It’s gridlock out there…

26 Mar

So, Tessuti decided to run a competition, with 50% off the fabric and a pretty loose brief. And most importantly, no size specs! I could hardly refuse…

Gridlock Gertalex

I am so in love with my first Elisalex, that I decided to run her up again – of course with some changes 😉 PS – this is the first time I have EVER made a garment twice, so hats off to you By Hand London, you’ve hooked me.

Gridlock Gertalex

The fabric that everyone had to use for the competition, called ‘gridlock’, was nice and structured like my dotty Elisalex fabric, so I had a good feeling she’d come together well. The one key change being that I substituted the delightful oversized tulip skirt, for Gertie’s pencil skirt – the same pattern I teamed up with Sewaholic’s Lonsdale bodice – this time however I remembered to add in the skirt vent.

Gridlock Gertalex

I thought that with the pencil skirt the dress would be a bit more wearable and closer to the ‘daywear’ brief set by Tessuti. Further, I thought the clean lines of this ‘Gertalex’ would work and not compete with the strong fabric pattern. Oh, and instead of the skirt front darts, I created pretty little tucks that lined up with the princess seams on the bodice.

Gridlock Gertalex

Sooo, the rest of the details –

    • Lined in a cream cotton from Spotlight to play up the creamy background of the gridlock fabric
    • Navy blue grosgrain ribbon waist stay included to help control any zipper spreadage and maintain a clean shape
    • Hand picked zipper: Instead of focusing on neat, straight stitches, I focussed on invisible stitches, blending my stitches in with the blue pattern in the fabric
    • Blind hemmed by hand the sleeve and skirt hems

Gridlock Gertalex

  • A delicate little cream scalloped lace trim was added to the lining hem, it’s very sweet and just peeks out
  • The outer fabric hem was finished with a navy satin binding
  • Instead of sandwiching the zipper between the lining and fashion fabric, it’s attached to lining, ensuring it won’t show through to the outside. And there’s a hand sewn hook and eye at the top just to finish off.
  • Three navy and gold buttons were hand sewn to each sleeve. Just a little bit of shjooz to break up the pattern, without competing with it.

Gridlock Gertalex

Gridlock Gertalex

The team at Tessuti are simply going to pick their favourite garment as the winner, but I’m sure a few flash mobs/emails/smoke signals/telegrams telling them to pick the gertalex wouldn’t hurt 😉 Just kidding, good luck to everyone entering, can’t wait to see what y’all come up with, it’s been great so far!! You can check out all the entries on Tessuti’s Pinterest.



59 Responses to “It’s gridlock out there…”

  1. Amy March 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

    This looks amazing. And sounds like you really put in extra effort with the hand sewing!

    • ZoSews March 26, 2013 at 8:24 PM #

      Thanks Amy!! I do love a bit of hand sewing 😉

  2. Jenny March 26, 2013 at 8:34 PM #

    Zoe, this is absolutely gorgeous!! I really love the switcheroo you did with the skirt- very elegant! I have the fabric waiting to be sewn up as well, but I just don’t see myself finding the time to get my dress done in time. Good luck!!!

    • ZoSews March 26, 2013 at 8:37 PM #

      Thanks Jenny!! 🙂 Deadlines can tough! Maybe you can push on through this long weekend 😉

      • jennymoulden March 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM #

        No rest for the wicked… especially wicked hospitality workers 😦

  3. Cuckoo Chanel March 26, 2013 at 8:37 PM #

    Absolutely gorgeous, Zoe!

  4. Lawrence Ladomery (@architxt) March 26, 2013 at 8:37 PM #


    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM #

      You can borrow it any time 😉

  5. Rachel Pinheiro March 26, 2013 at 8:45 PM #

    Beautiful dress… I love gertielex match up.

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM #

      Thanks Rachel, hope you’re enjoying the sun!

  6. Leith March 26, 2013 at 8:50 PM #

    Oh I love this! I have about 2m left of the fabric and am dreaming up ways to use it….

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

      Thanks Leith, your take is gorgeous too! Good luck! I still have a bit left as well… not sure what do with it either…

  7. poppykettle March 26, 2013 at 9:08 PM #

    Love at first gridlocked site. Gorjuss! And the handbag? I’m coveting it!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM #

      Thanks Poppykettle 🙂 Was think I might be seeing an entry you too? 🙂

  8. Amanda Gaylard March 26, 2013 at 9:53 PM #

    Beautiful dress!! Good luck with the competition

  9. Bec March 26, 2013 at 9:55 PM #

    Man that style suits you so well! 🙂 mad makes on the pinterest 🙂

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:23 PM #

      Thanks Bec 🙂 Yeah, people are very clever – it’s so cool to watch all the different interpretations!

