Elisalex V9000 superhack dress

Hello everyone! I’m keeping up my run of weekly blog posts and it feels so good! Today I’m sharing a dress that I cooked up by mashing a few things together. It’s the perfect 50s style swishy midi dress that makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. I could easily swish around on a Greek island too if needed. Anyone offering a mini break?

almond rock vogue 9000 v9000 elisalex dress by hand london lisa comfort fabric sew over it

So are you curious about my superhack? I started with the Elisalex dress bodice which I’ve made twice before but skipped the sleeves this time. I’m wearing the size 10 with a little bit of excess taken out of the shoulders. Then used Vogue 9000 which I’ve made here, and merged the skirt panels into a front and back rather than seven piece skirt. I’m wearing the size 14 waist and hip. I then adjusted the side seams and centre back edges slightly to make sure they’d match up and chopped an inch off the length.

almond rock vogue 9000 v9000 elisalex dress by hand london lisa comfort fabric sew over it

I’m so happy with the result as it’s modest with the neckline and length, but a little cheeky with the dipped back, AND the skirt has fantastic swish! Seriously good swish. Which is mostly down to the fabric I chose but important to say that being flared rather than circle, there’s limited chance of the skirt blowing up and flashing everyone on a windy day. Result! My invisible zipper went in like a dream (I love my invisible zipper foot to death – if you don’t have one, go get one) and the waist matches nicely! I handsewed the lining to the inside for a change as I normally stitch in the ditch but had some telly to watch while I did it.

almond rock vogue 9000 v9000 elisalex dress by hand london lisa comfort fabric sew over it

I really like wearing dark colours in hot weather as I am always cold and this is a guaranteed way to warm up, but also I think black looks great with a tan. This is of course one of Lisa Comfort’s gorgeous fabric prints. I was very tempted by the first collection which features pastel colours and soft florals. I love Elderflower and the pink colourway would have been perfect for me but I resisted as I hate hate hate ironing and need to limit the amount of cotton dresses I make before I go insane over the wrinkles.

almond rock vogue 9000 v9000 elisalex dress by hand london lisa comfort fabric sew over it

When the crepe collection was released I snapped up the Wild Flower print in black. At 150cm-wide it’s perfectly designed to fit a flared skirt like this without needing to cut on the cross grain but at midi length the pieces are fabric hungry. However the princess seam bodice of the Elisalex dress is a great space saver on a fabric layout. I lined the bodice in black habotai to help as well. In the end I got this dress out of just 1.5m of fabric! SO EFFICIENT!

almond rock vogue 9000 v9000 elisalex dress by hand london lisa comfort fabric sew over it

The poly crepe barely wrinkles, floats like a dream and is totally opaque. Big points for my lifestyle! I’m only slightly bummed that there is a permanent crease in the centre front of the skirt from where the fabric was folded in half before being put on the bolt. I don’t know if this is just my piece, or just the bolt. It could be how the fabric was pressed during transit after printing. I don’t know… but every time I look down I try not to look at the crease line. BUT to end on a more positive note, I can totally recommend the fabric quality, the Elisalex pattern for how well drafted it is and Vogue 9000 as the perfect half shirtdress (eyes peeled for my newest version of this dress in one of the prettiest viscose prints I’ve ever found).

almond rock vogue 9000 v9000 elisalex dress by hand london lisa comfort fabric sew over it

*Just to let you know this post contains affiliate links but products I link are from trusted sellers like The McCall Pattern Co selling through Amazon or Minerva Crafts. There’s no obligation to buy through the link of course. I don’t advertise on my blog so this is a little way to fund the running of the site!

Continue Reading

Wild roses Vogue 8469

A fresh faced sewing enthusiast called Amy made her first version of Vogue 8469 back in 2013 and said, “oh yes this is lovely I better make it again”. She used £1 a metre polyester she found in Leeds Market and wore it to one of her first sewing meet-ups in London – the epic V&A event.

Almond rock vogue 8469 vintage retro sewing roses pattern

Flash forward to 2016! The new version is again made out of £1 a metre polyester, but this time from Birmingham Rag market. This amazingly versatile dress has lived in the back of my wardrobe only occaisonally getting worn because I slightly messed up the gathers on one side of the bust, and my zipper installation wasn’t very neat. What I discovered during Me Made May this year, is that it really doesn’t matter! You can’t see either of those things when I wear the dress so I should blumming well get it out the cupboard more often.

