Hanging in the Stretch Aisle

Wool Knit Dress

I wrote a bit about this dress last week on my blog; it was giving me fever and I was not happy.

Mainly, I’m mad at myself. I did everything I could to second guess this pattern, the Elisalex Dress from By Hand London. I made my usual modifications on the fly, thinking I’d head problems off at the pass. Turns out, this baby fit me right out of the exceedingly lovely box. (I’m talking about the packaging, folks, soon to be drooled over on my blog–these patterns are something you’ll want to display in your room, totally bookshelf worthy.) If I would have spent less time second guessing the exemplary drafting, and more time on pattern placement, a much happier kalkatroonaan camper I would be.

Wool Knit Dress

Alas, I was too smart for my own good, and in thinking ahead I didn’t concentrate on the cutting task at hand. All of the gorgeous lavender and orange bits of this pixelated wool knit (similar fabric online here) were lost on the back bodice, arms, and dear god, remnants. At one point, deep in my regret, I cut out all the best parts of the bits and pieces and appliqued them to the neck line of the dress.

That did not go well.

I resigned myself to bright accessories instead.

Wool Knit Dress

Let’s not talk about the specific smart ass moves I made that bit me in said ass here. Let’s just say that at one point, I realized every precaution I took was ripped out in favor of doing it EXACTLY AS THE PATTERN SAID I SHOULD IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Let’s also not talk about my choice of fabric. Can someone please keep me away from the jersey aisle at Mood? Maybe Joshua should take that detail. He actually forbade me to buy this yardage, would not take it to the cutting table until we found something for Ruggy! THE NERVE.

Ahem. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously love me some stretch, but when I was handed this golden ticket, I decided I was going to play with ALL THE FABRICS. Dive into some fascinating stranger every month, learn about new materials…but this marks my second jaunt with a novelty wooly stretch, and truth be told, there’s one more jersey knit a’comin. (Joshua found two bolts of shirting for Ruggy, so obviously I walked away even steven.) But then! No mas, folks! It’s time for some boucle and washed silk and cotton voile and guipere lace…

Wool Knit Dress

I am literally. Starting to salivate.

I also think this pattern cries for a sturdier fabric. So do the lovely ladies at BHL. Read the envelope much, Oona? This pleated skirt asks for something more substantial to create that lovely tulip shape. My first attempt at a fix for this was to serge all the edges of the pleats and the side seams of the skirt…on the outside. Three passes for each edge, to be exact. I thought I could make the fabric stand up by sheer force of thread. I could not. See that chartreuse edging on the neck and sleeves? That’s all thread, and the only bits that survived the attack of my seam ripper.

After that botched experiment, I hacked off about twelve inches of length, hoping for an intentional look rather than a droopy hang, and I almost succeeded. Wouldn’t quite call it a cigar… maybe a cigarillo. I’m going to chalk this one up to a learning experience, and a total V-8 smack by By Hand London. You will see the Elisalex Dress again…

Wool Knit Dress

But not until next year. The happiest of holidays to you and yours. May you be well, warm, and bright.

17

Comments


  • Carolyn
    December 20, 2012

    I’m sorry you had such a difficult time with this BUT you are rockin’ that dress! It looks awesome on you!

    • oonaballoona
      December 26, 2012

      all my own fault!!

    • Amy
      January 1, 2013

      Agreed. It looks so glamorous on you!

  • Erica B
    December 20, 2012

    You’d never know you had any problems. The dress looks fabulous!

  • Lauren
    December 20, 2012

    This looks amazing! I love the shorter length paired with the long sleeves and the chartreuse edging.

    • oonaballoona
      December 26, 2012

      you know, i never thught about the long sleeve with mini aspect… i think that’s what fixed my poor choice of weight!

  • Ginger
    December 20, 2012

    I love this! It looks fab on you! I REALLY want one of these now… sigh, gotta wait a while…

    • oonaballoona
      December 26, 2012

      don’t wait too long… you will be kicking yourself over missed time once you sew one of thee patterns up!

  • Elisalex
    December 21, 2012

    Oh wow oona this looks unbelievable on you!!! Seriously digging the sexy length and slinky long sleeves. Sad to hear you had problems to begin with, but equally happy to know that it’s because it fit without needing any major modifications! Yay!

    • oonaballoona
      December 26, 2012

      i mean, i could’ve had this dress first time out of the box in HOURS!!! HOURS!!! my next one sewed up in about sixty minutes, i’m so excited to show it off… wonderful work, girl. this pattern is a joy!

  • Houseofpinheiro
    December 21, 2012

    Ohh sometimes the most fab are the most troublesome … It’s so fun. I love the short skirt

    • oonaballoona
      December 26, 2012

      but dontcha hate it when the trouble is all your own fault?!

  • Cissie
    December 22, 2012

    Would never guess that this dress gave you fits. It is one KILLER dress — and I mean that it the very best way! The belt is a perfect touch, too!

    • oonaballoona
      December 26, 2012

      thank you cissie! and yes, that’s one of my favorite belts, it’s a shocker of a thing :)

  • Sarah Gunn
    January 1, 2013

    You look too gorgeous to receive much pity from me! Oonaballoona results are always to die for and this is no exception. (love the back of the dress) I’d like to learn more about By Hand London too!