By Hand London Georgia Dress

Happy holidays, sewosphere! A bit after the fact, but I hope you had the loveliest time, got the best pressies and generally merrily indulged in great food, drink and laziness.

I myself just emerged from food coma after 3 days of eating, watching just about every cartoon under the sun and generally doing nothing. I even did a bit of sewing, or rather mending and tweaking existing projects last night and finally got a chance to take pictures for a second to last blog post in 2015. Last one coming on Thursday, and it will be a festive one, seeing as it’s the blogoversary and all… Stay tuned, as there will be prizes involved…

Righty ho, back to this little lady. Haaaaaaave you met Georgia? She is one of the lovelies that came out of the hands of Elisalex & Co over at By Hand London. At the end of November, I had the pleasure of meeting Elisalex at the Badger & Earl #Sewathon2015 and she kindly offered me a copy of the pattern, as I had this crazy idea to make it in scuba (although it’s actually meant for wovens).

I really wanted to make it and wear it for the Sewing Bloggers Christmas Party on the 12th December, but the forces conspired against me (mostly the fabric not arriving on time), so I couldn’t finish it on time. But hey ho, better late than never.

And here we are, the first little black dress I ever made, in almost 7 years of sewing… Priorities, priorities…

BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #12


Pattern: By Hand London Georgia dress. I chose the version with skinny straps and knee length, as I really liked the bombshell look it more than the wide strapy version.


I cut out a size 6 (which is totally not my size, but since it was stretch fabric, I removed all ease and that’s what it ended up).

Georgia line drawing

Fabric: Embossed medium weight scuba in black, from A One Fabrics in Goldhawk road. It was an end of roll, so I got 1.5m for the price of one, for £6, real bargain.

BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #03

Notions: As my fabric was stretchy, I omitted the zipper and really didn’t need any other trimmings, but I did use fusible stay tape on the top of the cups for reinforcement.

Modifications: Well, one big one, using knit instead of wovens. See below in the construction section as to how I approached it. Another modification as to cut the straps in reverse, so that they are narrower where they join the bodice and thicker on the shoulder, instead of the other way round.

Construction: It’s really easy to put together, I hardly looked at the instructions (but I did notice how nice the booklet is and how clear they are if you need to refer to them).

As I was in uncharted territory, making this in jersey not wovens, there was a bit of trial and error in terms of fitting. I made a toile in some scuba I had in my stash and determined that I need to trim the seam allowances even further, especially in the bodice, as well as reduce the straps by about 10 cm, they stretch even more in knit. Probably could have used some interfacing, but it only occurred to me after I sewed them on.

BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #06.jpg

I used fusible stay tape at the top of the cups and under-stitched the lining to make sure they stay in place. I should have top-stitched the seams of the cups, but again, I only thought about it after I sewed them to the skirt. I used the overlocker for most of the seams, but I did machine baste the bodice to the skirt to test it comes together properly, as well as I to top-stitch all the princess seams of the skirt, it really looks so much better and makes them lie flatter.

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BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #05

I terms of fit, there were a few iterations especially on the side seams, to make sure it is as body-hugging as possible, but still allowed me to move. This scuba is quite forgiving, but as with any such fabric, it does take a bit of pressure to press in place, at medium heat (it really melts so easily!). I also used the clapper a bit).

I also ended up making a small dart at centre back and centre front (luckily, black + the embossed fabric really covered it well) as there was waaay too much fabric in the skirt that I could not account for. Probably will have to reduce the centre back and front by about 1 cm each next time.

BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #02.jpg


The hem was initially cover-hemmed on my Pfaff Coverlock 3.0, but I felt it came up too short, so I unpicked and overlocked and turned once, then finished with a shallow zig-zag. As I said the fabric was massively forgiving, so you really can’t see the difference. It is a bit wavy though, which the pressing didn’t sort it out.

In case you are wondering what’s with the background, we had to get a bit creative and take the pics inside today, as it was waaay too cold for a strapless dress outside. So I used a digitally printed backdrop on a studio stand and took the pics in our house. That is also why they all stop below the knees, had to do a lot of cropping of my living-room out of the final pics :).

We also got props creative, so here are a few pics with one of Carl’s shirts that is on my sewing table for a refashioning session. When I made this dress, I somehow had this idea in my head that it would work great with a crisp man’s shirt.

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BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #08

BHL Georgia Black Embossed Scuba (2015) #11.jpg


Well then, enjoy the rest of 2015 and hope to see you for the last blog post of the year on Thursday.






  1. 28 December 2015 / 10:52 PM

    O! M! G! – you look drop dead gorgeous in this dress. Georgia is a feisty one, isn’t she? And the scuba works so well!

    • Alex
      28 December 2015 / 11:08 PM

      Thank you Chris!! I think she might need a few iterations to be perfect, but the even the hubby approved, so I can’t complain ☺️.

  2. 29 December 2015 / 8:02 AM

    Alex, you look absolutely stunning. What a beautiful dress! ❤️❤️🐝🐝🐝

  3. 29 December 2015 / 8:40 AM

    Tres impressed you can wear a frock like that this close to Christmas blow out. Perfect dress for Hogmanay celebrations.

    • Alex
      29 December 2015 / 5:30 PM

      Thanks Lesley! It’s stretch, so don’t be fooled, I did pig out massively this Christmas. We’re planning a quiet NYE down at the pub, but I’m sure DH will appreciate the dress 😁.

  4. 29 December 2015 / 9:33 AM

    Wow! The dress looks fantastic, sophisticated and what a bargain. Great photos too. Happy New Year.

    • Alex
      29 December 2015 / 3:14 PM

      Thank you so much! Have an amazing 2016, full of sewing and non sewing successes!! 😁✨

  5. 29 December 2015 / 6:04 PM

    Ah gorgeous!! I’ve meant to make a dress like this for a long time. Looks like it would be perfect for so many occasions, esp in black.

    • Alex
      29 December 2015 / 6:07 PM

      Thank you! It does come together quickly, especially in a nice knit. And it really is quite comfy, if you get the strap length right.

    • Alex
      29 December 2015 / 7:42 PM

      Thank so much!! ☺️ it’s a really nice fabric, made even nicer by the friendly price 😁.

      • 29 December 2015 / 7:44 PM

        Yes price is always a bonus. I usually want something so much I don’t pay attention to the price. So a good deal is always a bonus! My DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER is turning out to be a really good deal! 👍

  6. corrineappleby
    31 December 2015 / 12:24 AM

    Wow that dress is amazing! Got to love a slinky LBD!

    • Alex
      31 December 2015 / 8:42 AM

      Thank you so much! Georgia really is a great pattern.

  7. joostdecock
    4 January 2016 / 4:15 PM

    That neckline makes me drool all over my keyboard. You look fantastic in it!

    • Alex
      5 January 2016 / 8:17 AM

      Oh stop it, you flatterer!! ☺️ thank you and happy new year!!

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