I was a very super lucky ducky recently, as I was a Sew Over It pattern tester for the release of their newest paper pattern, the Elsie dress. I’d seen Elsie on their website a few times when looking through the London classes, and knew that there was a lot of hype around the pattern already, with lots of people being very excited for her release.
What’s all of the excitement about? Well, I’ll hand you over to the description of Elsie from the Sew Over It website:
With a gently curved v-neckline, flattering princess seams, dramatic pleats and a nod to our favourite fashions of the ’50s, the Elsie Dress is elegant, sophisticated and guaranteed to catch an eye.
And that she is! Elsie might not be a dress that I could pull off on a normal day, but I’ve noticed a lacking of snazzy party dress patterns that are exactly my style in the indie pattern world, so Elsie is definitely exactly what I’ve been looking for. She’s easy to fit, because of the lovely princess-seamed bodice, and the full circle skirt includes box pleats to make her extra twirly. And if you’ve read any of my The Curated Closet series, you’ll know that fit-and-flare dresses which are a nod to the ’50s are absolutely my thing. Especially if they’re very twirly – and this one is!
The fabric I used is also from Sew Over It, and is a stretch cotton called Painterly Petals Navy. It is unfortunately out of stock at the moment, but there are plenty of fabrics on their shop which are pre-approved as being wonderful for Elsie, so do make sure you have a look there!
As I tested the in-progress version of the pattern a little while ago before everything was finalised, I’m not going to talk about the pattern itself in loads of detail, just in case anything has changed between then and getting to the final version. I will say that the instructions were, as usual, exceptionally clear and accompanied by very handy diagrams, so there’s no need for you to be at all apprehensive if it looks like there are any new techniques – it’s likely that what you’re nervous about is explained wonderfully!
You can make Elsie either as a dress or just a skirt – the pattern contains instructions for both – so if you just adore the box-pleated skirt like I do and want to turn it into something that you can wear day-to-day rather than just for special occasions, the skirt is definitely the way to go. Truth be told, I almost used Elsie as my prom skirt pattern (if you’d like to read about how I did make my prom outfit in the end, read about it here) but I was too worried about accidentally posting photos of it online before she was released! Now that it’s safe to though, I’ll for sure be making lots of skirt versions and wearing them from now all the way through to winter!
(Please do excuse my bra strap in that photo, and instead focus your eye on Elsie and the lovely-coloured clock behind me which is showing that it is, indeed, time for tea) The changes that I’ll make for my next version is either slightly lengthening the skirt so that she’s definitely a maxi length, or slightly shortening the skirt so that she’s a midi length; at the moment she’s hitting my calves at a little bit of a funny point without quite knowing whether to be maxi or midi! That’s just because I’m very short though – she’d be a gorgeous length if I was a bit taller!
I hope that this post has been helpful for you, and that you now have a bit of a better idea of what to expect from the lovely new Sew Over It pattern, Elsie. I’m very sorry that this post didn’t come out before the discount code for her ended, but I was packing for our holiday and scheduling posts all over the place – as a matter of fact, this post is scheduled too!
As a goodbye, here’s a final photo of one of our cats (this is Otto) looking his usual less-than-ecstatic self having a cuddle with me in my Elsie dress.