Watercolor Elisalex

Guess what?  I finally have pictures of my Elisalex dress!  I finished this frock back in April but never photographed it…what a naughty blogger I’ve been.  The timing worked out well though – it will be quite some time before I finish my Gatsby dress, so it’s nice to have something to show you in the mean-time.

Without further ado, here she is…my lovely Elisalex:

ImageI’m quite pleased with this little lady, I must say.  

You’ve no doubt noticed that this is not an Elisalex as God and By Hand London intended it to be.  “What happened to the lovely bell-shaped skirt” you ask?  Well, I’m a fashion chicken.  A clothing wallflower you might say.  Once I finished the original skirt, I felt too out of my element (and my husband’s reaction of silent confusion sealed the deal)…so I hacked it.  This is much more me – much more subtle, understated.  Call me a wuss.  Go ahead, I can take it.  But I know me, and I know that this version of the dress will actually be worn.  

ImageOk – time to gush.  I am in love with the bodice of this dress.  It is, without a doubt, the perfect bodice pattern.  The princess seams are super flattering, and there’s no need to fuss with dart placement.  The wide neckline and slightly lowered back are sexy in a subtle way.  It’s just the right amount of fitted – not too loose, not too tight – Goldilocks would feel right at home in this baby.  

I have every intention of using this bodice for several more dresses.  I definitely want to try an Elisalotte (Elisalex bodice with the Charlotte skirt) – I’ve been oohing and aahing over the ones I’ve seen so far, like Helen’s and Zoe’s - although technically Zoe used a different pencil skirt pattern, but it’s the same idea.

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The fabric is home-dec fabric from High Fashion Home here in Houston.  It is 100% Cotton, and I believe it’s called Florinda Aloe from the Dransfield and Ross collection.  I was drawn to the colors and the abstract floral print.  It’s fairly light for home-dec fabric, but turned out to be the perfect weight for this dress.

Like others have said, the instructions were a dream to work with, and the packaging was so beautiful.  The girls at By Hand London have really got something special going on.  I can’t wait to try out more of their patterns.

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I underlined my skirt with silk organza to give it more stability – which would have been necessary if I had kept the original skirt.  Even without the bell-shape, I prefer underlined skirts for the added opaqueness and the ability to have a completely invisible hem.  I slip-stitched the hem to the interfacing so no stitches are seen on the right-side of the dress.

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I also did a hand-picked zipper, as usual.  I know it’s a couture technique, but I really do it because I find it much easier than a machine-inserted zip.  Win-win!

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The zip looks a little wonky here, but it’s not, I promise. I just didn’t take the time to position it correctly for pictures. There I go being naughty again!

I haven’t worn her yet, but Elisalex will be accompanying me to a friend’s wedding in a couple of weeks.  I’m very excited to take her out on the town.  I can tell we’re going to be fast friends!

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52 thoughts on “Watercolor Elisalex

  1. Brooke June 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm Reply

    It’s a great dress! I love that you used fabric that wasn’t labeled as apparel fabric. The simple lines of the dress really showcase the watercolor print well. Beautiful finishing details!

    You definitely made the right decision to go with something you are comfortable wearing in a skirt because you look confident wearing it in the photos! Best sign of success! =)

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:06 am Reply

      Thanks Brooke! I definitely feel more confident in it after chopping the bubble skirt :) I was surprised the fabric worked so well for the dress too…I might be raiding home-dec stores more often!

      • Brooke June 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Fabric is fabric. I’ve used all kinds of home-dec stuff in costumes – everything from upholstery to curtain fabrics is fair game! And some printed bedsheets are too cool not to be made into clothes. =)

  2. Leila June 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm Reply

    Oh, the silent confusion response. I hate that one. I like how you altered the skirt. It’s definitely what I would’ve done. Actually, the skirt on this pattern is why I haven’t bought it. It’s really just not me. And that’s okay. I do love seeing it on other people. Oh and I love your watercolor fabric. Looks very cool.

