Elisalex of ecstasy...and shame!

Right now, I'm positively ecstatic to present to you my utterly beautiful Elisalex dress! This babe was finished last weekend, but before I could snap some pictures the sky darkened and the heavens opened, staying that way until about Friday!



But why the shame, you ask? Well, this pattern was generously sent to me by the gorgeous Elisalex months and months ago. For one reason or another, I kept putting it on the back-burner, making me feel ashamed and so jealous by the very many versions I kept seeing across the blogsphere! Roisin alone made 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 stunning versions for crying out load!


After taking my sweet time making this pattern up, I had to do it justice in every way - it's the very least I owed Elisalex. I picked the loveliest medium-weight fabric from my stash - a vintage floral chintz which has a sheen to it that fades somewhat in the wash. I know 'petite' girls aren't supposed to don such large prints, but I loved the colours too much not to give this a go.

I'm hoping it shows, but I really put my all into this dress! I carefully top-stitched the neckline and armholes to stop the lining from peeking out and I hemmed it by hand.


I hand-picked the zip twice for extra strength  and I took great care to match my princess seams up with my box pleats.


Still not impressed? How about this: Elisalex is my first ever fully lined dress! I don't know why I was so afraid of full linings before, you all told me how easy it was, but I'm definitely a convert. I lined the bodice in a cotton lawn and the skirt in a luxurious silk cotton that cost a mere £4 a metre from Goldhawk Road. Jane, you've created a silk cotton monster - I'm head over heels with the stuff and never want to line a skirt with anything else ever...you might have to become my dealer if I can't find any up here ;o)



Like some people, I too was dubious about how the exaggerated shape of the skirt would suit my curves. But, as part of my plan to make Elisalex proud, I wanted to make this dress exactly as it was intended. And, to my surprise, I really couldn't be happier with the result. I feel like a million dollars in this dress. I feel theatrical (think Marie Antoinette) and high fashion at the same time. It actually makes me sad that the only summer wedding I'm attending this year, is one that I'll be a bridesmaid at! I could go on, but I think Heather Lou sums this pattern up perfectly:

"The exaggerated curve at the hip makes your waist look teeny tiny and I think the end result is a sweet, vampy, almost cartoonish celebration of a woman's curves." 



Finally, and importantly, a word on the construction. This sweet little pattern comes with great instructions (helpful for other projects too) and sews up surprisingly easily and quickly. Sure, the princess seams are tricky little buggers - but more fiddly than difficult really. Before cutting out a size 8 (US) / 12 (UK), I shortened the bodice pieces by an inch and took a whopping 10.5 inches off the skirt. I then dared not to make a muslin, as princess seams are easy enough to adjust. It was a gamble, but it paid off. The shoulders and back fitted perfectly and I got rid of some side boob gaping by just taking in my princess seams by an extra 1cm from the armhole to my bust apex. When attaching the skirt, I did have to move the box pleats a little to get them to match up with the princess seams, but I think this is because I shortened the bodice pieces in the first place.

Now onto some gratuitous photos that show off colour, print and shape...




I had to include this photo of my incredible lollipop head and bug eyes - a hilarious insight into what I might look like if I abandoned my Cypriot-eating ways and lost a substantial amount of weight! 


In closing, this one's for you Elisalex and By Hand London girls - mwah! I foresee a number of Elisalex variations in my future...

127 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful! Well done! I've been wondering about this pattern - I had the same concerns as you - but I'm definitely going to get it now! X

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    1. Oh yay, that's excellent news!

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  2. Oh my! Marie this is sooooo beautiful. It looks amazing on you. And that attention to detail so doesn't go unnoticed! Might I ask what shop in Goldhawk Road the cotton silk came from and how much pm? x

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    1. Thanks Janene! There were two shops Jane took me to and I bought from both...I hope she replies to tell us their names! I have a feeling one of them is A One Fabrics (or something like that) and the other one was across the road!?! It was literally £4 per metre...an absolute bargain and lovely quality. But make sure you get the good stuff, they also stock another silk cotton that feels nothing like silk...maybe you ought to bribe Jane in accompanying you?

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    2. The main supplier is Classic Textiles, which is next door to A One. The silk cottons are on the left as you come in the door. The last couple of times I've been to the shop though, the white silk cotton has been a horrible nylon imposter so watch out for it. Just compare it to the other silk cottons and you'll soon see the difference. The shop directly opposite as you cross the zebra crossing sells white silk cotton. It's in a bolt by the front door so you can't really miss it. can't remember the name of the shop though. x

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    3. Thanks Jane, I knew you'd come to the rescue!