  10. Laurie (laglov) March 27, 2013 at 12:18 AM #

    Wow, what a beautiful dress! And sexy, in a completely understated way. Perfection.

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM #

      You’re too kind!

  11. gingermakes March 27, 2013 at 1:05 AM #

    I LOVE this! You look wicked cool! Great pattern choice for this amazing fabric!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM #

      Aww thanks Ginger 🙂

  12. Thimble & Cork March 27, 2013 at 3:45 AM #

    Stunning!! Your attention to detail is very impressive. I adore this dress!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:27 PM #

      Thank you 🙂 Attention to detail is a much better word than obsessive 😉

  13. Kelly March 27, 2013 at 4:08 AM #

    Beautiful! Such a classic dress in a fantastic fabric. It looks great!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:27 PM #

      Thanks Kelly 🙂

  14. Kirsty March 27, 2013 at 4:16 AM #

    Wow. It looks great. Super idea to team it with the wiggle skirt. Good luck for the competition.

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:19 PM #

      Thanks Kirsty 🙂

  15. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! March 27, 2013 at 6:33 AM #

    Gorgeous, I LOVE it!! That fabric is seriously marvelous with your Gertalex creation. And admittedly since I don’t love tulip skirts I *adore* your frankenversion. lol I really hope they pick you, good luck!!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:19 PM #

      Thanks so much Tasha!!!

  16. Major Moma March 27, 2013 at 6:33 AM #

    gorgeous! ~Major Moma

  17. Lynne March 27, 2013 at 7:31 AM #

    Your dress is gorgeous! I love the shape of the skirt.

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM #

      Thanks Lynne, I am liking this skirt variation too 🙂

  18. Julia Bobbin March 27, 2013 at 8:28 AM #

    Wowsers it’s gorgeous! Excellent mix-match of patterns 🙂

  19. IngeMaakt March 27, 2013 at 8:33 AM #

    it’s stunning, and you look great in it!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM #

      Thanks so much 🙂

  20. sewlittletime March 27, 2013 at 8:35 AM #

    Love it! What a great frankenpattern!

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:14 PM #

      Thanks! Give it a go 😉

  21. Gjeometry March 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM #

    Beautiful dress! Lovely fabric and it really fits you well.

  22. sewamysew March 27, 2013 at 1:36 PM #

    The Gertalex! I like it! Such a great idea for the fabric. Fingers and toes for you

  23. Tropical Threads March 27, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    I don’t envy the team at Tessuti for having to choose only ONE fave. Poor guys!
    Your dress is beautiful, and I extra-like those little pleats on the seam and the three buttons on the sleeves.

    • ZoSews March 27, 2013 at 7:04 PM #

      I know! Tough gig for them, there’s some very very lovely entries!

  24. ShanniLoves... March 27, 2013 at 11:20 PM #

    This is beautiful! Love the pattern match up and it fits like a glove! Well done!

  25. Charlotte Hintzen March 28, 2013 at 2:37 AM #

    Love seeing these frankendresses in the wild! They really show off what we love about sewing patterns, how they provide endless variation and hackability (hmmm, not sure that’s a word…) according to your personal taste. Very honoured that you made an Elisalex for the competition!

  26. crystalpleats March 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM #

    I am so in love with both of your Elisalex interpretations. I was really tempted by that fabric, too, when the sewing challenge was announced. Great job!

  27. Jhulysdiary March 29, 2013 at 7:46 AM #

    Fabulous dress!

  28. Hazel March 30, 2013 at 5:20 AM #

    Love your dress Zoe, every Elisalex you’ve made has made me soo jealous! I’m loving it with a pencil skirt. Good luck in the competition! 🙂

  29. Julienne April 22, 2013 at 2:04 AM #

    This turned out beautifully! I was looking through pinterest to see who had sewn up this dress pattern… and that’s how I stumbled across your blog. I love the original tulip skirt but you had a good eye to add the pencil skirt to it the second time around. It turned out stunning! Hope you win the competition!

  30. Roxy May 27, 2013 at 7:23 AM #

    I love this dress! So well finished and so wearable!!!

  31. Elisabeth August 9, 2013 at 9:44 PM #

    Gorgeous dress!
    (And I love Melbourne, btw)

  32. The Nerdy Seamstress October 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM #

    I love this dress! I think I might actually go out and get the pattern. I like your version of the skirt bottom.


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