Heads up: Elisalex Dress Sewalong coming in March!


Judging by the flurry of awesome Charlotte Skirts we keep spotting in blogville, I think we can safely say that we all had a pretty damn good time with the Charlotte Skirt Sewalong! We've also noticed that many of you have been getting excited about having a stab at the Elisalex Dress... Hold up!! We're still riding the sewalong wave and after a little moment to catch our breath and re-stock up on fabric, we are psyched to announce that the Elisalex Dress Sewalong will be commencing on Monday 11th March - that's exactly three weeks away people! So if you're fairly new to these sewing shenanigans and have been unsure about attempting a so-called 'intermediate' pattern, we'll be here to hold your hand every step of the way; if you've made a Charlotte and just can't get enough of us here at By Hand HQ, you're in for a treat as the Elisalex Dress sewalong will be even more ram-packed; or if you've already made the Elisalex but clearly need another one (or two!) in your life, then we will be making not one, but two Elisalex Dresses - one of which will be reversible yo! - so pretty much three Elisalex Dresses!! Can you tell how much we're enjoying this??

elisalex dress sewalong - by hand london

Holy guackers, tell me more!

First post goes up MONDAY 11th MARCH, so you have exactly three weeks to get your pattern and supplies! We will be publishing two posts per week, aiming to be done by the end of the first week in April. We will be covering the construction of the Elisalex Dress with short sleeves and the tulip skirt, as given in the pattern, as well as the sleeveless variation and alternative skirt possibilites. We will also be showing you how to make the sleeveless variation reversible!

How can I "officially" get involved?

As we mentioned in the Charlotte Skirt sewalong, you don't have to have a blog to get involved. If you'd like to share your progress and your finished dress, you can post on our Facebook page, tweet and Instagram us @byhandlondon using the hashtag #elisalexsewalong and/or #byhandlondon, and of course we'll be starting a community Pinterest board and Flickr pool. Phew! Needless to say, you don't even have to take part right away; the sewalong posts will be accessible on this here blog for all time. We absolutely LOVE hearing from you, so please also feel free to leave us a comment during the sewalong - your queries, tips and feedback will help us to improve the sewalong and make sure we cover everything!

How will the posts be broken down?

  • #1 - Tracing the pattern, cutting your fabric, pros and cons of making a toile/muslin.
  • #2 - How to do a full bust adjustment (FBA).
  • #3 - Assembling the bodice (with sleeves).
  • #4 - Assembling the bodice (sleeveless).
  • #5 - Assembling & attaching the tulip skirt.
  • #6 - Skirt alternatives & the Reversalex (reversible Elisalex!).
  • #7 - Inserting the zipper, hemming and finishing.
  • #8 - Round-up party!

*If there is anything we haven't covered here that you would like us to include, please let us know as soon as possible!*

I'm getting excited. What do I need?

  • The Elisalex Dress pattern.
  • Fabric. You'll need about 3m of your main fabric, plus 1m for the lining. We recommend medium-heavy weight woven fabrics such as upholstery cotton, flannel, shantung silk, brocade, jacquard, tweed, wool, corduroy, denim etc. It is important that your fabric has some substantial weight and minimum drapeyness in order for the tulip to really hold its shape. That, and the bodice feels so sexy and verging on corset-like in a structured fabric! For the lining we recommend a lightweight 100% cotton lawn. If you're making the Reversalex, as well as 3m of your main fabric you'll also need 3m of a lighter weight cotton or silk - similar to what you'd go for as a super fancy contrast lining.
  • A standard 30" zipper, or a 20-22" invisible zipper if you don't like the exposed zipper look.
  • A zipper foot/invisible zipper foot for your sewing machine.
  • Hook & eye.
  • A spool of matching thread. It’s a good idea to buy this at the same time as buying your fabric (or keep a swatch with you) to make sure you get a good colour match.
  • Various dressmaking supplies: a sewing machine, fabric scissors/rotary cutter, paper scissors, tracing paper, pens & pencils, pins, a hand sewing needle, a tape measure, tailor’s chalk, an iron.

Elisalex Dress Sewalong - By Hand London

That's about it for now... In the meantime, help us spread the word and grab the official Elisalex Dress sewalong badge! Simply save the image below onto your computer and attach the following link to the image in your blog layout. Clicking on it will swiftly take you and your readers to all the Elisalex Dress sewalong posts.

elisalex dress sewalong badge - by hand london



Are you in???

