Exposed zip and another winter BHL Elisalex dress

Finally, and well behind the trend, I’ve done my first exposed zip in a By Hand London design with ‘Kate’ length sleeves.

back view of winter elisalex showing exposed zip

close-up back view of winter elisalex showing exposed zip

Using the same fabric as my friend Mary’s dress, I used the other side as the right side and made my own winter Elisalex dress. The fabric is a wool viscose blend, called ‘butterscotch pudding’ from Tessuti. I fully lined it, for added warmth and comfort.posing next to an MG in a winter elisalex dress

posing next to an MG in a winter elisalex dress

Like Sue of a Colourful Canvas, I mastered the invisible zip just as the exposed zip became all the rage. I invested in an invisible zip foot for my beloved PFAFF. Through trial and error I worked out it was better not to press the teeth out-of-the-way, even though that’s what the instructions say. The invisible zip foot makes it relatively simple to put in said invisible zip. You still need to be careful not to end up in a Möbius loop and making sure the waist seams match can be tricky, but in the main I’m a fan of the invisible zip. However…………

It was time to try the exposed zip. After all the Elisalex dress By Hand London is meant to have one and though I’ve made quite a few Elisalex dresses, I used invisible zips in all of them. My previous Elisalex dresses include variations for my wedding, for Sew Dolly Clackett, and for Project Sewn.

I had a look at Gerties video of a couple of years ago. I also used the Burda tutorial which has each step clearly described and illustrated.

I liked Simon’s reaction, when I modelled the finished dress. ‘The zip’s very bold’ he said cautiously. I said yes it’s very on trend to have an exposed zip. ‘Oh so it’s meant to be seen?’ Maybe being on trend is not all it’s cracked up to be. Do you like the exposed zip? I’m not sure it’s for me, though I did enjoy mastering another skill.

I’ve also enjoyed wearing this dress, just a little bit dressy but not over-the-top. It’s a good addition to my winter wardrobe. It is nice to have an alternative to trousers. Maybe it’s the elusive smart casual look, even if the zip is rather bold.

Photos here also featuring my vintage coat from Braidwood, NSW and my good friend’s 1937 MG, two litre with coupe coachwork by Martin and King of Melbourne.

close-up posing next to an MG in a winter elisalex dress

Pattern: By Hand London Elisalex with 3/4 sleeves
Fabric: wool, acetate, viscose mix from Tessuti
Lining: acetate from Addicted to Fabric
Modifications: FBA I also raised the back to make the dress better for the cold.
Notions: exposed zip, yay!

What’s your take on the exposed zip?

I’m linking this post up at Not Dead Yet, Visible Monday, the first time I’ve participated,  check me out there and all the other visible women. I’ve also linked it at Sewing Saturdays .


17 thoughts on “Exposed zip and another winter BHL Elisalex dress

  1. Pingback: Burda 8949: a jacket that’s not Morris | Barbara Jane made

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  3. Pingback: Look at all the snow! and the Elisalex dress | barbarajanemade

  4. i’m thinking of purchasing the Elisalex. Your dress shows how versatile the pattern can be. Nice colours and fabric, this would be a lovely work dress and the zip gives that extra something. Very nice


    • thanks Linda. I like the Elisalex, I’ve made a couple for summer but I think it does work for winter as well. It normally has a low back but it wasn’t hard to raise it for a bit more winter coverage. Happy sewing of yours.


  5. Impressive! And such good choices all the way around … fabric, fit , style and you have a fine skill set! A really great piece, and you look lovely.


  6. Oooh, I’m right behind you with a planned exposed zip Barbara! At least I have the zipper in hand, and the fabric too! Thanks for the links to Gertie’s and Burda’s tutes!

    I love your dress! With the coat, and those cute shoes, and THAT car!!! Oh my goodness, you’ve stepped out {or into?} a period film! You look gorgeous!

    So great to read that you’re linking with lovely Patti for Visible Monday! I know you’ll visits from lots of fantastic women!!!


  7. Funny! Me too, but I’m still so pleased that I’ve mastered-ish invisible zips that I don’t care 🙂 I think it really works on you, lovely contrast to the traditional material too. I can’t quite face returning to my Elisalex just yet, as we’re still in Summer mode here (as far as Summer ever goes in the North of England at any rate), but will definitely come back to your versions for inspiration when I do.


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