Tag Archive: Sewaholic

Sewaholic’s Rae Skirt

Instagram tells me that I started this Sewaholic Rae Skirt on the 19th August 2016 and I just finished it this weekend – so that’s oh, 15 months? Talk about slow sewing!I have no idea why I gave up before last summer but it seems like a dumb move on my…

read more

Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

When you can sew it’s very tempting to make endless beautiful dresses in gorgeous prints and fabrics. Despite being all for sewing being about the process and the enjoyment you get out of that rather than the end product, over the last couple of years I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my wardrobe and day to day life really don’t need any more pretty dresses. It’s just not what I wear on a regular basis. The old I need more cake but I want to play with frosting dilemma. I do, however, make the most out of ANY excuse to make myself something more extravagant (see for example the dress I made for my stepsister’s wedding). Cue my 30th birthday and just the reason I’d been waiting for to make myself something more frivolous. I’m not having a big glamorous party or anything and was actually working up in Newcastle over my actual birthday so an all out show stopper of a ball gown or cocktail frock wasn’t exactly the ticket. But I could certainly treat myself to a beautiful summer maxi of the sort I haven’t made in a while to celebrate the big three oh. I didn’t have any particular plan for the dress pretty much right up until the moment I bought the fabric and started making it!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

The keen eyed among you may spot that this dress has been rather heavily influenced by this stunner made by Miss Make using the By Hand London Kim bodice. I fell in love with the dress and it’s effortless, bohemian glamour the second I saw it and have had my eyes peeled for a similar yellow print ever since. I believe Devon’s fabric came from Blackbird Fabrics or at least they had the same viscose print stocked for a while. I’d sort of given up on finding anything similar here in the UK when I arrived at the Sewing Weekender at the start of August and spotted Sarah from Like Sew Amazing sporting a gorgeous jumpsuit in a very similar print. In some weird twist of fate I then came across the exact same fabric in my local fabric shop (Lewisham Rolls and Rems) just a few days later! And for less than £5/m! It’s a lovely matte viscose challis which has the perfect movement and weight for this style of dress. They also stock a beautiful vibrant orange which was hard to resist as usually when I find a print I like in a viscose there’s no stopping me. It’s my absolute favourite fabric for dressmaking.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

Now to pick a pattern. I obviously had maxi in my mind after being inspired by Devon’s dress and was thinking that I would draft my own fairly straightforward skirt. I did have a moment of hesitation as I’m not sure I’ve ever had yellow in my wardrobe and wasn’t sure I could pull off a full yellow floor length ensemble but I swathed myself in the viscose and decided this particular shade of egg yolk yellow was surprisingly forgiving on my skin tone. So I dove into my stash to find the ideal bodice pattern. I do own the BHL Kim so could have done a flat out copy of Devon’s but I wasn’t sure it was quite what I wanted. I wanted the snug fit around the waist but perhaps something with a bit more detail going on up top to make the most of the drape of the viscose. I finally hit upon the Sewaholic Lonsdale which I used to make my very first two dresses way back in 2012.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

There’s something quite nice about the fact that I am returning to the first dress pattern I ever used to celebrate this milestone birthday too! I do still have both of my original Lonsdale dresses but must admit they haven’t been worn a lot; not because of the quality of sewing or fit (boy I must have had a lot more patience back then!) but because I never felt very ‘me’ in that a-line shape of skirt, which was probably emphasised by my slightly stiff fabric choice. I’m much the same size as I was back then so stuck with the size 6 which I have always felt was a great match for me in Sewaholic patterns. It does fit well but now that I’ve learnt a bit more about fit and am slightly more particular I would probably take just half an inch off the bodice length if I were to make it again. The Lonsdale is a great pattern for a beginner seamstress as because the bodice ties at the front the fit is very forgiving around the bust.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

I was really lucky that I chose this pattern as one of my first as the instructions are very thorough plus there is an excellent sew-along on the Sewaholic blog so I remember I learnt a huge amount about how to make garments well. I still love the way the bodice is finished being full lined and the only hand sewing involved is slipstitching down the bottom of the waistband. I wouldn’t usually insert the zip through both the fashion fabric and lining as one (I would instead insert it into the fashion fabric then turn under the seam allowance on the lining and hand stitch it to the zip tape for a clean finish) but it works for the style of the dress. I finished that back seam on the overlocker so it was nice and tidy.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

