Sometimes you just know you are going to love something long before you ever set eyes on it, long before it even exists, perhaps. Something in the air, something in the wind, it guides you, sweeps you into a feeling of love and contentment, gives you a sense that something is right. Am I talking about a person? A relationship? Oh, goodness, no, of course not. I’m talking about a dress. Duh. Obviously. People are whatever, dresses? Dresses are forever. I’m only half joking.
I know I might be alone in this, but I actively adore Valentine’s Day. I think it’s kind of great, actually, and I love red, and love chocolate, and I love flowers, and I love people taking the time to tell the people in their lives how much they mean to them. Should they do it every day without an excuse? Of course. But it’s nice, and besides, my dad always used to give me something when I was a kid, and I always used to give my parents something, it was kind of a group event in some way. I think it’s nice, and I love celebrating it, which might seem odd, as I wouldn’t say I’m a romantic person in any way. For example, I have never seen the end of Titanic. I saw the first half when I was 13, hated it, knew the boat sank, was out of there. Jack? Rose? Come on. That relationship was never going to work. But I’m also a big advocate of telling the people in your life what they mean to you, and if this is a day that can happen freely, then I love it. So I went to The Lady Eve with my friend Victoria and enjoyed the hell out of all the hearts and flowers and sugar. And obviously I made some time for my Valentine…
Oh! And I made a new dress. A dress I knew I would love long before I even started making it. A dress I knew could be mine. A dress a girl could lose her heart to, if she wasn’t careful…
And I wasn’t careful at all, because I love this! Yes, folks, I finally made a By Hand London Elisalex dress! And we just couldn’t be happier together, really, I think we are both just so happy we’ve found each other after all this time. Sometimes it just takes a while to find the one, doesn’t it? And yet, wrapped up in this thing, I couldn’t feel safer, or more daring. This must be love, mustn’t it?
This dress is awesome. Having seen so very many incarnations of this all over the internets, I just had to finally buy it. But once I bought it I was a little afraid to make it. What if I couldn’t make this relationship work? What if I wasn’t good enough? What if all the anticipation wasn’t worth it? My doubts assailed me, my concerns swamped my hopes. I felt despair. What if love wasn’t enough? Well, spoiler alert, it was!
Oy, a little bit of wrinkling there. Okay, it’s not the dress’s fault, don’t blame the dress! I do so love this creation. It’s fairly easy to put together, but I cut the sleeves two sizes two small accidentally, and just sort of went with it, but I would appreciate a bit more ease in the future, so I would enlarge those next time. I might also lengthen the bodice just an inch, I like it a lot but it hits just above where I like it to. That being said, little knit-picky things aside, this is awesome. I love the shape, I love the neckline, I love the back…
Isn’t that nice! I realized all day that I felt a bit exposed, even though I don’t think it’s revealing, it’s just that the back and shoulder exposure is a little new for me. But I like it! What else, the princess seams were easy enough, as was the skirt. I lined the bodice with a white cotton-poly blend, which I understitched at the neckline so it doesn’t show. I hand-stitched the sleeve hems to the lining, and traded the exposed zipper for a hand-picked one, really only because I didn’t have a zipper that long. And I hand stitched the hem after shortening it quite a bit, because that original pattern is LONG, guys, and I am short. Such tragedies are a part of life.
The shape of the skirt is, as all people have said, a bit exaggerated, but honestly, I think that’s kind of adorable. I like the box pleats, although this wool crepe fabric might be a touch too drapey for them. Wouldn’t this be great in a taffeta or a brocade? I have a few friends getting married this summer, maybe I could make it work…or even a double knit? I have so many thoughts, so many feelings, I’m overwhelmed and euphoric!
Seriously, this dress just works for me. I knew it would, on some level, and maybe that’s why I waited to make it, until I was ready for this addiction. Love comes when you aren’t looking, right?
I hope you all had the best Valentine’s day! As a gift, here is one of my current favorite songs, appropriate for the occasion: