Elisa-ish Dress

I’m slowly catching up with all the things I’ve made over the summer!  This dress has earned the status of being ‘precious’ for a number of reasons.

First up, it’s responsible for starting my love affair with By Hand London patterns.  This was my first pattern from those incredibly talented girls and what can I say, that bodice is a dream, a dream I tell you!  I love the scooped neckline and the plunging back and the princess seams.

The second reason is that I wore this dress (having hemmed it the night before using a head torch in bed) to the Goldhawk Road meetup in August.  So this dress was made for a much anticipated event and has a lot of very happy memories attached to it.


The fabric is Michael Miller and is called Rigging from his Ahoy Matey collection.  It’s a gorgeous fabric that just behaves really well and presses beautifully.  Rosin who blogs at Dolly Clackett is also a fan of this range of fabrics and has used this print here and using Ship Shape in the orange colour way here as well Stay the Course here (which I also have in the stash and is destined to be a Belladone, probably next spring now.)

The dress is an Elisa-ish as I chickened out on the tulip skirt.  I’ve got curves as is and I didn’t know if that was a step too far so for this version I created a pleated skirt using the full width of the fabric.  Nice and simple and doesn’t add too much bulk at the waist.  I also used a ‘Tango’ orange invisible zip.  I have no idea how I cam to have such a blazing orange zip in my collection but it matches the orange accents beautifully.

Elisalish Detail

I’ve been wearing this dress a lot and will be wearing it with tights and a cardigan as the weather is now so autumnal (well it is at the moment as I’m catching up on blog posts and scheduling like mad!) although if we do have an Indian Summer and late September gives us one last burst of sunshine I wont complain!  In short, I wish I’d bought this pattern a year ago when it was released rather than waiting a good twelve months to get on the By Hand London band wagon!

Put it this way, I felt so good in this dress and received so many compliments on that sunny day in London I ordered the Victoria pattern on the train on my way home!

PS.  I haven’t forgotten about the Simplicity Pattern giveaway, I’ll be posting the winners soon!


29 thoughts on “Elisa-ish Dress

  1. Love it ! – great print
    I have bought this pattern but not go around to making anything yet – I love the bodice on your dress, so I think I’ll try to find some time to make in some brocade fabric I have

  2. So lovely! It really suits you, the colours and the shape. I have the Anna pattern ready to go – it’s my first BHL and I just need the time to get going. Looking forward to seeing your Victoria too!

    1. The ever elusive time! That’s why I’m replying to three posts worth of comments now; I’m in a hotel room so there are no other distractions!
      Anna is a lovely pattern too, I’ve made one true version, one mash-up and have an autumnal true version planned! Hopefully I’ll find some time soon to make it a reality!

  3. Pretty pretty pretty! I loved this at the meet-up – it’s a fabulous use of that wonderful fabric. I’m at the seaside for a week and I’ve brought my rigging dress with me and my Stay the Course dress – got to love a bit of Michael Miller!!

    1. Mr Miller is the designer of a ridiculous number of my favourite prints and that is in no small way down to your rather wonderful influence! The fabric behaves so well too. Thanks for the lovely comment sweetie!

  4. So cute!!!! Love that orange zip. I haven’t gotten past the muslin of my Elisalex (I picked a stupid fabric and lost steam), so you’re still not the last one on the bandwagon. I could see you making a bunch of these. Really suits you!!

    1. I can see the bodice becoming a go to as it’s so easy (and fun!) to play around with different skirt variations. I’ve already added the maxi Anna skirt to it and that worked really well!

  5. It’s lovely and so flattering. I remember seeing it on photos from your day at Goldhawk Rd and thinking how nice it was! I’ve been pondering whether to buy the Elisalex pattern purely for the bodice as I’m also not that fond of the tulip skirt. You may have just convinced me! x

    1. I am still unsure about the tulip skirt but will probably give it a go at some point. I can imagine this bodice looking amazing on you. Thanks for your lovely comment too!

  6. You know, I shied away from this pattern because the tulip skirt is not my thing – It simply never crossed my mind to leave it out! Your dress turned out so super cute and I love the fabric you chose. Great colours and it fits you so well Vicki – well done!

    1. Thanks Andrea! The bodice is an absolute corker and was worth the pattern price alone for me although I do plan on giving the tulip skirt a go at some point…

    1. The shape at the back is lovely, isn’t it? I adore this dress and am seriously considering a rather large amount of my fabric collection into more versions of it.

  7. I’ve heard so much great stuff about this pattern, that I was inspired to add it to my personal wish list ^__^ I gotta get rid of a bunch of my patterns first before I can buy any more, but you can bet I will get it once I can – I think it would be lovely in a brocade 🙂 I think I reconsidered it, once I saw people’s versions using just the bodice – the tulip skirt is stunning but not an everyday wear type of thing 😛

    Yours is such a lovely, versatile version – dress it up or down, and multi seasonal too – just add a cardi!! Love the fabric pattern on you, too, and the orange crush zipper – very fun! 🙂

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