The Penguin Dress of Awesomeness

This is the first thing I made after my Wardrobe Architect epiphany.  I love it very, very much.



It’s the Elisalex dress from By Hand London (my last for a while – I swear!) with my usual flared skirt adjustment.

However, one thing I changed from last time was to lengthen the bodice one inch.  It made a huge difference!  I can’t believe it took me 4 versions  of this dress before I realised that maybe the waistline was a bit too high.  Like almost empire line.  My belts have never sat over the waist seam, which irritates me and the waist seam was always up on my ribs, but I never though “I SHOULD FIX THAT”.

What an idiot.  But I got there eventually.


This was made using a super cute cotton my mum bought me for Christmas.  The teal is my absolute favourite colour right now, so it’s nice to add a little splash of it to my wardrobe!


I swear the birds are penguins, but everyone else I know says they’re just regular birds.  I refuse to be swayed.  I like the dress more if I think of them as penguins.

I lined this dress (for the first time ever!) with some gingham I found in the remnants bin at Spotlight for 30c ($1/m).


I like the overwheming business of the two prints together, but it made it just tad bit too tight.  If I make it and line it again, I’ll reduce the seam allowances to 4/8″.  Although I probably have enough for now.

Gah!  Love!  Especially with the sleeves.


This pose looked more graceful and carefree in my head, rather than just demented.  Although you can see my beautiful penguin-matching across the princess seams, which I am ridiculously proud of.

The Maths

Main fabric: Christmas present – $0!

Lining fabric: 30c remnant

Zipper: $1.50

Total: $1.80.  Seriously.

Pink Floral Maxi Anna

My latest Anna from By Hand London!

This is actually my first successful iteration of the maxi skirt – my first was a total disaster!


I tried out bias tape on the V-neck, which worked… semi-okay.  I’m keen to try it again, actually.  I used a bright pink contrast bias, because why the heck not!  I also used a bright pink invisible zipper.  I’ll admit this was mostly because it was the only one I had on hand that was long enough.


The one slightly unexpected issue was the shoulders.  The pattern doesn’t call for stay-stitching the V-neck – I thought that was a bit weird at the time, but was feeling lazy so didn’t add it.  And, of course, the neckline stretched out a whole bunch.

I used a lovely drapey rayon challis too, which is probably (? I think?) more prone to stretching out and losing its shape than the super-stable quilting cotton I tend to favour.  It’s more of an off-the-shoulder dress now.  I don’t really mind though.  It ended up a bit more dressy than expected, so it sort of works.  I definitely need to start stay-stitching!


Also – have you seen By Hand London’s new Flora dress?  It’s just gorgeous!  I almost had a heart attack when Lauren and Sonja’s versions popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed.  I’ve been stalking their Australian stockists, but noone seems to have it yet and I’m too cheap to spring for $12 postage from the UK.  Maybe if the Aussies don’t get it soon I will have just suck it up.  She will be mine!

The Maths

Fabric – $6.98/m x 2.5m = $17.45 (from

Invisible zipper – $4.99

Bias binding – $3.49

Total: $25.93 – Not too shabby!