I know it’s crazy but I’ve never properly looked around the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road, and I only live about 25 minutes away from there now I live in Battersea. The quest for this fabric was a long one which I won’t bore you with but involved lots of delayed deliveries and an emergency trip to the shops 3 days before my Christmas party.
I knew I wanted to make an Elisalex with a full circle skirt and toyed with the idea of velvet. It’s not often that I decide on the pattern first, I don’t think I’ve ever done that in fact, I always just see the fabric and know what it should become. And sure enough my plans of velvet changed when I set eyes on this amazing silk brocade. It wasn’t what I was looking for; not the deep jewel tone colours or the velvety texture but i couldn’t turn it down. I was so excited about setting eyes on it that the lady in the shop gave me £5 off.
I already had some gossamer silk crepe in peach that I was originally going to line a lace dress with so I used that as the bodice lining to avoid it being itchy inside. The combo of the silk and the brocade was truly horrible to sew; it kept snagging and I changed my needle a thousand times. I thought originally it was the silk but I think it was just the combo of a thick fabric and really thin one that made it annoying.
But regardless, only 6 hours of sewing later and I had my Christmas party dress. I am a quick stitcher because I’m super impatient and I couldn’t stop sewing this one; I just wanted to see what it was going to look like. I also wanted to do the fabric justice so I used bias binding on the hem of the skirt which took a pretty long time but was totally worth it.
The result wasn’t perfect, I think I sewed the skirt panels the wrong way round at the back because the shape isn’t quite right but it’s almost definitely my proudest make this year. It’s a dress that felt so out of reach for me, was so daunting to make but then it’s all the more rewarding when someone compliments it and you realise shit yeah it’s pretty nice isn’t it.