BHL: Alix Dress
This is the By Hand London (BHL) Alix dress! Let me tell you what, this pattern was a lot easier to make than I had made it out to be in my head! I completed it start to finish in one night! Don’t be scared like I was! It came together so easily and I had no problems. I even made a few adjustments on the pattern and still finished in one night!
I will briefly discuss:
-Styling your garment
I had chosen this fabric almost a year ago from Harts Fabric! They still have it in stock! I used a beautiful 100% Rayon called Marguerite. This dress is a pattern that you may need to think ahead about when selecting your fabric! I needed at least 4 yards but if you need a bigger size, you will need what the pattern recommends. I typically buy about 3 yards of a fabric when I am not sure what it is going to be, but I am thinking it will be a dress. If I think it will be a super long maxi dress, I may get 4. I had bought 5 yards of this fabric because I had this dress in mind. However, as I said above, I only needed 4! I suggest a drapey fabric for this pattern. I think Rayon, viscose, lightweight linen, etc, would all work beautifully!
The only modification I made was a small bust adjustment. I found a really helpful blogpost by Amelia of www.sewingmachinations.com that pointed out doing a small bust adjustment on the Alix dress was similar to doing a small bust adjustment on another Tilly and the Buttons pattern. Her blog helped me find the post on the Tilly and the Buttons website!
The Fifi pajamas are similar in construction around the bust to the Alix dress. There is a blog post on Tilly and the Buttonsthat explains how to do a small bust adjustment and a full bust adjustment.
This post was so helpful and here are some pics below of what I ended up doing. I really suggest visiting this site as it explains everything but I did take pictures of what I ended up doing! Essentially, you draw in your seam allowance so that you can see where the top will hit your midline and then line it up on your body with the shoulder seam on your shoulder (keeping in mind your 5/8” seam allowance and then you line up the underarm seam as well)!
You then mark your bust apex.
Then, you draw lines to half way through your underarm seam, to the corner where the shoulder seam ends, and then down to the notches where the gathering is.
I just went in between the two outside notches and down to the middle one. These notches are not for version 1, but I used them for reference.
The pictures above are basically demonstrating the post from Tilly and the Buttons. You'll want to refer to her post directly.
Honestly, I may not have had to do this but I didn’t want there to be an awkward amount of room in the bust area with the gathering. I took out 1/2 inch on each side. I felt as though it worked well. I didn’t have as much gathering in the bust which makes sense because I don’t need the room. I sewed the basting stitches as instructed on the pattern and gathered, but I barely had to gather to get it to fit the waistband! This is because I had taken out volume!
I also tried on the dress at the very end of construction and noticed I needed to remove about 2 inches at the hem. The dress ended up being very very long and I was surprised I had to remove part of the hem! The pattern explains this well at the end.
I was able to fit some pattern pieces side by side that were not supposed to be next to each other because I made a smaller size. I think this saved me about 3/4 of a yard! But it barely fit when I put the pieces side by side! I made a UK size 8!
I had zero problems! The only thing I changed, which was an option in the pattern, was the method of attaching the waist ties. I attached them to the front bodice to directly line them up with the waistband, so there would be no question that they would perfectly line up!
The small bust adjustment worked perfectly! Other than cutting off two inches in the length of the dress, I had no other problems or changes that needed to be done! I am 5’6” but I have shorter legs and a longer torso! However, I did not add any length to the torso and it was fine!
Styling Your Garment:
This dress just speaks for itself! I think it would look great with a large statement necklace but also with something simple! I think it would look good with flats or heels, but keep in the mind what you will wear most when you choose the length! I also think that it looks great with a nice hair piece!! Just do whatever and have fun with it! If I had a nice big furry coat, I would be wearing it with giant sunglasses!! In these pics, I decided to go with no shoes, to get a true hippy feel! Haha!