Sunday, 24 April 2016

A holiday dress; the Eliana

As you know I have a passion for mustard, and when Pauline Alice's version of her Eliana dress I decided to make a copy!!!

I made the dress to take on holiday to Rome (where I had a fantastic time - more next week and the fabulous fabric  bought there), but unfortunately  didn't get any photos of the dress there -  also please excuse the still pasty legs!

The Eliana is described as a semi-fitted dress with gathered neckline and waist with long raglan sleeves or sleeveless.

I cut the size 42 grading down a bit at the waist, however, I think it is a little big as there is such a lot of fabric under the arms and this makes it just a little less comfortable than a dress like this should be.  If I were to make it again, I would go down a size.

I raised the waist by 1", my usual adjustment. and added a couple of inches to the length.

The only other adjustment I made was that I didn't like the way that pattern made the cuffs with a binding, as they were loose and droopy, so I inserted elastic at the wrist in a casing and I think this looks much better.

The fabric is a gorgeous viscose which has a lovely hand and drape, presses and sews beautifully.  Like Pauline I bought it from France from Henry and Henriette.  They don't seem to have it any more, although there are some other gorgeous viscose fabrics!  Jess liked it very much, and perhaps it is more a ginger colour than mustard!

The pattern is fairly easy, except for the bias binding particularly round the key-hole, which I find very fiddly.  I think another time I would make it just a touch wider.  I hand stitched it all down because I would never have managed to machine stitch this width with any accuracy.

The sleeve is a raglan, which I like as it avoids my usual problem of having narrow shoulders.  There is a dart, but it doesn't stand out in any way.

The waist, has a one inch elastic casing, a little fiddly, and I secured a few points around it to stop the gathering becoming too uneven.

Overall I think this is a nice pattern; a comfortable dress which should suit most figures, with a jacket it will still be smart enough for work.  I may make another one (perhaps next year).   I'm clearly on to the spring/summer sewing now and we have even had some sun.

On a less successful front I have loved all the gorgeous versions of the Inari Tee dress, but my first version is a failure, mainly because it seemed very wide and even with two mall pleats at the neck the sleeves still feel in the wrong place and thus uncomfortable.  If I go down a size then I'm a little worried the bust may be tight.  This one will go straight to the charity shop, but I would love to crack this pattern.  Has anyone else had this problem - any ideas?


  1. I like mustard too & love the style of this dress - it has a 70's vibe.

    1. Thanks Beverly, I think it would be especially 70s if you made the maxi, don't think I'd ever wear it though!

  2. This looks like the kind of throw on and wear sort of dress which is perfect for packing and holidays. You really do suit the yellow/mustard colours.
    For the Inari Tee dress - just sit at a desk and look professional - too good to give away.