Unauthorised absences

I’ve been away for a while with no excuse other than the sun’s been out and I’ve been having a lovely time. It’s much easier to just have fun, than to have fun and then go inside and write about it. But anyway, I’m back! To sum up the last month or so, there has been…

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A graduation and a home made bow tie

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Lovely walks in real Welsh sunshine

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Lots of Pimms and paddling pool action

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And even a day at the Royal Welsh. Horses and sheep and (absolutely massive) cows, oh my!

There has also been quite a lot of sewing going on that I am itching to share. Here’s a sneak preview, more to come!

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Victoria

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Hazel

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Purses

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Hazel II

The first step is admitting you have a problem…

It’s no secret how much I love the Elisalex dress. In fact it’s getting a bit embarrassing now… I’ve gone and made another one.

I still maintain that each of my Elisalexes (plural?) has their own special place in my wardrobe. Number one is the ‘Everyday Elisalex’ for work to pub, shopping to dancing and almost everything in between (I’m wearing it right now!).

Number two is strictly weekend material, and mostly after dark. Made for dancing and for when I’m brave enough to get those legs out.

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Number three was a present for my sister, so technically that doesn’t even count. Work with me here…

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So. Number four. The formal Elisalex for the rare classy do that I’m invited to. The Lady in Red.

This one is mainly a light (and bargainacious) linen-y type mix from IKEA with side panels made from some Anna Maria Horner quilting cotton I had in my stash, underlined to hold the shape.

I lowered the neckline slightly and opened up the tulip skirt just enough to squeeze a matching tulle underskirt underneath.

The Red Elisalex will have its debut on Friday at a Graduation Ball (read ‘fancy dinner for the students that we are crashing whilst trying to pretend we are students again’). Objectives are to dance the night away and immerse myself in gin and tonic. Shouldn’t be too hard…

An Elisalex for Lizabeth in Lizzy House

Sometimes things sound like they’re going to work together and they don’t. Bummer. However, sometimes they do!

For my sister’s birthday the order came in for an Elisalex dress in a geometric fabric. After an extended search for fabric via many many many emails (I’m in Aberystwyth, she’s in Manchester) we settled on Supernova in purple, part of Lizzy House’s Constellations range.

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There were two challenges to overcome:

  1. Supernova is a quilting fabric, 100% cotton and so soft I could cuddle it all night – not likely to hold up the showcase Elisalex skirt.
  2. My sister and I are not the same size, like AT ALL, and I had never made anything fitted for anyone other than myself. Tensions rising…

To combat a floppy skirt (when unwanted it’s truly the worst) I decided to line the skirt in addition to the bodice. To really ensure those pleats stayed as sharp as GBSB Patrick’s suits I applied fusible interfacing to the lining and basted it to the skirt along the waist. This was done once the front and back pieces had been sewn together but more importantly before the pleats were folded. The lining/interfacing/outer sandwich was then treated as one piece and the pleats folded in. Attach to the bodice and job done!

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So the pleats worked, hooray! And the skirt doesn’t crumble under it’s own weight, even more cheers! AND, it looks pretty nice too…

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Lined with IKEA’s BRITTEN – one of my absolute favourite prints and very soft to boot.

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A bit of Timeless Treasures Sketch for the sleeves.

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More Sketch bias binding on the neckline and a hook and eye from my Grandma’s sewing box (8p for 20. How’s that for value)

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I am the only one that loves slip stitching? Hems, zips, binding, anything.

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Like a good sewist (I’m not usually a ‘good’ sewist), I made a muslin to check for fitting issues. After a trip back home and a few pin stabbing incidents, by accident obviously, a little was taken off the shoulders and the arm scythe – thankfully nothing too drastic. The minor nature of the adjustments didn’t stop the eternal panic of whether it was going to fit – one of my main methods in sewing is constant trying on, probably more for my peace of mind than the necessity of the sewing process. Luckily being a good sewist paid off:

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Quote: “I feel like a princess!”

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Phew!

As always this pattern was a dream to sew and I can’t wax lyrical enough about Lizzy House’s Constellation range. They’re billed as quilting cottons but I think they need to be shown off. Constellations dresses for all!

(I’ve got one on the go for me too!)