I’ve been away from blogging fabulous dresses for a little while but never fear, I’m back! This time with my first ever By Hand London Elisalex dress – and my goodness isn’t it wonderful? Am I allowed to say that about my own creations?
I’ve never sewn a By Hand London pattern before because, in all honesty, I’ve always found their designs to be a little on the pricey side and just not very ‘me’. However, they’re an indie pattern company from the UK, I met them last year at the Minerva Crafts meet-up and they’re such a bunch of incredibly inspiring women that I decided it was time to put my pre-conceptions aside. The result? I wish I’d done this sooner!
The pattern comes with 3 variations – a long sleeve version, a short sleeve version and a sleeveless version. I picked to make the sleeveless version as this dress is intended to be worn at my dear friends’ wedding this summer. The pattern features princess seams down the lined bodice, large box pleats on the tulip-shaped skirt, a zip down the back and a really, really lovely scooped back neckline – it looks truly beautiful both on and off the hanger. I actually picked the Elisalex over the other BHL patterns because I thought the cinched-in waist and accentuated skirt would suit my figure well and it definitely does! As soon as I’d made this dress I actually started cutting out a second, denim version for everyday wear… stay tuned.
The fabric I used for my Elisalex is from White Tree Fabrics and is Tilda cotton called ‘China Blue’. As soon as I saw it on the White Tree Fabrics website I knew it was exactly what I needed – the pattern is made up of delicate blues and creams making it perfect for a summer wedding. I love the little Chinese temple print on it too, it’s a little like a traditional French toile and makes me feel like I’m wearing one of those collectable bits of pottery! Any of the fabrics from the Tilda cotton range would be great for this dress as it has a good weight to it, meaning that it holds the pleats and the shape of the skirt really well. The pattern itself actually suggests using upholstery fabric!
The pattern instructions were rather lovely to follow too – the BHL girls have written them in a very friendly, chatty style and have included useful diagrams for every stage. I had no issues following any of the steps and appreciated all the words of encouragement as you complete them!
Go on then – tell me what you think! I can’t wait to wear this dress to my friends’ wedding next month and I’m just hoping that the weather plays along too. Have you ever made an Elisalex or other By Hand London pattern before? And if not, why not? Unfortunately the girls have stopped making hard copies of the patterns now (they’re only available as downloadable PDFs) so they’re becoming harder to get hold of. Luckily for you, White Tree Fabrics still have some of the hard copies left in stock – so be quick and get them ordered! The Kim dress is next on my wishlist…