Following the sew-along instructions I added stay-tape along the top edge of the bodice to stop it stretching out and gaping away from the body. This is a really important step with a delicate, shifty fabric such as viscose which will easily stretch out along a curved or bias edge. Under-stitching this top edge is also particularly important as that lining will want to roll out and ruin the nice clean lines of that neckline.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

The two things I did differently to the pattern instructions are actually the same as I did on my third version of this dress which I made in 2013 and completely forgot I had made until I went to look back at my posts on the first two! Firstly I changed the regular dress zip to an invisible as I just prefer the look of them and secondly I omitted the loops and tie of the straps at the back and sewed them down instead. This detail is just a bit fussy for me. The straps were actually the one thing I wasn’t happy with on my third dress as the width of them at the back looked a bit clunky. This time around I kept the tie width the same but folded it in half when I attached it to the back of the bodice to add a bit of detail and create a more delicate look.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

I also secured the straps differently to how I did before as last time I ended up sewing them down on top of the lining as a bit of an afterthought. Because of the design of the dress you need to tie the knot at the front before you can secure them in place so the bodice has to be pretty much finished. To achieve I clean finish when attaching the lining to the bodice around the neckline I stopped sewing and left a gap where I thought the straps should be (I used the notches for the loops which I wasn’t using as a guide). I then did all the under-stitching and stay tape around these gaps. Once the bodice was assembled I then slip the ends of the straps into these slots and stitched them closed. I even put the zip in before I did this so I could wear the bodice properly and get the length spot on.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

The Lonsdale does actually come with pattern pieces to make the skirt a maxi but I still wasn’t sold on that a-line shape, even in a softer fabric and thought it might end up feeling far too wide around the hem. I also was a little bit in love with the leg slit in Devon’s and felt a straighter style would be the way to go. I’m not usually a fan of a gathered skirt as I don’t like too much bulk around the waist but in a viscose as light as this one it works. I ended up making the most straightforward skirt possible. I used the full width of the fabric and cut a piece the length of skirt I wanted plus seam and hem allowance. If you didn’t want to put a slit in the skirt you could simply gather up one end of the piece and attach it to your bodice, using the selvedges for the centre back seam. I wanted a split so I worked out how far I wanted that to come around at the body and cut the piece in two at roughly the point where this would be when the skirt was gathered up. I sewed the two pieces back together just from the waist to the top of the slit then turned and stitched those raw seam allowances like you would a hem. Then gathered and attached to the bodice, voila! Using the full width of the fabric in the skirt was a bit of a gamble but I’m really happy with the amount of fabric and fullness in there because the viscose is so light.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

I had bought 3 metres of the fabric to be on the safe side as I wasn’t at all sure on the design of my dress when I bought it and probably have enough left to make a top or blouse. The Lonsdale bodice does need a surprising amount of fabric because of those ties but if you are turning them into straps like me it needs a lot less! I self lined my bodice as I had plenty of fabric to do so. The viscose was a little shifty to work with as most are but I used plenty of pins and patience. I wash my viscose on a 30 degree machine cycle and use a cool to medium iron. I tend to use a microtex or size 70 universal needle on something of this weight.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Yellow Floral Viscose Lonsdale Maxi Dress

I never would have thought I could love a yellow dress so much. I put it on to take photos this morning and just wanted to swan about in it all day! I’m willing summer to come back with all my might but might have to resort to booking a beach break somewhere just to get some wear out of it!

read more

Completed: The Fraser Sweatshirt

Gonna keep this one short and sweet today! Also, in case you were wondering – yes, I took these immediately after the photos from my last post. Just pulled the sweatshirt on over what I was already wearing! Haha! This is the Fraser Sweatshirt from Sewaholic Patterns. I have actually made this top before – […]

read more

Casual Corner


Continuing the theme of the trapeze silhouette, here is The Ivy Pinafore!  I tested Jennifer Lauren’s latest pattern release a few months back, and am finally getting around to posting the pictures of my finished dress.


I actually own a similar corduroy jumper that I found at Old Navy of all places, many years back.  It still continues to be a favorite when the weather is lousy.  I just pull on a sweater, the jumper, and a pair of tights, and I look fairly put together – even when I would rather not venture out into the soggy world.


When I received this pattern, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to make myself an improved version of that old ready-to-wear garment.


Since there really was no fabric in the stash that was going to be suitable, I headed out to JoAnn Fabrics, hoping for the best on my testing deadline.  What I came up with was this floral denim.  I suppose you could call this my version of a pair of jeans! 


