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.


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.


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.


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!

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!








52 thoughts on “Watercolor Elisalex

  1. 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! =)

    1. 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!

      1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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!

  4. 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 🙂

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

      1. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  7. 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!

  8. “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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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!

  10. 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!

    1. Thank you! I never would have thought of an Elisalotte either – I’m just not that creative – but I’m so glad that others thought of it because I definitely want to give it a go! I can’t believe I forgot to mention Sewbusylizzie’s version because hers is probably my favorite yet – her fabric and the contrasting side panels are divine! You can find hers at http://sewbusylizzy.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/brixton-elisalotte-with-bonus-jet-lag/

  11. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

  15. 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!

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