Sew Over It Elsie Dress

The return of Miss Bossy this month meant that I gave blog readers a chance to vote on what I should wear to my friend’s wedding. Brave or Stupid? I’m still not sure.

I selected several patterns (because I’m indecisive and have a huge supply of un-sewn patterns) and the Sew Over It Elsie dress won by a country mile. Although, I have noticed that people have continued to vote well past the deadline as now a different dress is the winner, perhaps I should make that one next?!?!?

I had originally planned to follow up my pattern post with a second vote to choose fabric, but didn’t in the end, as this was the one pattern where I didn’t have any suitable fabric in my stash.

Instead, I picked up 4m of IKEA fabric whilst shopping for furniture for our new home. It was quite a heavyweight fabric (suitable for curtains and upholstery) but it had enough fluidity to it that it seemed like it would work for clothing.

It’s worth mentioning here that 4m should have been too much. The pattern demands 3.5m, so I thought I would have plenty spare, as the allowances are normally super generous. Admittedly, I did a fairly significant full bust adjustment and lengthened the bodice by about 1.5″ but these adjustments don’t account for the amount of extra fabric I needed. I did have some fabric to spare, but not much, barely more than scraps really.

Given that it was a special occasion, and I was using a pattern I hadn’t sewn before, and had limited time available, I decided to make the effort to do things properly and I made a quick muslin (toile) of the bodice. To my complete and utter astonishment it fitted perfectly on the first try. I noticed that the shoulder straps sat kind of off-the-shoulder a little bit, which I hadn’t expected. I referred back to the pattern and dresses made by others but they didn’t seem to have the same problem, so I concluded it was probably a by-product of my hefty FBA. I decided not to fix it as I thought it added a nice shape to the neckline.

When I had made up the finished dress I found that it actually fitted a little looser than my muslin had, particularly at the waist, and I made a sash to tie around my waist to cover this, which also happened to match my shoes, happily. I actually managed to make this from offcuts from the bottom of a bridesmaid’s outfit that I shortened for her.

The dress was a real hit and got me lots of compliments. I had a petticoat underneath for fullness which made it quite fun to wear and it had great twirl power for dancing the night away! I”m really happy with it, and pleased to have taken part in the challenge, as I know I wouldn’t have chosen this style for myself (I shy away from vintage style generally) but it actually really suits me (if I do say so myself!)

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