I decided to add a bit of extra length to the dress so that I can wear it with or without tights.


My one issue with the design was the fact that this is quite a fabric hog.  After receiving everyone’s comments through the testing process, Jennifer Lauren has since added a second, more slim fitting version to the pattern.  And although this is not a design that I would normally choose for myself, the oversized silhouette is clearly growing on me.  This is definitely an easy to wear garment that is helping to add a bit of variety to my closet.


This dress was designed to be paired with The Gable Top – which is a fabulous top I have also made up, by the way!  But in an attempt to get through all of the finished projects I would like to get posted to the blog, I decided to wear The Ivy with my first Renfrew top!  And I really love how the two patterns work together.

Shirt:  Made by me, Sewaholic “Renfrew
Jumper:   Made by me, Jennifer Lauren Handmade “The Ivy Pinafore

Shoes:  Colin Stuart
Earrings:  Liz Palacios

[Disclosure:  A copy of The Ivy Pinafore pattern was received in exchange for my feedback on the pattern during the testing process, but the opinions written here are my own.]


read more

A Different Kind of Knit Cowl

A few years ago, everyone was hand knitting “snoods.”  Except they were not snoods – they were more of an infinite scarf or a scarf made to look like a draped cowl neckline.  Yes, the English language is full of words that have multiple …

read more

Floral Robson trench: layers coming together

If you told me in January when I started this coat that it still wouldn’t be finished by November, I wouldn’t have believed you.  Then again, if you told me a week ago that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States, I wouldn’t have believed you either, but that is a […]

read more

Floral Robson trench: more bias binding and lining assembly

Folks, I’ve come to the conclusion that sewing a 3-layered trench coat is no joke.  Not that I thought this was going to be a quick and easy project, but still!  As I get deeper and deeper into the sewing process, I realize just how much more there is to go.  Really, a 3-layered coat […]

read more

Floral Robson trench: adventures in bias binding

[Oops!  I hit publish on this post before I finished writing it!  Hopefully those of you who read this post early enjoyed my slew of photos with no explanations.🙂 ] Work on my floral Robson trench continues!  I’m happy to report that I seem to have found some motivation to actually work on this project […]

read more

Floral Robson trench: finally finished cutting

After many months and what seems like an epic number of hours hunched over my cutting table, I’m happy to report that all the millions of pieces of my floral Robson trench coat are finally cut, interfaced, and ready to sew.  Hooray!  🙂 As you can see above, I’m using fusible hair canvas on the front […]

read more

common welsh green

Probably my dorkiest title to date. If you’re not well-versed in the Potter-universe, this title refers to the species of dragon that a certain Miss Fleur Delacour had to pass in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament (Goblet of Fire). And yes, tha…

read more

Mustard Rayon Midi Skirt & Charcoal Renfrew Tee

This little outfit has been another favourite in my wardrobe this summer. But frustratingly one of those that it is incredibly difficult to get decent pictures of that reflect how much you love it in reality. Ah well. You’ll just have to take my word f…

read more

Completed: Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

Since moving into my new apartment last month, I have been busy discovering all the cool stuff in my area (bonus that it’s all pretty walkable/bikeable, unlike at my last place in the middle of nowhere :P). One major selling point for me was that I am now super close – about 2 blocks, and […]

read more

Top 5 Makes Of All Time!

One of the great aspects of having sewn for several years, is that I get a real perspective on which projects have worked beyond my wildest dreams. Sewn items that I return to time and time again, that survive weekly cycles … Continue reading

read more

Gabriola Skirt: It’s lovely but…

Every spring I get on a maxi skirt kick.  I’m not sure why, but every spring I find myself hunting for the perfect long skirt pattern to make up.  This spring was no exception. I actually started on this skirt pattern late last fall and the fit wasn’t quite right.  I set it aside while… Read More »

read more

An Ode to Renfrew

In light of last week’s news, I thought it was about high time I share my love of the Renfrew pattern by Sewaholic. If you haven’t heard, moving forward Tasia will no longer be the woman behind the helm at Sewaholic.  She’s turning things over to the peeps at Spool of Thread.  This came as… Read More »

read more

Epic fabric cutting in progress

There is going to be a ton of fabric cutting for my floral Robson trench.  This weekend, I started to make a dent.  Above, feast your eyes on approximately 12 yards of bias binding.  This took me an entire afternoon! I also cut out all the flannel interlining… … and started on the main floral fabric. […]

read more

Resurrecting the beast

Guess what I dug out of my pattern storage bin this weekend?  My Robson trench!  Yeah!!!  You may recall that I did a ton of work on this pattern in January during a week-long sewcation, which ultimately resulted in me throwing out my back.  Not fun.  But you know what IS fun?  Returning to a […]

read more

Busy and still sewing… Named, Sewaholic, Burda and more!

