Dress · Sewing

BHL Lovechild / The Zeenalex

Let me tell you straight away how much I love this dress! It has been quite a journey find the right pattern to fulfill the idea of Xmas dress I had in my head, but in the end all went well.

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This fabric is a cotton sateen I bought in Australia from Spotlight, one of my last material purchases down under, and the second I saw it I knew it would have to become a Xmas outfit of some sort. I’m sure it’s because of these big red flowers scattered over the black background – in my mind they’re perfect for the holiday season.

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At the beginning I wanted this cotton to be a BHL Flora Skirt (which I’ve already made a couple of times, here and here), but the fabric had been cut extremely crooked and basically I had to discard about 15cm each side to get it on grain. I was quite annoyed, mainly because I really couldn’t get back there to just buy one more meter, but instead of winging, I searched another pattern and modified my original plans. And as you may know, if you say party dress, it has to BHL!

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For the bodice I’ve used my TNT Elisalex, of which you can read all about it in this post here. It has been a while since the last time I made it, but the fit of that particular dress is still pretty much perfect (for my liking, of course!), so for this version I’ve used the same identical pattern pieces. The only adjustment needed was to make the waist a bit bigger in order to fit all the holidays lunches and dinners, so I’ve narrowed the seam allowances to 1cm around that area. I also slightly modified the princess seams around the apex, to achieve a closer fit, but maybe it would have been enough simply trying another bra on!

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The star of the dress had to be the skirt – just to keep up with my original plan – so I’ve picked up another BHL pattern, that I hadn’t tried yet, the Zeena dress, in the shorter variation. I love those big pleats and how they use up a lot of fabric, perfect for showcasing a pretty material. I cut the skirt in a size 8 and only had to stretch the waist a bit, just to bring it in line with the seamlines of the bodice.

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Being winter, I decided to fully line the dress, and because it’s a holiday party dress, I used some delicious black silk! The full lining gives more structure to the garment, it also helps maintaining those pleats neatly in place and on top of that, what’s a better fabric than silk to be worn next to skin?!

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To complement and highlight the red roses and flowers of the print, I’ve made a matching belt in some red velveteen, leftover from my first Elisalex none the less! This is my favorite shade of red, bright and vivid – in fact I still find hard to part with that first go at the Elisalex, even if the fit is awful and I never wear it. I love to use leftovers, they always remind me of the previous make and I also like to keep track of all the garments I’ve been creating.

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I’m very happy with this mash-up and I’m sure I’ll make more versions of the Zeenalex. The Elisalex bodice, with its princess lines and back v-neckline, is my favorite bodice ever and I love it even more when paired with a full swingy skirt like this one.

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That’s all from me today, have a good week everyone!

3 thoughts on “BHL Lovechild / The Zeenalex

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