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:10 am Reply

      Haha yeah, you just have to feel bad for men sometimes…they really can’t win in those situations: lie, or be honest and tell her what she doesn’t want to hear. Sometimes silence is the best policy! I love seeing the dress on other people too and really admire their ability to pull it off…that just isn’t me though. Thanks for the compliments :)

  3. Haylee June 3, 2013 at 12:35 am Reply

    Called it! Oh my yep totally called it, the minute I saw the title of this post I knew I was going to love it and yep, I FREAKING LOVE IT. Holy cow this is probably one of the most, if not my most favorite sewing project I have ever seen on a blog ever. As in of all time. ha I’m seriously that in love, that fabric is beautiful and I feel the same way about the bell bottom, I just never could have pulled it off but yours looks great though. Subtle and a perfect length and just a dream all around. Ahh love!

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:11 am Reply

      Haha Haylee! You totally just made my day! You are so sweet, and this comment made me feel like a million bucks! Thanks so much dear :)

  4. Katy June 3, 2013 at 1:13 am Reply

    Wow, this dress is stunning! The fabric you choose is just beautiful, and the finishing touches just make it! I know what you mean about the skirt, I’ve been put off getting the pattern because of the skirt. Your pleated version is perfect, especially if it means it’ll get worn more :)

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 10:12 am Reply

      Thanks Katy! I knew the original skirt would be a stretch but I thought I might be able to talk myself into it…guess not. haha I’m happy with the altered skirt though and I do hope to get a lot of use out of this dress. You should get the pattern! The bodice is perfect for ANY skirt you choose…of course, with your mad drafting skills you don’t even need patterns anymore :)

  5. sewbusylizzy June 3, 2013 at 1:17 am Reply

    Beautiful fabric!

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:12 am Reply

      Thank you! I’m glad it worked out so well – I was a little nervous since it wasn’t apparel fabric, but I had to go for it when I saw the colors :)

  6. Amanda June 3, 2013 at 4:29 am Reply

    What a lovely match of fabric to pattern! This is such a stunning summer frock with lovely detailing! Awesome work :D

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:13 am Reply

      Thank you so much! I always seem to struggle with fabric choice, so this feels like a triumph :)

  7. sewamysew June 3, 2013 at 5:58 am Reply

    I really like your changes to the pattern and that fabric is amazing!! Nice make :)

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:17 am Reply

      Thank you Amy! I had a lot of fun making this one, so I’m glad it turned out well :)

  8. Red Point Tailor June 3, 2013 at 6:18 am Reply

    Your version of the Elisalex dress appealing to me much more than the original. I would do the same with the skirt as you – or even make strait simple skirt.
    You look gorgeous in this dress – the fabric is great.

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 7:18 am Reply

      Thank you! I think a straight skirt would be stunning with this bodice – I definitely intend to give that a go sometime soon. The bodice is just so great, I want to try every kind of skirt imagineable with it! :)

      • Red Point Tailor June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Wonderful! That’s fun of a dress pattern with separate body and skirt – there are a lot of variations. Success! I am looking forward to see your next creations :-)

  9. stephanie@mabelmakes June 3, 2013 at 8:09 am Reply

    Oh you finished it! I love it! I think if I make another Elisalex I’ll make the skirt a little bit less pouffy like you so that it’s a bit more wearable. I love my version but it’s pretty out there and dressy. For everyday it’s not very practical. Yours is just gorgeous!

    • Thimble & Cork June 3, 2013 at 10:13 am Reply

      Thanks Stephanie! I LOVE your Elisalex! I think you’re exactly the girl who can pull off that skirt – you look stunning in it! But you’re right, it is definitely a statement dress so it’s not something that can be worn just anywhere. Good thing this pattern is fun to make so we won’t have to force ourselves to make more :)

  10. Karen June 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm Reply

    It’s a beautiful dress, and I love that you do hand-picked zippers, silk organza underlinings, and know what works for you! This is definitely a feel-good dress!

  11. Gjeometry June 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm Reply

    “Silent confusion” LOL! Well, I have to commend your husband on this approach rather than, say, outright criticism! I think the dress came out just beautifully! I was in love with the fabric when you tweeted it a few months back and the dress looks so dreamy made with it.

    • Thimble & Cork June 4, 2013 at 11:36 am Reply

      Haha I commend him too! He’s definitely a smart cookie. Thanks Catja! :)

  12. gingermakes June 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm Reply

    This is GORGEOUS! I love it on you! Absolutely lovely.

