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The end of this year has been a manic whirlwind for me, with my sister’s wedding taking place just before Christmas and a whole lot of running around to do for that.

But I did find time to make the Elisalex dress by By Hand London, not once but twice! 

Both versions were pleasantly simple to make, since I didn’t seem to require any fitting adjustments. The instructions were great, and the only tricky bit for me was turning the sleeveless bodice right side out through the shoulder straps without stretching out the neckline.

The first version was made with a lovely ivory tweed fabric generously provided free of charge by Minerva Crafts, for my November post for the Minerva Crafts Bloggers’ Network:

I made it fully lined rather than only lining the bodice, and attached the lining to the zipper tape for a clean finish inside. The MCBN post is available to read with details, at:

And the second version was made in a wax print I’ve had in my stash forever but hadn’t gotten around to deciding how to use. I decided to try the view with short sleeves so it wouldn’t be too similar to the ivory version.


The cotton felt lovely and cool in the 30-degree heat on Christmas Day, especially with the roomy tulip skirt!

Until next time..

– Michelle –


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My first make of 2020 was actually an unfinished project from 2019. The @schnittchenpatterns #schnittchencoco #cocojacket is quick and easy to make and works really well as a collarless suit jacket. I’m planning to make a matching skirt from this Linton Tweed fabric, and write up a blog post with full details when the suit is complete. Linton Tweed has a long standing relationship with Chanel, so although this isn’t a French cardigan jacket, it feels like an appropriate use of this fabric I’ve had in my stash for at least a couple of years. I’m so pleased to finally be making that wardrobe staple of a great black suit (perfect for my day job so it’ll get a lot of wear)! 🙌🏾 #handmadeworkwardrobe #youcanmakeittoo #sewtheprecious #sewcialists #sewing
Still wearing my #ddopium coat and it still puts a smile on my face every time I do! #sewing #memadeeveryday #handmadewardrobe
On the home stretch now - some tidying up on the inside and then it’ll be time to turn her out and give her a good press! #sewingwip #baggingout #diyjacket #sewcialists #isewmyownclothes
Trying to ease back into sewing by tackling some of my pre-Christmas UFOs... looking forward to finishing this quick project and a couple of other hopefully quick wins, before I move on to my 2020 plans! #slowsewing #slowfashion #isew #sewcialists
I haven’t gotten much sewing done over the Christmas period - but I did make a batch of reusable cotton pads, which was surprisingly easy, quick and rewarding. I used cotton flannel and terry towelling fabric (both from @minervadotcom). I made some with flannel on both sides and some with flannel on one and towelling on the other, and use one set for creamy make up remover and another for my cleanser/toner. Swipe through for steps if you’re interested! #smallchangesaddup #reusablepads #sewingforthewin
Remember my Saraste dress posts a couple of weeks ago? Managed to get a blog post up, if you’d like to read all about it ☺️ ... I’m still very much in love with it! #sarasteshirtdress #sewistsofinstagram #imakemyownclothes
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