  • Elisalex de Castro Peake
  • dressElisalex DressElisalex Dress SewalongSewalongsewing

Comments on this post ( 25 )

  • Mar 11, 2013

    Hello, I’ve just finished using the Elisalex Dress pattern to make a gorgeous Tailcoat.
    The video will be available to watch for free on Stitchless TV this weekend.
    Good luck everyone with the sew along.
    Thanks alot,

    — Stitchless TV

  • Mar 14, 2013

    Good luck everyone with the Sew Along!
    The By Hand London Dress into a Tailcoat video will be live by tomorrow. I’ll be with Shingo Sato at TR Cutting School in Milan.
    Can’t wait to see all the amazing Elisalex Dresses.
    Thanks alot,

    — Stitchless TV

  • Mar 03, 2013

    yes, j’en ferai partie

    — gaeleth

  • Mar 08, 2013

    Psyched for this sewalong. Just ordered the pattern so I may be a bit behind, but I’m excited about this lovely dress.

    — Shelley

  • Mar 10, 2013

    Count me in too – this looks such a gorgeous dress that I can’t wait to get started!

    — Gabrielle

  • Feb 27, 2013

    O wow! Reversible! I hope to follow along, but if not, I definitely plan to make one of these in 2013!

    — kristonlion

  • Mar 01, 2013

    I just got a pattern. this package is so pretty and it motivates me more and more.
    I am ready to go. but
    I am not sure i can wait till 11th anymore…..hold on, hold on……

    — Sue

  • Mar 02, 2013

    Hi Kacie, thanks for the kind words! That material was such an amazing Ebay find, I had originally been looking for vintage curtains for my sitting room when I stumbled across it. It’s a 1940s upholstery weight cotton and there was just under 2 metres – just enough for that dress!

    — byhandlondon

  • Mar 02, 2013

    I checked out your blog, loving the FIERCE yellow fabric you’re planning to use for your Elisalex Dress! Can’t wait to see it. Just a little more than one week to go…

    — byhandlondon

  • Feb 22, 2013

    Oooh, hand holding, and I’ll look smoking hot? How can I resist? Especially as I have a…er ‘ample’ bust, so a post on the FBA is amazing! Hmmm, does that mean I have to go fabric shopping? Such a shame ;)

    — Katy

  • Feb 22, 2013

    Very excited. i just completed pattern ordering.

    — Sue

  • Feb 20, 2013

    Wish I could, but we are going away and I will be without my sewing machine for 5 weeks. (aaaah!!!!) don’t worry, I’ll be following along though and cheering from the sides.

    — Kirsty

  • Feb 20, 2013

    Good lord! I think I need a Reversalex!

    — ZoSews

  • Feb 22, 2013

    Count me in….still have to finish the skirt though…nearly there!

    — Lynn Royle

  • Feb 19, 2013

    A reversible dress! I’ve spent all night trying to work that out in my head! Can’t wait to find out how you do it! And what the skirt alternatives look like!

    — Helen

  • Feb 19, 2013

    This totally made my day! I can’t wait to start!

    — Kacie

  • Feb 19, 2013

    Woop! Can’t wait for this! Have already picked fabric to make up my version :)

    — Hazel

  • Feb 26, 2013

    I’m trying to gather all of my supplies for this sewalong and I am dying to make a copy of your short-sleeved floral Elsialex. Could you tell me more about that fabric?

    — Kacie

  • Feb 19, 2013

    You heard it right!! Let’s breed an army of Reversalex’s!!!

    — byhandlondon

  • Feb 19, 2013

    yup, it’s crazy, radical even… But smokin hot!!!

    — byhandlondon

  • Feb 19, 2013

    That’s the plan!! Modular dressing y’all!

    — byhandlondon

  • Feb 18, 2013

    did. you. say. REVERSIBLE?!

    — oonaballoona

  • Feb 19, 2013

    REVERSIBLE?!?! That is crazy talk, ma’am!

    — Ginger

  • Feb 19, 2013

    Woohoo! My holiday wardrobe is totally just going to be reversalex’s! That’s how to pack light!

    — Fiona

  • Feb 19, 2013

    Count me in! I will post some pictures of my finished Charlotte skirt today (It took me a while to get round to doing the hem) I love it.

    — Tracy Lucas

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