Hanging in the Stretch Aisle
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.
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.
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…
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…
But not until next year. The happiest of holidays to you and yours. May you be well, warm, and bright.