Monday, July 25, 2011

Working on a New Dress for me - Lonsdale by Sewaholic.

Treating myself for my birthday, I went to buy some Liberty Needlecord from (hmmm, treating myself by buying fabric for my daughter??) and I noticed that the newest Sewaholic pattern was in stock. My brother-in-law's 40th birthday is on in a few weeks, and I thought I might make myself a new dress, so the pattern arrived on Friday.

I really didn't mean to start this dress. I thought I might wait for the sew-a-long on the Sewaholic blog.
The blouse and dress I promised to make for my mother are still in the pattern drafting and alteration stage, but the Lonsdale dress was calling me so loudly, that I decided last night at 9pm after the younger two went to bed that I would start.

The fabric is a cotton with some stretch and a lovely drape that I bought from my local fabric shop. She sometimes stocks ends of bolts from RTW designers, and this is a Karen Millen piece and I found the colour irresistible. I had 2.60m at 144cm wide, which I hoped might do if I cut the bodice lining in a different fabric. I also cut the front skirt piece on a fold to help save fabric and I omitted the pockets, though I had just enough fabric left to cut them if I wished.

Needless to say, no muslin, but based on the finished measurements on the pattern envelope. I decided on a 12. However, I tissue fitted the waistband piece and got a fright when it wouldn't go around me (too much MIL's apple tart for tea!) I then cut a size 14!

I sewed all the bodice pieces last night, and tried it on for fit this morning.

There was some gaping at the top edge and when I fit the bodice closely, I could overlap the back by about 5cm. This is a fitting rather than a pattern issue, and because I decided I preferred the bodice very close-fitted, I took in the side seams.

I ripped out the side seams and re-sewed them, sewing with a much larger seam allowance at the top. When I went back to compare the pattern piece, it equaled to a size 8 at the top out to a 12 at the waist.

This felt to be a much better fit on me.

The waist edges were left uneven, but as I am also short-waisted, I decided to sew the waistband higher, though the pattern pieces have shorten/lengthen lines marked. A lot of this could have been prevented if I did a muslin, ha! The construction of the neckline is a neat design, and needs lots of close clipping so it doesn't pucker.

So this is where I'm at, terrible pictures and all!! It is not finished, but not bad for 6/7 hours work.

I have to understitch the neckline, turn up the hem, stitch the lining to the zipper tape, and sew the lining waistband to the outer waistband. These last 2 steps are explained differently in the pattern instruction sheet. I chose to sew the lining at the waistband differently.

I'm very impressed with this pattern, it's the first one I've tried from Sewaholic. I love, love the pattern instruction sheet, the best I've come across which suits my style of sewing. When I skimmed through it first I thought it could do with more detail, but reading it, this is the perfect pattern sheet for me. It's not too wordy, each step has a drawing to clearly explain it, and I could visualize the construction method and steps quickly and easily, and then decide if I wanted to sew it in the same or a different order.

After my burst of energy in getting this sewn, I hope I won't be finishing it the day of the party! I will get some better pictures in the next day or two.

Pin It Now!  


  1. That is very pretty. It is so shiny I thought it was satin! To learn it is cotton, wow, it must be very pretty in real life. Great job!

  2. Thanks Kathy, the pictures don't do it justice at all :-) I love how the dress turned out, but I think a printed fabric might be better - an excuse to make another one!

  3. It looks wonderful on you! The fabric is beautiful. Do take some more photos when you get it finished...on your way to the party.

  4. Thanks Millie. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and that it sewed up so quickly. I'll get more pics :-)