Saturday, 5 March 2016

Heather: Pink Lace Elisalex Party Dress

I first spotted the By Hand London Elisalex dress pattern around 6 months ago, on a hunt for a full skirted pattern. BHL are an independent pattern company producing fun and feminine designs that definitely appeal to my style. When I spotted the brand listed in White Tree Fabrics extensive independent pattern selection, I knew that this would make a great first project as part of the White Tree blogging family. 

Elisalex Dress in Long Sleeve option. Image from

My fabric of choice was a lovely pink Small Flower Lace which I planned to make in a long sleeved option, teamed up with a darker pink lining to show off the lace detail.

My first task was to copy out the paper pattern onto dot and cross paper. I wouldn't usually bother, but the instructions specifically recommended it, so I took this as an opportunity to make some minor modifications to the fit using my bodice block. Having made a toile I brought the neckline up by about 2cm at the front and took 2 cm out of the centre back seam to improve the fit. At a slightly bottom heavy (not complaining!) 5'3", I also elected to shorten the skirt length by around 6 inches to finish just below the knee (and stop me looking like a pink pumpkin).

My next challenge was my choice of fabric. I had intended to use the dark pink satin (pictured above) to line the lace, but there were two problems. The first was that the lace laid only over satin was far too see-through to make a wearable garment. I would need to use two layers of satin throughout to prevent this. The second was that the darker pink satin didn't really have the effect I wanted, instead looking more like a mismatch than a carefully chosen style idea, and so I opted to use a slightly lighter pink satin from my stash. I'll use the darker pink satin in my next project, which I'm already eyeing up! (A word to the wise, White Tree Fabrics offer a completely free sampling service, so you can avoid making the same mistake.)

Pattern and fabric ready to go, I started cutting out.

Constructing the garment was fairly straightforward. The pattern is clear and uses standard markings. The instructions come in a little handbook, rather than a big fold out pattern sheet, and are clear and easy to follow. As I was using an extra layer to interline my lace I machine tacked around each piece to hold the layers together and then joined them using french seams so that they were less visible through the lace. I inserted a semi-transparent invisible zip (see second image above) into the centre back. This type of zip is excellent if you're using semi transparent fabrics and I love the stylish metal pull. 

Here is the finished garment. As you will see I left the sleeves unlined and I've teamed it with some new jewellery, which all together will be making an appearance at my Birthday party next weekend.

What do you think?


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Happy Sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Indeed a cute lace party dress! Thanks a lot for sharing these photos with us. I wore a lace dress on my cousin’s wedding. It was a destination wedding at one of most beautiful venues in Atlanta. Really had a wonderful time over there.