Tied up in Ribbons and Bows


I was invited to attend a ballet, The Rite of Spring, so I decided to sew a new dress for the occasion, naturally. I had been designing and re-designing a red silk dress with shoulder bows in my head for some time, and decided this was the perfect opportunity to actualize my vision. I was initially inspired by this image, and the By Hand London Elisalex Dress pattern. I decided I wanted a more fitted skirt though, so I used the bodice of the Elisalex Dress and the Charlotte Skirt pattern, also by By Hand London.

full length

They fit together beautifully and I was delighted at how well the princess seams on the bodice lined up with one of the pleats on the front and back of the skirt. I had made the Charlotte Skirt once before so I knew it would be a great fit, but to make it easier to walk in I included a curved slit in the center back. It was the first time I used the Elisalex Dress pattern so I made a quick muslin of the bodice and the fit was nearly perfect, I just lengthened it an inch. As far as design alterations to the top I decided I wanted a sweetheart neckline, and I widened the neckline by narrowing the shoulder seams to finish at 1 inch. I sewed like mad for two days to get the dress into wearable condition before the ballet, but was unable to finish the bows in time. So I wore it without them, then went back to add them later. I can’t wait for the next special event I can wear this to!

bow details


Elisalex Dress

Charlotte Skirt

2 yards of red silk suiting

2 yards of red cotton voile for the lining

1 invisible zipper