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  3. Marie I really can't get over how beautiful this is!! And ten points and a big fat gold star on your immaculate finishing and fitting efforts - it's a perfect fit and looks totally professionally made. You've inspired me to go drop some dolla on similar elegant, oversized florals and make my own. x

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    1. Gosh, thanks so much! I say go for it ;o)

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  4. Marie, this is absolutely beautiful! The print looks like it was made for this dress. The finish is perfect and looks extremely professional. I am now a convert to this pattern after seeing yours.

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    1. Thank you Claire! And I'm so pleased you're now an Elisalex convert!!!

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  5. It's absolutely beautiful, well done! It's inspired me to get on with my FBA:ing and sew up my own Elisalex!

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  6. Wow, this dress is stunning!! Good work on the lining, its looks as beautiful inside as outside:) I love the colour and pattern too, I think this might be my favourite version. I really must give this pattern a try!

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    1. Wow, thanks Katy! Definitely give it a go!

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  7. Gorgeous Lady! You totally did it justice, fabulous finishing and fully lined! It looks beautiful x

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  8. You look so gorgeous. Everything ties in so well, the fabric with the shape, with the hair, with the you.

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    1. Aaaw, thanks so much for the kind words Sophie!!!

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  9. Beautiful! This really is a stunner Marie. I have seen so many versions of this dress and I too wasn't sure if this was a dress for curvey or pear shaped ladies because of the shape of the skirt. However I may have to rethink this now (not that I need to add another pattern to my collection...!)

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    1. Haha, I know what you're saying re the pattern collection...but this dress is a must have ;o)

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  10. This looks gorgeous on you! The print, colour and shape all really suit you.
    I too am completely addicted to the silk/cotton from Classic Textiles...after first using it to line my Elisalex!

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    1. Snap! Great minds think alike ;o)

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  11. so gorgeous! love the fabric & the fit looks spot on. wear it proudly!

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  12. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous Marie! Probably my favourite Elisalex dress to date. Well done you for taking your time over it, it really shows in the finished dress - so professional looking. And you look beautiful in the photos too! x

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    1. Wowzers, high praise and lovely words indeed! Thanks Jane!

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  13. wowser its fab have i missed it somewhere whaTS THE PATTERN ??

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    1. Thank you! The gorgeous pattern is Elisalex from By Hand London - http://shop.byhandlondon.com/product/elisalex-dress

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  14. Your fabric is beautiful and the shape really looks fantastic on you. I'm not convinced by all this 'so-called' advice for petite's. I'm 5'2'' and I can't see that what I where is going to make me look any less short ;-)
    Louise x

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    1. I love your thinking Louise and I totally agree! We're short, so what!?! Hehe!

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  15. Wow, stunning dress. The fabric choice is excellent.

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  16. Gorgeous, love the print:) I've made two already and want another haha..

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  17. Stunning and absolutely gorgeous! I'm in love with the fabric! Great great job!

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  18. You look gorgeous in this dress! I was wondering about the shape of the skirt too, but it really works. That print looks great too.

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    1. Yeah, we've got to experience the skirt to believe how well it works ;o)

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  19. Gorgeous! You look fantastic in this dress, and I think the fabric choice is perfect. And your workmanship is exquisite!

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  20. What a beautiful dress, you look stunning in it!

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  21. Wow, this looks fantastic!

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  22. Wow wow wow! Your dress is fab-u-lous!!! The fit and finishing are amazing, and I love the bold print on the fabric. I'm the smallest person I know, and I say "nonsense" to petite ladies wearing large prints!

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    1. Thank you Lynne and agreed on the print front! We're small and proud eh!?!

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  23. This is an absolute beauty!!! x

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  24. just gorgeous! beautiful fabric!

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  25. A-mazeballs! You look so elegant and chic and beautiful Marie!

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  26. Oh holy WHAT, Marie! This is super duper amazing and despite my numerous Elisalexes, this makes me really keen to make another one, I love the large floral. The finish is gorgeous and the shape really is wonderful on you. I think the really exaggerated skirt is so bombshell, although I bet you'll find yourself trying that delightful bodice out with lots of skirt shapes. You really look beautiful in these photos and the dress is something to be really proud of. Well done babe! x

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    1. Thanks Roisin...I was secretly craving your seal of approval...you are the Elisalex Queen after all! So glad you like it and guess what?! I already have a version with a different skirt cut out ;o)

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  27. Vavavoom girl, this silhouette suits you perfectly. And I've not heard that thing before about big prints and petite ladies, but I don't think this even comes close to swallowing you. I am SO inspired to make my elisalex now!!!

