Sort of a late post on this one. I ended up tearing this out twice – I started by making this as a gathered skirt, then rolled back on that, and also redid the sizing on the bodice. In the end, I made a bella-lex – I’m not a huge fan of the exaggerated tulip skirt on the Elisalex, but the Belladone skirt has pockets (!) and is a tried-and-true pattern at this point.

Gathered Skirt

I made a muslin, but accidentally cut 2 sizes too small, because I didn’t realize the pattern was labelled in UK sizes. D’oh. After this mistake, I decided to just roll forward with making the dress out of the fashion fabric. It looked like it would probably fit!

For this version, I cut a straight size 10, and did a 1" FBA. Unfortunately, I think the BHL patterns are made for someone with a slightly larger back than mine. This meant that the back pieces were too large, so I ended up taking them in by an inch each, which negated my FBA. For my next version, I’ll probably end up doing a 2-3" FBA, and cutting the back pieces smaller. Comparing this to a princess seamed dress that fits, I need the side front to be 7 and 5/8" – these pieces were 5 and 5/8". The bodice is a little too tight now – nothing unmanageable, but mildly uncomfortable.

I knew I didn’t really like the Elisalex silhouette on me as a casual dress – I’m very pear-shaped already, and was worried that a tulip skirt would only emphasize that. A loose, casual gathered skirt initially seemed like the perfect match for the tight bodice. The gathering went by quickly, despite the 3:1 gathering ratio – I used this tutorial to just set up the gathers on my serger. In retrospect, I may have been slightly upset with the look of this skirt because of the absurd gathering ratio. A theatrically puffy skirt isn’t really the best scene.

Unfortunately, because of the way my waist flares out, the gathered skirt stuck straight out from the waist seam, which wasn’t the greatest look. After trying to roll with it for a few days, I eventually decided to rip out the skirt and fall back to my tried and true Belladone skirt. I like the simpler, more streamlined look of this much more.

Also, the original size 10 bodice was way too long in the shoulders, so I ended up taking about an inch off the shoulders. This is an adjustment I have to do on most patterns, so I’m surprised I forgot it this time. I didn’t lengthen the armscyes to compensate, though, so the armholes pinch a little. That said, I’m pretty happy with how the back fits now!

Fabric // Art Gallery Fabrics' Triangularity in Moon

Pattern // Bodice: Elisalex Skirt: Belladone


1" FBA in the bodice + 1" taken out of the center back. Bodice shoulders shortened. 1/2" wedge taken out of back for a sway back adjustment.

Skills learned: