Attempting to run before you can walk…


Mmmmm…. Ever been totally seduced by beautiful illustrations and other bloggers’ accomplished creations, when in reality the design just plain doesn’t suit you or your lifestyle?

Guilty as charged your honour!

I purchased ByHand London’s Elisalex Dress at the same time as their Charlotte Skirt pattern. At least I’ve got my money’s worth out of the latter! I loved the feminine design of the Elisalex, but this beauty really hasn’t worked out great for me.

Trying to be economical, I thought I’d use up the leftover material from my first two Charlottes.The fabrics coordinated pretty well and the pattern stipulated that heavier fabrics would work well. In retrospect, I think the fabric choice was the key problem. The fabrics are both very much ‘work’ wear rather than evening wear but the design is very clearly ‘dressy’. The two just don’t tally 😦

On the plus side, the skirt came together pretty easily- knew all that Charlotte practice would come in handy- but I really struggled with the construction of the bodice and the neckline just wasn’t working at all. I’ll be honest: it’s a complete mess inside. The addition of a lining helped to cover some of this up eventually, but I know it’s a mess and that doesn’t make for a happy garment. It kind of hangs awkwardly off my shoulders too, and is far too revealing at the back for work, which is really the only place I’d wear it. I forced myself to wear it once, but succumbed to covering most of the bodice up with a cardigan. Because of the full length zip, the length has ended up stopping at a really unflattering length on me too. I think I can just about pull it off with knee high boots and opaques, hence I’m wearing them in the photos despite the spate of unusually pleasant weather we’re experiencing currently. I’d never wear this just with shoes though – I’d look incredibly dumpy…

It doesn’t look too bad on the hanger, which is just as well as I think that’s where it will be staying! Maybe I’ll return to this pattern again once my skills have improved, but for now it’s back to attempting to master the more simple patterns…



8 thoughts on “Attempting to run before you can walk…

  1. Don’t fret, it looks pretty good but can see why you don’t like it, the bodice is too wide for you at present, the shoulders are dropping down your arms, what size did you use?

    • Thank you for your kind words. I made a size 10, which was perfect for their Charlotte skirt. I’m a UK size 8 in shop-bought garments, but pattern measurements always sound so small and I figure a little bit of leeway is no bad thing for a beginner. You’re right, it’s the bodice that’s the problem. I think I’m return to it when I’m feeling a more confident.

      • I have no experience with the Elisalex, but I made a Georgia (which I love, but it’s definitely not a work dress 🙂 ). I found that it came up rather large and I ended up making a 10 rather than my more usual 12. So may be a 10 in the Elisalex is definitely too large for you.

      • Both the Georgia and the Anna both on my wish list 🙂 Will check out yours for inspiration. Think you’re right re: sizing. Think I’ve been erring on the generous size, as figured it would give me more room for fixing ‘mishaps’, might have to be braver in future…

  2. I think youre being hard on yourself. I think the colours and the combination look very smart. I think Sharon is right, the shoulders are dropping a bit. When I’ve made the Elisalex I’ve needed to make the back narrower to prevent the off the shoulder look which is not so good for day wear. You might be able to do that by re-doing the zip and you could use a shorter zip.

    • And this is why the blogging community is so great 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. Good advice about a trying a shorter zip to make the back more narrow. I’ll cast an eye around for a shorter one. That would also allow me to chop away at that unflattering skirt length too. I’ll definitely put both yours and Sharon’s advice to good use. Thanks again!

  3. Pingback: The Elisalex Revisited | navybluethreads

  4. Pingback: Top 5 Misses 2014 | navybluethreads

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