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    1. Thanks a million Reana...I really think you should try the Elisalex out. You'll look stunning in it!

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  28. It's so beautiful! That print is absolutely perfect for the dress. It definitely shows that you really spent time on it. It looks very clean and professional. I would've never thought I'd be interested in that pattern, but your version definitely tempts me. I love your hair too, btw. :)

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    1. Thanks for all the lovely comments Becca! I think you'd rock an Elisalex!

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  29. I love it!!! Great fabric colours on you, and the silhouette is divine. I hope this makes it onto the 'regularly worn' clothes rack for you!! :)

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    1. Thank you, I'm sure it will ;o)

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  30. You look absolutely stunning in this dress! I think it's settled that I need to have this pattern! Also I'm really curious about this cotton silk - I love fully lined dresses. Your hair and makeup are adorable too :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Get the Elisalex now, you won't regret it ;o)

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  31. This is really beautiful! Well done!

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  32. Marie, I am in heaven since you are a feast to the stitcher's eyes! You look beautiful in such a pretty and polished wonder dress. I think the pattern size on the fabric is perfect for this pattern and is just my kind of fabric ! Want to know a secret? I've got the Elisalex bodice cut out to add to a self drafted skirt and know that pretty soon I'll also be on the Elisalex love bus, and you've given me even more incentive to get cracking!
    Ps this is the third time I've tried to comment, using the new bloglovin app seemed to wipe out what I'd written. Shows I'm keen to lavish deserved. Praise. On you xx

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    1. Hehe, you really are too kind Winnie! Thanks so much for the lovely compliments and for hanging in there with the commenting...your words made my day! I cannot wait to see your Elisalex!!!xxx

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  33. Oh! it stands up perfectly! looking so good! I have my muslin made, you just totally inspired me to get off my booty and go work some overtime so I can buy some gorgeous fabric! and the lining! damn nice professional looking job if i do say so myself!
    Kristin

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    1. Thanks Kristin, good luck getting yours finished up!

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  34. Absolutely beautiful Marie! You can see how much attention to detail you paid and the dress looks stunning!

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  35. Oh wow, I think is definitely my favourite Elisalex so far. I made one at Christmas but didn't get the fit quite right so I'm making my second at the moment. I'm definitely going to spend the time over the finishing now and hopefully fully line it too.

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    1. Thanks Charlie, I'm sure your second version will be perfect!

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  36. I love love love this dress! You look stunning. The print is gorgeous. I think I need to buy elisalex. So much pattern envy!

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    1. Hehe, do it! And thank you ;o)

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  37. Just wanted to let you know how fabulous your dress is and it suits you so well. You look fabulous in it !

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    1. That's very kind of you, thanks!

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  38. It's beautiful!! Definitely worth the wait! I heart this pattern :)

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  39. Your dress is stunning, I have also shied away from the dress wondering about exaggerating my hips but I will have to think again. Love the fabric choice too, it is very beautiful.

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  40. Ooooh I love your version! I'm not normally a chintz girl but the fabric is really lovely and is a perfect choice for the Elisalex. Also, English roses IN English roses is pretty spectacular. I remember you were a little nervous about the shape but I Think its a perfect choice for curvy girls because it just POW POWS your woman power in a really awesome way.

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    1. Haha, English rose?!? Why thank you! You and your version are what basically convinced me that I should leave the skirt as it is ;o)

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  41. Wow! I think this may be favourite thing you have ever made - you look stunning! And I am definitely going to hunt down some silk cotton next time I go to Goldhawk Road.

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    1. Oooh, thank you! If you go to the Goldhawk meet-up on 3 Aug, I'll show you where I got the silk cotton from ;o)

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  42. So STUNNING!! Love the print, and the shape and style of the dress is perfect on you :) Total bombshell - well done, my friend!!

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    1. Thank you Meg, you're lovely!

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  43. I love this fabric! Who says small girls can't wear big prints? Those rules definitely don't apply here--you look fabulous!

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  44. Oh Marie, you look stunning. How adorable are you in that last photo?! Your skills as a sewer have grown so much. The dress looks impeccable!

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    1. Thank you so much Mela! I do feel like something finally clicked for me this year!

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  45. This is STUNNING! I absolutely love it! The shape and print are perfect on you! Absolutely fabulous! I'm embarrassed to admit that Elisalex sent me this pattern, too, and I'm so terrible that I haven't made it yet! I couldn't find the right fabric, then I did, but I put it on the back burner to meet other deadlines and here we are, months later! You're inspiring me to trace it off and get one going!

