Tag Archives: Elephant fabric

Lisette Traveler Dress in red elephants

Oh.my.word.  It is sunny today!  After a monumental year of rain (well that’s how it feels) the sun is out, the sky is blue & I could actually consider bringing out my summer clothes!  (May the 12th everyone.  That means that my summer clothes could get, hmmm, let’s figure it out, 3.5 months’ wear this year?  And I think you can guess that summer clothes make up a significant proportion of my wardrobe)

Anyway the sun made me feel like getting *that secret* dress out in the lush garden, finally….

What’s that I hear coming over the hill?  There’s a massive rumbling  …. the earth is definitely shaking….my gosh!  Have you ever seen so many elephants??!?!?!

Well you know that this is made using the Lisette Traveler dress pattern (sorry links still not easy, so I have to forgo them until I get my rear into gear & fix my browser problem), but here’s the pattern on the left to remind you.

This dress bumped its way to the top of my sewing list, actually I’d say it possibly stampeded over every single other piece of fabric I had in my pile for summer sewing to raise its very attractive bright redness in my face & blind me with its gorgeousity.

Here came the fabric of fun, my task was to create a dreamy dress.  I had in mind a shirt dress with gathered skirt, & after much thought (well, just a bit) I plumped for the gathered version of the Lisette Traveller dress.  (Thank you Debbie for the idea!).

The great things about the Lisette patterns I have found is that they are usually a quick & efficient make.  Hand sewing is negligible & machine finishing is primarily suggested in the directions.    I had wanted to make this dress for a specific event, therefore my aim was to be as effective as possible in its construction.

What I did differently -

I cut the interfacing first -usually I cut out the main fabric & then make may way to the interfacing, resenting it as it keeps me from getting the sewing started.  Cutting out the interfacing first seemed to help with this weird psychology of mine.  I am not sure it saved any time, but it was a great feeling to cut out the last piece of the dress fabric & know I could start!

I did make an effort to cut the ellies in line as stripes (apart from the button bands).  That was worth it.  I also found the print was not in line with the grain, & this time went with the pattern (oh how we learn from our mistakes!)

The other thing I did was to tissue fit the bodice to Barbarella (my dummy)- I needed to know that it was a reasonable fit.  It seemed to pass on that front, so it was full steam ahead.

The dress was a lovely make.  I can’t fault it.  The collar & stand is all one piece which I think works well & is quicker to put together.   I also rounded the corners slightly on the collar as I like curves.

But what I adore the most is the sleeves – they are gathered slightly puff sleeves on a slim band.  Delightful.  It makes me feel quite young actually, not that this was my intention!   Think yourselves lucky I didn’t model this with white ankle socks & a satchel…


It is funny that recently Tilly wrote about procrastinationon the details.  When I read it I thought “no, that isn’t something I suffer from”.  However, THIS dress or Tilly’s post changed all that.  Button colour.  I had in mine egg yolk yellow.  But when I went to the habbie store I not only bought some yellow ones (not quite the colour I had in mind), but also red & shiny white as well.  Gosh did I dither!  I ended up turning the yellow buttons & using them upside down.

Now where you may ask is the piping or the rick rack?  What details did I add?  OK, to start with I topstitched in off-white with a triple stitch to show up a bit.  This went around the collar plus each edge of the button band.  And piping?  None this time.  Rick rack?

You got it!  I added some to the hem for a scalloped loveliness.  Something was missing though.  It is a cold May afterall.  So I made a petticoat out of the posh lawn I accidentally over purchased.  Sweet cotton lace, yellow ribbon & my pintucking foot all conspired to create this wistful reminder of the petticoats I wore as a sixth former, also deliberately hanging out from under my skirts.

Am I trying to relive my youth?  Is this my very own 80s revival?  If it is what song could I possibly be leaping around to?

What went wrong this time?  Well my overlocker developed a blockage (ahem).  It is a Babylock Imagine Wave which has “air threading”.  “Air threading” is a dream, you just poke your looper thread into the correct duct & pump.  The thread magically pops out of the correct looper, no probs.  But when it gets blocked there is no amount of pumping (ha ha) that gets it round.  After a phone call to my very understanding sewing machine vendor/ font of all sewing machine knowledge I tried poking jewellery wire into the looper, but it kinked & didn’t get around the right angled pipe.  So in the end availed myself of aforementioned very understanding sewing machine vendor/ font of all sewing machine knowledge & he cleared it out in a jiffy.  A clump of red thread.  Not from this dress though.  With my overlocker out of action I had to revert to zig zagging, and that just felt plain “wrong”.  I am officially the spoilt brat of sewing machines now, & I will tell you how much. I am mid “Ginger”, making a red linen mix version.  I had finished all the edges with zig zag, but I just know it’s going to show through when I iron it, & months down the line I will be throwing the iron around on it, caring less.  When my overlocker returned after its colonic I went over all of the edges & re-finished them.  Ahhh, that’s better.

So folks, sorry for a glimpse into the digestive problems of my overlocker.  Fancy seeing a close up of the MOST awesome brooch I recently got from LadybirdLikes on Etsy?  (I will struggle to get this link working, as it is worth it)

It’s only from a vintage sewing pattern cover on laser cut wood.  Gorgeous & essential accessorizing for the sewster do you not think?

Later next week I shall be holding a giveaway with different one of these gorgeous brooches included in a bundle of stitching loveliness.  Just for fun you know.  Keep watching :-) & have a wonderful weekend….


Pink elephant Violet Blouse

Am I hallucinating?  Is it real?  What have I taken?  Is this blouse a figment of my imagination, am I in danger of living the “Emperor’s New Clothes”?

New Ellie Violet with my Meringue.  If only I could go to work dressed like this!

But look!  It doesn’t quite look like a little girl’s pajamas.  The Violet blouse has made these elephants grow up, pull their socks up & wipe their long noses.

Rewind a bit – this is the pink elephant fabric from Ditto fabrics and it’s so cool.  I love it also in the navy, but opted for a bright option.  I have a feeling I may go back for the navy though…


It has got piping around the collar & along the right front edge. (Love piping!!)  I chose extra large buttons & used bold thread with triple stitching to hem & buttonhole as I thought it aged it even more.

OOops!  Didn’t think about the collar & look!  Upside down drunken ellies at the front (but they are walking the line behind!).


 I found with this fabric that the ellies were not printed on the straight grain- I had to rip across the width to get the straight grain & was shocked to see how far out the ellies were.  This is why the yoke is skewed.

I only had enough for the short sleeved version, but have to say, having worn my other one lots with elbow length sleeves I do like it lots, and would make it again, but am loving the short sleeves too.  It’s funny, every time I cut this pattern out I have an urge to cut another.  I can see myself making even more of these & have a few ideas lined up.