My ‘Pull Yourself Together’ dress …


It’s amazing what you can create with an old pair of curtains! I like to imagine these once hung in the window of a 1950s library or perhaps the private rooms of an Oxford don, cheered by the huge sunflowers as she worked through her latest paper (though let’s face it, they are probably 1970s school curtains). Romanticism aside, this is my By Hand London Elisalex crossed with a Simplicity 2444 skirt (thanks to Roisin and her many Elisalex posts for the inspiration!).

IMG_3947It felt quite special putting this frock together. I did feel that the bodice might be a bit short as I sewed it up, so I added a waistband to give me a bit more length (it also gave me an excuse to add a bow!). I used the same dark green lining for the skirt and bodice that I used in my Late Christmas Dress, which makes it feel quite luxurious to wear.

IMG_3931I’m really happy with this dress and enjoyed taking my time to put it together, for once it’s very tidy on the inside too. The By Hand London girls are very clever, I found the online support really useful and the princess seams are a satisfying change from darts for me. I love the way you are encouraged to try your own thing, using the pattern as a starting point but given the creative freedom to make it your own style. I did try to put in a lapped zip rather than the suggested exposed one but in the end, the lure of an invisible one was too tempting!

IMG_3935I’m not completely convinced by my choice of sleeve length, in fact I might just, almost certainly, possibly, be taking them up to short sleeves. The neck is also pretty wide for me (bra strap alert), I’ll alter that next time too. I’m not sure I want to show you a back view … not pleasant at this time of year, which sadly makes me think I’ll be wearing a cardi with this dress. Way too much white, winter skin on show, I’m sure you don’t mind!

IMG_3939This curtain fabric was an absolute dream to sew and behaves very well as a full-ish skirt. I do love to swish about in it. I only used one of the pair, so could in theory make this dress again but with all the little perfecting tweaks (am I taking this all a bit too seriously?).

IMG_3948Oh and look how nicely it goes with my new Toast necklace (£12 in the sale)! Now I just need a party to go to and it can have its first outing. I could get ridiculously tipsy, do some ‘mum’ dancing, wobble in my heels and tell everyone I love them just so Jimmy can take me in my curtain dress to one side and tell me to pull myself together!


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28 responses to “My ‘Pull Yourself Together’ dress …

  1. That’s a beautiful dress. I love your title too and the ideas of where the curtains might have hung. I’ve yet to cut out my first Elisalex so it’s encouraging to see such lovely versions in my blog feed.

  2. Maaike

    It’s a beautiful dress, and it looks beautiful on you! I particularly love your placement of the sunflower on the bodice – just to the side enough to look like it kind of naturally “grew” there. The colors are also very complimentary to you. 🙂

  3. That fabric is so vintagey & cool! The dress turned out really well! I agree that your sleeves maybe look a bit long. Wonder if you might consider just taking them up to over your elbows? I for one really think the slightly longer sleeve length has such a nice vintage appeal.

    I’ve also been super inspired by all the amazing BHL dress versions Roisin has been turning out. Between the two of you I’m feeling like both the Elisalex & Simplicity 2444 are now on my must have list! I want more swishy dresses in my life!

    • Thank you! You’re right I don’t want to lose the vintage feel with those sleeves. I’m thinking a bit longer, then I can always go shorter if it’s still not right. Decisions, decisions!

  4. This dress is so great! It looks properly vintage. I agree that the sleeves should be a bit shorter but not too much, maybe in line with the bottom of the orangey bit of the bodice sunflower? It would show off your excellent double bow a bit more that way too!

  5. This is gorgeous! The fabric, the swishy skirt, the bow!! This is such a great pattern mash, I must remember it. I found the Elizalex bodice to be a bit wide on the shoulders for me too.

  6. Never would have guessed it was curtains! And look at you – adventuring beyond the Fabled Land of 2444! Whatever will you make next?? A Tablecloth Georgia?

  7. Oh it is gorgeous! You are so inspiring – I love the bow – great choice of curtain fabric!! 🙂 x

  8. Ooh it’s gorgeous!! Really love it, I think it is a great shape and really flattering. The style details like the bow suits the look perfectly. And love the puns!!!

  9. I love it, pattern placement is perfect- this is a winner!

  10. Your dress looks like a gorgeous find from a vintage shop. The print is lovely, you’d never guess they had a former life and the Elisalex / 2444 mash up looks great together especially with that cute bow. I love your cupboards too!

  11. This dress is just stunning. The fabric is gorgeous and looks so good on you. If you do take the sleeves up my view would be only the tiniest amount.

  12. Lovely! And as the others say, it looks totally vintage-y. Love the dark green lining too, it gives it a very professional touch. I also have a pair of vintage curtains that need turning into a dress (!), so this is super inspiring. xx

  13. I discover your blog owing to Pinterest : I like ervery things !!! The vintage fabrics, the patterns. I’ll come again !

  14. Pingback: A Sanderson Sorbetto (sorry) … | sylkotwist

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