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    1. Thank you! Don't feel bad (although I did too), I'm sure that when you do make it, it's going to be stunning!

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  46. marie, this is exquisite. i love this pattern, i wear mine all the time. i don't think you need a special occasion for this dress. you could wear it all summer paired with some shades and a nice bag and just look like you own the town whenever you walk outside! the print is lovely, too.

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    1. You're so right Dixie, why not dress beautifully day-to-day? Life's too short right!?!

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  47. Oh my days absolutely GORGEOUS! It literally sang to me as I looked at the pics. I totes think you were born to make an wear this dress. Well done you!

    xxx

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  48. Seriously? The lining was easy? Oooooooof, I wish lining was easy for me. :( The first time I did it was really hard and I"ve felt really scared of it since then. You see I tried to add in a skirt lining and make the zip enclosed in the lining, when the pattern didn't use those things, so I was trying to make it up and failing really hard. Boo!
    So my question is, does the pattern show you how to line the dress fully or did you make it up? WHAT IS YOUR SECRET??? lol :)

    This looks so amazing, you are totally cute, and I don't think the large scale print looks overwhelming on you at all. You have the serious skills and also the courage! I don't think I could make a dress without a muslin. lol. You are awesome Marie, I'm totally jealous :)

    Sorry for the essay! :) And again, well done :)

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    1. Hey Johanna, so sorry for the late reply! I guess the lining wasn't easy, but it was easier than I thought it would be, that's for sure! The Elisalex pattern takes you through fully lining the bodice, which really is a breeze! But, no, it doesn't go through lining the skirt. The method I used though was similar to the one in this detail tutorial http://www.mymessings.com/2013/01/hollyburn-sew-along-ziper-lined-skirt.html

      Hope this helps! I'm sure you'll get the hang of it, just keep working at it my dear!

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    2. Thanks for your encouragement Marie! Heh, I sometimes feel like sewing is easy for everyone but me. I'll have a look at that tutorial and hopefully come out victorious at some stage. Thanks :)

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  49. This is just beautiful! That fabric is so pretty. If I had found it, I wouldn't have any idea what to make out of it, but you made it into a beautiful modern dress. I love this. Good colors too.

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    1. Thank you Bethany, you're too kind!

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  50. Oh my, that fabric is amazing!! Your Elisalex turned out just beautifully, I love your sleeveless version and am also very impressed with how well you're able to pull off the original exaggerated skirt! It looks so great on you.

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    1. Thanks so much Haylee! I adore your gorgeous Elisalex too!

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  51. wow... wow. wow!!! The dress is simply stunning!

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  52. Fantastic.this dress is beautiful!

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  53. You. Look. Amazing-In-THAT-Dress-YOU-MADE! Thanks for doing such an awesome job and detailing how you worked it out for a petite gal like myself; it will be very useful when I finally get around to making it! My mom is always telling me how much I need to stop it with the large floral prints - I'm 5'1" - but she is the Only One. I love them... and this fabric is PERFECT - I think your dress is magical!

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    1. Oooh, thanks so much Taryn...you've made my day with your lovely comments! And I'm so glad that you found this post helpful too ;o)

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  54. Your dress is gorgeous ! The fabric is awesome, I'm in love :)

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  55. Great dress! I'm looking for a good fabric lining for a cotton lawn fabric I have. Is silk cotton is the same as cotton sateen?

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    1. Hi there Ali! Silk cotton is a very fine fabric, like a cotton lawn, but much slinkier due to the silk in it. So it's perfect for lining, whereas cotton sateen is sturdy (with a bit of stretch) and more likely to be used as your fashion fabric. I hope this helps?!?

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  56. Such a beautiful dress and it suits you very well! The large print is perfect for this dress pattern. Simply lovely!

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  57. ...well, I got my exercise scrolling the mouse down to make a comment, LOL. But, it was worth it. I wanted to say how lovely your dress is, and I can absolutely understand why you chose to feature it over at Project Sewn. Well done on all counts. Great fabric choice, and good technical skills! I'm unfamiliar with this pattern {company} and must check it out.

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  58. Lollipop head and bug eyes? No, I think you are very pretty. And your dress is great and is very flattering.

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  59. I Love this dress. Such a gorgeous fabric choice!
    I've just started my sewing blog and I cant wait to make this dress!
    Gemma xx

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  60. Hi! I notice the pattern of this dress calls for 3.5 meters (for the sleeved version). However, regarding to the width of the fabric, does it need to be double width (150cm wide) or is single width (75cm wide) sufficient to construct the dress? Thanks!

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