Elisalex No 1 -twirly twirly…..

At last, as promised, I have completed my first Elisalex.

elisalex d

I am going to call this a wearable muslin.  Yes, I know that I do this quite a bit.  I admit that it is mainly to excuse the fact that it’s not quite perfect but I can’t be arsed to go back and fix it all.  Whatever, the way I see it as long as I am learning from my mistakes and I produce something that I am happy to wear despite the imperfections then I have a winner.  And by calling it a wearable muslin it means that I do intend to go back and make it again without all the little flaws.

Anyway… you can see that I made the sleeveless version and used a half circle skirt instead of the proper one in the pattern.  With hindsight I think that switching the skirts was a mistake.  At the time I wanted something full and twirly, in contrast to the other things I had made recently.  However I think that when I realised I only had enough fabric for the half circle instead of a full then I should have gone back to plan A.  In the end I also had to add a bit extra on the bottom as well as it was still way too short.  I think I just about got away with it.

Well on the plus side I can indeed twirl in it…

elisalex1 b

On the minus side, I think that on me, without the tulip skirt it looks a bit, dare I say it, meh….?  Don’t get me wrong, I do love the this pattern. It fits almost perfectly, and the whole thing came together really quickly and easily.   And some of the others I’ve seen online with different skirts have been fabulous, Kathryns, for example, and Lauren’s.   I just think this one is  nothing special.  Nothing to do with the pattern, just my bad choice.  And it’s a shame cos look at the fabric. I got this an age ago from Fabric Inspirations. Their website really is fabric porn if you like prints.   From a distance it looks like a kind of bandana print, but close up you get little tiny skulls! How cool is that?


elisalex1 cI had to take in the upper back by about an inch and a half on either side, which is pretty usual for me. And I still need to add a hook and eye at the top, which should eliminate most of that gaping.  I used a zipper from my stash so it is not as long as the one the pattern calls for.

elisalex1 aI also made the usual silly mistakes of course – sewing one of the back pieces on upside down, then sewing the side seams before reading the next step which said add the lining first – duh.  My excuse is that the only time I have had to sew recently is after the girls have gone to bed, by which time I have usually already been up for nearly fifteen hours and done a full day at work. Which is also my excuse for failing to hoover or pick up cat toys before taking photos.  As my mother used to say – a tidy house is the sign of a wasted life.  (disclaimer – my house is actually pretty tidy but this is mostly down to my husband, who is wonderful and amazing. And my mother had a cleaner.)

Spurred on by my mistakes with this one and by Roisin’s perfect version here, (and I love anyone who references Father Ted) I have nearly finished Elisalex No. 2.  It is most definitely closer to the pattern, with the proper skirt and sleeves.  I love it already.

As for this one, I will definitely wear it. Actually I will probably wear it more than if I had used the correct skirt.  I do have a tendency to keep stuff I really love for best, a habit that I am trying to break because I rarely go anywhere that requires best clothes so it goes unworn. And I do like it, I just don’t love it yet.

elisalex1 e

14 thoughts on “Elisalex No 1 -twirly twirly…..

  1. Gjeometry

    OH, I LOVE your dress. The fabric is so great, kind of sneaky in a way as you have to get up close to see the real design. And it twirls beautifully. I don’t notice the part where you had to add for the length, looks fine to me!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! Elisalex no 2 is nearly done, except I have totally buggered up the zip so I’m in the process of ripping it out and re-doing it. Pics as soon as I’m done, I promise.

  2. Lynne

    I think your dress looks great. The fit is fab, and I love the fabric. Thank you for the link to Fabric Inspiration.
    I haven’t come across it before, I’ve just been browsing, and there are some gorgeous things! It’s been saved in my favourites!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you. I must admit, the dress is growing on me. I think it helps seeing the photos. And the shoes were from Primark a couple of years ago. I think they were only about £10.00.

  3. Kate

    Might you be being a little harsh on yourself and that beautiful frock? I love the print, and bought the pattern after your helpful comment. I think if you put that with a wide cinch-y belt it would be fantastic, and I love your red shoes. It is lovely on its own too. I do get how you feel though, I think, one of my sisters was recently surprised with a perfectly lovely knitted scarf that I could no longer stand the sight of after sewing in all the ends. Thank you for all the links too, will have a read of those over a cuppa.
    I’m planning a sleeveless one with the original skirt, in a cotton twill. I was going to try a gathered skirt version in a Liberty poplin, but my skills aren’t quite up to variation yet so I’ll just have to do the Elizabeth dress in the poplin instead, silver linings and all that. Enjoy your new dress!

  4. ooobop!

    I think you are being far too harsh. Its fabulous on you. And I love the secret skulls! I think you are just not used to the style but it looks great from where I’m sitting! I’m so impressed to see you back here and sewing like a crazy lady again. Such great inspiration. I understand how exhausting it is working long hours and juggling kids. Lucky to have our sewing to keep some sanity!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers guys, you are all lovely! Okay Kate, Janene, I admit I am probably being a bit harsh. Seeing the photos it is actually quite pretty. I think I was guilty of comparing it to some of the other amazing versions other people have made. And you know how sometimes the idea in your head doesn’t quite match the reality? The crappy weather does make me a bit negative too – can you believe we have snow in March – not fair! I want to be able to wear my pretty dresses out. I suppose I’ll just have to stay in and sew until it improves.

  5. gingermakes

    Oooh, this fits you beautifully! I didn’t recognize it as an Elisalex at first– it’s amazing how different it looks when you swap out the skirt! How’s that for pattern versatility?!


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