Elisalex the first: Hot Air Balloons

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I had planned to make an Elisalex dress using the turquoise spotty fabric I got for my birthday. However it is such a fun colour that no zips can match it 😦 But fortunately I got some super fun fabric at Goldhawk Road (that Rachel from MyMessings also got) covered in colourful hot air balloons!

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I was super organised that day as I purchased the zippers I needed to match the fabric there and then, so could sew it up in a day (it should have taken longer with proper breaks, but shhh, don’t tell!)

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I did a FBA (full bust adjustment) and made a muslin/toile of the bodice, and it all went smoothly. There is still a bit of tweaking needed on the back, possibly a sway back adjustment, despite a bit of adjusting as I went along.

elisalex 187Can you see the invisible zip? I hope not as I tried SO hard with my pattern matching. Luckily I had lots of extra fabric, as this was not an economical way to cut the pieces due to the complex pattern repeat; you think the pattern has repeated when there are one or two balloons in a line that are different! It’s not perfect but I’m pleased with it for a first attempt.

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As you can see I made the whole pattern, including tulip skirt. I wasn’t planning to, but I was so impressed with the pattern drafting on the bodice and the Victoria Blazer, that I decided to trust the By Hand girls would have designed a flattering skirt. I like the skirt more than I had anticipated – it certainly isn’t as ginormous as I thought it would be around my shapely thighs – however I’m not sure it would be my top choice for everyday wear; I wore it to an open-air theatre show that involved sitting on the floor and it did not work for sitting cross-legged!elisalex 129

Wearing in real-life also told me that the armholes were a little tight, so I will lower them at the front slightly in the next version. Yup, there will be another Elisalex in my wardrobe (though with a gathered or half-circle skirt) as the bodice is such a nice fit and versatile fit.

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And yes, I did add pockets, of course. I was wearing my floral Cambie at a wedding this weekend and people were shocked/amazed that I had pockets for my phone while on the dance-floor 🙂

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It looks good dressed up with heels (seriously, these shoes mostly get worn in the hallway for blog-posing) and also works a bit more casual. And by coincidence I have cardigans that match the colours of the balloons.
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I prefer the look of this dress with cardigans as I think the overall colour of the fabric is too pale for me; the balloons are all me-colours (pink, purple, red and aqua/green) but the base of the fabric is cream. Despite the bright colours, the cream is still there and I’m not sure it is right for me near my face (I had the same feeling when wearing my Self-Portrait Blouse).elisalex 146


I just have one more week left until I go back to school, so I am going to work on fitting some other patterns in the hope that term-time sewing will be nice and easy…



11 thoughts on “Elisalex the first: Hot Air Balloons

  1. Such a gorgeous dress and I am so SO impressed with the zip and pattern matching of the balloons! It would have taken me days just to work that out! Good work girl!
    This exact fabric caught my eye on Goldhawk Road yesterday! The colours of the balloons are so vibrant and beautiful!

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