Busy but still sewing – some random projects and a little sneak peek of other things I’ve been working on. Continue reading

read more

Sewing A Wedding Dress

Does anyone remember my recent blog post about helping a friend cut out her wedding outfit? Someone I hold dear (let’s call her Amy, for the sake of argument) was getting married. She’d bought silver silk jersey and satin. We … Continue reading

read more

Sewaholic Rae Skirt – a toile

I haven’t finished this skirt; and I’m not sure if I can be bothered, but want to write my notes for when I next embark on the Rae Skirt journey.I was interested in this skirt as it has an elastic waist (no zipper = yeah) and the panels mean less bulk …

read more

Black and biscuit Sewaholic Fraser Sweatshirt

In terms of sewing, I’ve had a sluggish start to the year. Life’s been full yet challenging and my new job is enjoyable but tiring. I recently found the time and energy to squeeze in a quick project though, and it felt good! The moment Sewaholic’s…

read more

Sewcation Day 7: Alteration exasperation

This is the face of exasperation.  Do you recognize it?  It’s when you take a week off from work, spend the bulk of 7 full days working on a pattern, and don’t even get to the part where you get to play with nice fabric.  I am tired of working on this muslin.  I am […]

read more

Pacific Leggings- floral leggings take 2

Happy Friday everyone!  For anyone who has been following me on Instagram – (thanks new phone ) – you will have seen a few details of my floral leggings.   These are the Pacific Leggings by Sewaholic which I purchased a bit ago, intrigued by the added details from your standard leggings – a crotch piece (behave!) […]

read more

Sewcation Days 5-6: Updated muslin and thank you!

Wow, thank you all so much for your thoughtful fitting suggestions!!  This is where being part of the online sewing community is unbelievably helpful and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  🙂  Your comments were very thought-provoking, and they helped me to zone in on what issues were bothering me the most, and what (perhaps) […]

read more

Sewcation Day 4: Forge ahead or abandon ship?

Sewing friends, I am at a crossroads with this pattern.  While running errands and cooking for most of the day, I was pondering my fitting issues in the back of my mind.  Can I save this Robson, or should I move on?  I decided to try to fix one more issue and then re-asses. I was […]

read more

4 Shirtmaking Lessons Before You Get Started

I was delighted to see the results of the CSC poll that asked readers about their sewing interests for 2016. You see, shirtmaking was one of the top results, and I have just spent the last three weeks making up a variety of woven shirts in search of the perfect pattern. I understand that the…

Read More »

read more

Sewcation Day 3: Muslin mania

Today was all muslin, all the time.  I cut out and assembled my Robson in plain cotton muslin (and thankfully, I had just left over from previous projects).  I tried it on.  I stared at my shoulders.  I pinned, I sewed, I seam ripped, and I pinned and sewed some more.  Then I stared at my […]

read more

Sewcation Day 2: Tracing and flat pattern adjustments

Work on my Robson trench coat continues!  I didn’t touch any fabric today, but I made a lot of headway in preparing for the muslin.  First I traced all the pattern pieces so that I have the originals preserved in case all my adjustments turn out to be total crap.  There are a lot of […]

read more

Sewcation Day 1: Pattern and fabric

First of all, thank you so much for your very thoughtful messages of support after my last post about work-related stress.  I generally don’t expect to get much feedback on random non-sewing related posts, but it was wonderful to hear your encouraging words, suggestions, and well wishes.  I was really touched – thank you. After several weeks […]

read more

Double Gauze Sew Off

Many of you know that I’ve joined up with Becca (of the Free Notion blog) on the Sewing Stadium website.  There we host sewing competitions, Top Stitchers being our main gig.  (But if you have an idea for a sewing contest, approach us, we’ll help you develop and execute!) Season 3 of Top Stitchers has just concluded, and today, Becca and I are holding the Grand Finale via a double gauze sew off!  I’ll be showing you some outtakes here and sharing some behind the scenes secrets, but be sure to click through to the Sewing Stadium website to see

Click here to read more…

The post Double Gauze Sew Off appeared first on Skirt Fixation.

read more
  • 1
  • 2