Almond rock vogue 8469 vintage retro sewing roses pattern

This dress is great if you’re a large or small busted lady in comparison to your waist and hip size as you can adjust for your bust easily; simply slash and then add or subtract the space you need and then draw the fabric under the bust neatly.

Almond rock vogue 8469 vintage retro sewing roses pattern

The skirt is more tulip shaped than you might think, a change from my super flared skirts. It’s still gathered making it easy to fit through the hip. The bodice, waistband and sleeves are lined and I used my trusty tutorial for clean finishing the sleeves into the lining. I skipped the sleeve elastic again as you can see.

Almond rock vogue 8469 vintage retro sewing roses pattern

The centre sewn zip is what we all learn early on, stitched down each side to secure the zip and create a little flap to cover each side… but this is the hardest zip to achieve a neat finish for me. The zipper always peeps through and the sides aren’t even! The supposedly harder invisible and lapped zippers are much nicer in my book. Am I wrong?

Almond rock vogue 8469 vintage retro sewing roses pattern

I wear this dress with the bow tied at the front most days but occasionally swing it to the back. It’s a great number to wear with red lipstick and dangly earrings for dinner out, or ballet flats and curly hair for a vintage day look.

Almond rock vogue 8469 vintage retro sewing roses pattern

It was great to teach myself, just because you messed something up doesn’t mean you can’t still love it. The annoying perfectionist in me shuts up while I wear this so that’s a win right?!

Continue Reading

Swishable Vogue 8997

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

Hello hello! Super happy to be typing up this blog post today. I had a really lovely week with two days at the Sewing For Pleasure show in Birmingham for work and a fab weekend with my two best friends, cake and some much needed shopping. Other exciting news? I photographed three new dresses so have plenty to share over the next few weeks. One of them is a gorgeous little black dress because this month The McCall Pattern Co have launched their new campaign – The Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour!

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

You may remember the Vintage Sewalong from last year, which I took part in. Well this year is bigger and better with 26 bloggers making versions of the 20 Vogue patterns from the Cocktail Hour collection.

It’s such a good way to raise money for a fabulous charity. The Eve Appeal is the only UK national charity raising awareness and funding research in the five gynaecological cancers! And a donation from every pattern sold goes to help them continue their great work.

There’s a wonderful introductory post on the Sewdirect blog to help you pick your pattern and we’ve created a special bonus magazine to go with issue 38 of Love Sewing to share our tips and tricks for creating a polished evening look.

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

As is becoming a bit of a tradition for me, I wanted to make a dress for my Welcome in the supplement so I chose Vogue 8997! See Lizzy’s beautiful version here and for some instagram fun follow @glamagrrl

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

This fully lined princess seamed dress is a little bit vintage, has some clever design lines with its 8 panels and shaped waist seam and is a great pattern for achieving a beautiful fit. There are separate cup sizes and different length and sleeve options. I made view B in size 10 around the upper body with A-cup bust and graded to a size 12 at the waist.I resisted the urge to shorten the style and it turned out about right for me.

SWISH PIC!

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

To check everything over I essentially made a toile out of lining basted together with an easy to unpick stitch length (snap included). This meant if I’d nailed the sizing, I was well on my way to having a constructed garment but could still make necessary changes. My key change was moving the bust princess seam over by 1.5cm towards the centre at the bust point as I’m very small chested.

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

My fabric is a great quality crepe de chine from John Kaldor called “Olivia” that I picked up at Barry’s in Birmingham last year. The floral print is quite large (see the scale below) but I loved the shades of mink and fuchsia in there. The lining is a nude pink polyester that I keep a roll of at home. It’s perfect for blending in with almost any fabric so I recommend buying in bulk to keep in your stash.

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

The crepe didn’t fray too badly but the lining did so I still overlocked the exposed internal seams. I also used my overlocker to add a baby rolled hem on the crepe which was a fun new trick to try. It’s very subtle on a print like this. Here’s the video tutorial I used for my Singer machine.

almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

Other little details were to add an invisible zip so obviously altered the steps a little to include this style closure. But the rest was super straightforward!

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

Join the 2017 sewalong by making a version yourself and sharing your make online using the hashtag #sipandsew (remembering to copy in @McCallpatternUK on Twitter or @McCallpatternUK on Instagram). You can also attend different activities throughout the year including in-store events, workshops and special cocktail parties.

BONUS GOOFY PIC!!

Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

So will you be taking part in the Cocktail Hour sewalong? Follow the amazing blogger tour for more inspiration, starting with Winnie of Scruffy Badger Time!

Continue Reading