April 16, 2014

Sew Dolly Clackett

 I finally sewed up the By Hand London Elisalex dress.  Obviously without the tulip skirt.  I spent 2 weekends of sewing time working on the fit of the bodice.  While the bodice fit straight out of the envelope - there were some problems.  The main one being that the princess seams did not go over my bust where they should.  They were off to the side by quite a bit and there was pulling across the center front. 

The first thing I did was an 'unauthorized' alteration.  I took the side front bodice piece and I drew a line from the pivot at the underarm to the waist and sliced that open, then I spread it about half an inch right across the fullest part of the bust.  I moved the center front off the center by 1/4 of an inch and reshaped the neckline.  Muslin #2 still had pulling across the front.  Next set of alterations was a proper full bust adjustment adding 3/8 of an inch. 

I ended up making one more set of alterations before cutting into my fabric - but at this point, I honestly don't remember what they were.  I know I slashed and overlapped the back bodice from the armhole to the neckline edge.  I did that in 3 different places and removed about an inch and half.  I did this because the back gaped around my shoulder blades.  Again - not sure if this was authorized - but it worked.  I could still raise my arms and the back didn't gape.

 After 2 weeks and 4 muslins, I finally traced and muslined the tulip skirt.  The back fit great - but the front wasn't fabulous.  Might be because on my body that tulip skirt isn't really exaggerated - I'm that shape. 

I used the skirt from McCalls 6503.  It's a full A-line with 2 pleats.  Rather than use the pleats from the McCalls skirt - I used the box pleats from Elisalex and the shape of the McCalls skirt.  Unfortunately, I didn't do a great job blending the two - need to smooth that out for the next version. 

The fabric is a cotton print that has been in the stash cupboard for a long time.  The background is light pink, there is some dark pink, green and white in the print.  I think the white cardigan is a little bit bright with the print. 

The bodice is fully lined.  This dress is comfortable and easy to wear.  I think for my next version I will lower the front neckline just a bit.  I do want to try this bodice with a pencil skirt. 

Hopefully - I can do a bit more sewing in a the upcoming weeks.  I need some cute, loose dresses for an upcoming vacation in Maui.  Hopefully I'll have some desire to sew after work in the next couple of days. 

Thanks to Dolly Clackett and Sarah at Rhinestones & Telephones for the inspiration and prodding to finally sew up Elisalex.   I can see many many skirts added to the comfortable and flattering bodice - Anna, Flora, circle - just to name a few. 

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