Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Elisalex project

It has been an eventful and busy week since I last posted. We now have a beautiful baby niece so we popped round to see the happy couple and our teeny tiny little Ivy. She's just amazing! Then we spent the weekend trying to complete the kitchen, but actually spent more time talking about it and buying the materials than actually finishing it. But it looks somewhere on the way now....

So, I haven't had much time for sewing and the time that I had, I spent making Elisalex muslins. Because everyone loves a frustrating project that never seems to want to fit! No, of course they don't. I almost gave up. In the end I managed to get there and now I'm so pleased. 

This is my happy face!
The first muslin that I made I cut a straight 10. This was a terrible fit, even worse than the cheapest RTW dress that I own. It was super tight around the waist and super baggy everywhere else. The neckline gaped, the back gaped and the bust was a little baggy. This is so odd because I've only just slimmed down to a size 10 and I even put on 5 pounds over Christmas that I'm very slowly shifting. So I pinned it up and re-drafted the bodice pieces. From my new measurements I graded it from a size 8 in the shoulders to a 10 in the bust and a 12 at the waist. I created another Muslin. This attempt was much better, but it still didn't fit well. I had to take more from the shoulders, which I just removed from the front and back center pattern pieces. I also had to remove a little off the shoulder pieces as there was way too much ease, giving me loads of crumply fabric around my armpits, but at the same time I had to add to the rest of the sleeves as they were so tight around my arms that it was pulling at the top of the bodice.

Fed up with all of the adjustments I decided to go ahead and cut my fabric. I knew what adjustments were needed and was pretty certain that this would achieve the required fit. 

This fabric I've had in my stash for at least 6 months. It's part of Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow collection. I love it so much that I didn't want to use it! Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice, I think this possibly might have something to do with the Burgers that I grilled last night, they left a sort of haze through the kitchen and sitting room and I think that's why we couldn't get any decent pictures of the fabric. I could have sacked it off and done it today, but I wore the dress yesterday and there's nothing like seeing a dress on an actual person.

As you can see, I didn't go with the original skirt in the pattern. The fabric just wouldn't have been stiff enough. So, instead, I opted for a skirt that I've already used from New Look Pattern 6824. The pattern calls for pleats, but I decided to go with gathers and I think it works quite well. I do like big skirts, I was considering using the skirt pattern from Butterick 9269, but I wanted an every day dress and I feel like the bigger the skirt the more of a special occasion it should be worn at. Plus they carry so much more bulk round the waist that I feel it necessary to wear a belt over it and I don't want to have to. Sometimes it's nice to be free of belts!

I'm very pleased now with the fit, and despite having to re-draft the bodice, I will definitely be making this dress again. 

Silly selfie time!