Monday, 26 December 2016

Who needs a christmas tree when you have embroidered tulle?!

While browsing the rag market at SewBrum in September, I spotted a gorgeous length of embroidered tulle at one of the stalls. It was a pale gold/green tulle with a gold Paisley design and little pink and gold flowers. I held it up to the light, and as it shimmered, I tried to stop myself imagining myself gleefully twirling in it. With all the restraint I could muster, I pulled myself away. We live in a small one bed flat in Bath, and 80% of 'our space' is piled high with silks, brocades and bold African wax. My goal for the SewBrum fabric trip was to make slightly more conservative choices for an attempt at a more everyday wardrobe... Pah! Who am I kidding?!!! I'm like moth to the flame - I CANNOT STOP MYSELF! I need to come to terms with the fact that I will ALWAYS be A LOT overdressed. As for the space issue, we'll just have to move! After a debriefing with Pecia and Becca I made my way back to the stall and joyfully handed over my £12 for the 2m length! It was mine!
Along with this little lot... such a practical bounty! I'm like a magpie.
It sat in my stash for over a month before the perfect occasion presented itself... the Fold line Christmas party. If you can't be overdressed with a group of sewists then when can you?! I found this perfect gold lining fabric in my stash. It was a gift from my chap's Dad, and the embroidery looked beautiful over it.

After a quick browse through my pattern stash, I selected the Elisalex dress. This was the first dress I ever made, so I am very fond of it. I imagined the princess seams with a box pleat skirt - beautiful! I fancied sewing a pattern I knew like the back of my hand but with the slight challenge of underlining in the gold lining I was in for a blissful day! I drafted a quick short sleeve to fit the armhole instead of using the original pattern sleeve (I cannot wait to get my hands on the updated version of this pattern - the By Hand London girls have reworked their magic with this beauty!). I wanted the sleeve and the bottom section of the skirt to be sheer over the skin, so I decided I would just underline the bodice and use a free lining in the skirt to cover my modesty! There was only a metre of the gold lining so I had to be very strategic with the pattern pieces. I squeezed out a half circle skirt as a lining that was perhaps a little shorter than I would have liked (it is a good job I'm a midget!).

I played around with the pattern placement to get the paisley repeat running perfectly down the middle and to avoid any awkward positioning! I cut the underling first then used it to cut the tulle.

Even my slippers are ridiculous!
 I basted the main pieces and the underlining together before constructing the bodice as usual.

This was one of my most enjoyable sewing sessions to date. Seriously, I was squealing with glee!

I lined the bodice with a piece of beautiful blush silk gifted to me by the wonderful Julia.

I tend to buy 22" zips in bulk in several colours from Weaver Dee. I then cut them to size. After a zip disaster last New Year's Eve (I pulled the zipper off the bottom of the zip after I'd sewn it in hours before the party - cue Dave to the rescue! Does your significant other have to run to the rescue when things go horribly wrong too?) I always cover the bottom of the zip immediately after I shorten it. Functional and beautiful!

In hindsight, a lapped zip would have been the better choice, but it was a Sunday, and I was dying to get her finished for the party the following weekend. The invisible zipper gets a little stuck at the waist seam but otherwise isn't too much of a problem.

The rest of the dress came together beautifully, with much gleeful exclamation from me! Such a joyful sew - I love sewing something that you could never in your wildest dreams afford to buy ready made!

I hemmed the skirt with some pale pink cotton bias binding from my Grandma's notion stash. I hand stitched it in place to get a flawless finish.

I cut the main skirt so the finished edge of the fabric formed the hem, that way I could make the most of the beautiful embroidery and there was no need to finish it myself!

My dress form sits in the only space we could realistically have a Christmas tree. Therefore this year, she was the Christmas tree!

Far more beautiful than a christmas tree in my eyes! 
Anyway, here she is on...

I wore her to the Fold Line Party earlier on in the month (you can watch Gabby's video of the event here); to town on christmas eve and all day on Christmas day with my family!

Totally casual with a jumper right?!

I never want to look away- so shiny!

I'm yet to wear her to Morrisons - but I assure you, it will happen! I'll be spinning in the fruit aisle like...

Many thanks to Mini_adventure, Akathimberlina, Lady Sewalot and RedwSews for encouraging me to buy the fabric, and of course to Max and Julia for the lining fabrics!

I hope you all had a wonderful christmas and wishing you all a very happy new year!

Lots of love,

Vic xx