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!
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!