's a pretty everyday dress. And I love the versions that others have made with different skirts - to name a few there are Roisin's many (my favourites are here, here, here), plus Kathryn's is so cute.

And for no reason other than they look so wonderful together and madly in love on their special day, here are Steph and James. Aren't they lovely?! Don't you just love a man in a kilt?!

The beautiful bride and groom!


So, am I the last in blogland to make an Elisalex or has is anyone else still waiting to make their first? Go on, it's brilliant!

Jen xxx

  

22 comments:

  1. The dress looks gorgeous Jen. I love the fabric. I've only started sewing this year so I think an Elisalex will have to wait! It must feel great to have made a dress for a special occasion.

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    1. Thank you! I'm sure you wouldn't find an Elisalex too hard - I've not been sewing clothes properly for very long and as long as you take your time it's a lovely experience! x

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  2. You look great in it! I know what you mean about making an extra effort and being proud of how it turns out as a result. Elisalex is definitively on my to-sew list, I have the perfect jacquard knit for a casual wintery version.

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    1. Thanks Katie! In the future I'm definitely going to try and remember how good it feels to not rush a project just because I'm dying to get to the finished product! x

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  3. Wow this is stunning! Love the jacquard and the fit is great! Beautiful choice for wedding.

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  4. That's stunning, well done! I love kilts at a wedding too.

    Still waiting to make my first Elisalex, I have finally fitted a muslin toile and am thnking about doing one in a baby cord.

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait to see that! x

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  5. Very Cute. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees

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  6. Your dress is absolutely gorgeous! I love the fabric you chose! I need to order this pattern!!! I was kind of feeling the same way, that I need an "event" to make this dress for. After seeing yours, I think I'm just going to have to make one anyways!

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    1. Thanks Abbey, I think you should! x

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  7. What a gorgeous Elisalex!! I am in love with the fabric you chose and the exposed zipper really works and adds a great modern element to a 50s silhouette. Love!

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    1. Thanks Jen! I always find buying fabric online a bit scary so was so pleased when this arrived and was lovely! x

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  8. I love this! It's so adorable! Nope, you're not the last-- I am! I bought a lovely brocade and had my heart set on a long-sleeved version for a February wedding, but I didn't finish in time and eventually just set it aside. Now that cooler weather is approaching I need to make this! The print you used is such a great choice!

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    1. Thanks love! You so need to make one, I've no doubt it will be amazing! x

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  9. OMG i love this dress on you!!! The body of the fabric is puuurfect for the bounciness of this skirt, and the print is just divine. Then you turned around to show the awesomeness of the zipper and I was left momentarily breathless. You look freaking awesome. And killer with the yellow heels!

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    1. Haha, thanks Melanie! I know, aren't those shoes great? I wear them with everything because they've very comfy and, well, they're yellow and what's not to love about that! x

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  10. Perfect! This is breathtaking. Love that fabric for the occasion and how you extended the zip down the back. Great job.

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  11. What divine fabric. You look amazing. I'm a total fan of Elisalex, the dress and the person!

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