#thelittlereddressproject 2017 - By Hand London Alix dress

Last year my little red dress project took a little longer than I had planned, and only appeared on the blog in February! This year I've been a bit more organised and have one ready for the reveal date, although I feel it is a mixed success. This is a perfect example of when everything goes right, but somehow ends up wrong.........


The Alix dress is intended for light to medium weight wovens. I ordered a medium weight crepe in red from Splendid Stitch for £10.80 per metre. Although the crepe is good quality and was nice to work with, it was not appropriate for this dress, which is why I'm not overly happy with it. The crepe is too thick for the pattern and does not sit well at the bodice or in the sleeves. A lighter weight, if only slightly lighter, fabric would be much better suited. A viscose crepe such as the Atelier Brunette fabric I used for my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network dress would be fine, a satin backed crepe would be less successful.

#thelittlereddressproject 2017 - By Hand London Alix dress

Pattern and Instructions

By Hand London's patterns are only available in pdf format, and for £9.50 you get three versions of the dress pattern in print at home and copy shop pdf, as well as pdf instructions. The dress features a v neck yoke, wide waistband, raglan sleeves and pleats at the centre front and back. The sleeves are big and blousy with a pleat at the top (which I love) and an elasticated wrist. The fit is achieved through the waistband ties, and there are three skirt lengths which go from floor length to a blouse.

#thelittlereddressproject 2017 - By Hand London Alix dress

I chose the middle length which sits above the knee...I didn't alter the length and this is where it sits on me. I nearly always have to take some off the bottom of patterns so unless you are 5ft like me, check it out first. The v neck front is also fairly deep - it's just on the limit of where I would wear mine too without an insert underneath so also worth checking out with a toile too. I cut the size 8/12 which was a good fit for me (usually UK high street size 10), aided by the easy fitting waist!

#thelittlereddressproject 2017 - By Hand London Alix dress

The instructions are very clear, as are the diagrams. The most complicated part of this dress is the front bodice and yoke, but this is all achievable with the instructions. The sleeves are an easy fit, as is the waistband (although it does look more difficult than it is). I particularly like the pleats which add a nice shape to the skirt. The only comment I would have is that it would be helpful if the instructions had more details to help when sewing with fine fabrics, seeing as these would be the best choice for this pattern.


I was really looking forward to this dress - I have loved this pattern since it was first released. I still do love the pattern but would have to make it in entirely different fabric. I think that perhaps the bright scarlet doesn't help along with the thickness as it stands out so much....To be honest I feel like I'm in a Mrs Claus outfit so probably won't wear it now.

If I was making this again I would go for a floor length version in georgette. I also think that I would look to change the cuffs slightly - elastic isn't one of my favourites, especially when coupled with the crepe I used. If I do make another one I'll be sure to post it as a version I'm happier with. For now though, I made a red dress in a pattern I liked, but don't think I'll be wearing it for the events I have planned for this Christmas at least. Have you ever had a make that didn't turn out quite right, even though it went together and fit well?

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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