  13. Heather Bee (@KnitNBee) June 6, 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

    To be totally honest I don’t like the “real” skirt the Elisalex comes with, but your version is perfect! No reason to have all your hard work stay in the back of the closet when a simple hack gives you a lovely garment.

    • Thimble & Cork June 7, 2013 at 9:44 am Reply

      So true – it’s kind of fun to venture away from the set pattern sometimes too. You end up with something unexpected and something that’s totally you. Thank you for the comment!

    • theperfectnose June 12, 2013 at 1:06 am Reply

      Second this.

  14. black label June 7, 2013 at 9:33 am Reply

    the colours, the print, the everything!! so lovely.

  15. elise June 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm Reply

    What a beautiful version of this dress! That fabric is stunning, and I really like what you did with the skirt. It looks fabulous on you. I never thought of an Elisalotte – great idea!

  16. Erica June 8, 2013 at 7:00 am Reply

    This is the perfect dress to wear to a wedding. It is stunning!! The fabric is so beautiful. The bodice fits so well. I’ve not tried sewing a fitted dress yet. This is inspiration for me to give it a go. I also love the dip in the neckline in the back. You look terrific!

    • Thimble & Cork June 8, 2013 at 8:48 am Reply

      Thank you so much for the compliments! I checked out your blog and you are well on your way to making a fitted dress – your latest skirt is SO cute! It’s immaculately constructed and I love the fabric. You have some very fun and well-made DIY projects on your blog so I know you’ll make a beautiful dress, and I look forward to seeing it :)

  17. Miss Jojangles June 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm Reply

    I am simply in AWE that you made this! It looks so incredible! Inspires me to get my sewing machine out and get making! X

  18. kathryn June 10, 2013 at 5:39 am Reply

    Your Elisalex is gorgeous! I love the way you’ve adapted the skirt pattern. I also found the shape a bit intimidating but I was too scared to change it so instead i just made a mini-dress version – perfect for a night out but a bit too short for me to wear during the day!

    • Thimble & Cork June 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm Reply

      Thank you Kathryn. I love the pink fabric on yours! Beautiful!!

  19. theperfectnose June 12, 2013 at 1:05 am Reply

    This is hands down the best version of this pattern I’ve seen online. The fabric you’ve used is beautiful as well, very subtle print but it complements your complexion in the best way. Good on you.

    • Thimble & Cork June 15, 2013 at 12:49 am Reply

      Wow, thank you so much! This is such a sweet comment – it made my day!

  20. Rochelle New June 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm Reply

    I haven’t made this dress because I too was a little turned off by the bell shaped skirt. I love that you changed it an made it your own! It looks amazing on you. Beautiful print and color!

    • Thimble & Cork July 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! Yeah, the bell shaped skirt just wasn’t working on my body. I’m really happy with it now though :)

  21. Red Point Tailor June 19, 2013 at 2:28 am Reply

    I am still impressed with this dress …. you deserved a sweet surprise – I have nominated you for the super sweet blogger award! http://wp.me/p2yS5n-ID

    • Thimble & Cork July 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm Reply

      Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I’ve been out of the blogging loop for a while, so I apologize that I am just now seeing this. Thank you for the award, I’m thrilled! :)

      • Red Point Tailor July 2, 2013 at 2:31 am

        You are very welcome! Don’t stress up! It should be fun :-) Enjoy!

  22. Jennifer Lauren June 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm Reply

    Wow, this is truely gorgeous! I am in love with the fabric you chose. Everytime I see a new Elisalex dress I fall more in love with the skirt…

  23. goodbyevalentino July 5, 2013 at 5:15 am Reply

    What a beautiful dress! Everything about it works so well for you – fabric, style, color etc…. It’s a winner for sure!

  24. Kathryn July 5, 2013 at 8:14 am Reply

    Hey Kacie, me again! Just to let you know I’ve nominated you for a Liebster blog award. Don’t feel obligated to reply or pass it on if you don’t want to, I just wanted to pass on some love to some of my favourite, new-to-me, sewing blogs!

    • Thimble & Cork July 6, 2013 at 10:32 am Reply

      You’re so sweet, thank you so much! I’m honored and thrilled for the nomination. Thank you thank you!

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