Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sewaholic Lonsdale Dress

I miraculously finished my Lonsdale Dress before the weather got cold, just barely in time for the wedding I was planning on wearing it to. As in, I hemmed it while wearing it on the car ride to the vineyard. (Here we are before getting in the car:)

This was definitely my most involved sewing project, mainly because I made two muslins, and lined it (and lining is not included in the pattern).

This is only the third thing I have made for myself, the first two being Built By Wendy Simplicity 3964 tops, with no alterations. I still love (and in many ways prefer) sewing for my kids, but it was nice to be doing this just for me.

My first muslin did not fit well at all. I couldn't decide whether to go down a size and do an FBA, or just make several adjustments to the bodice below the bust.

I ended up doing the latter, (stuck with size 8) making many of the same asjustments as Sunni did here—gaping bust adjustment, front seam adjustment, and a significant sway back adjustment. I needed to shorten the bodice a fair amount. I made a second muslin of just the bodice after I adjusted my traced pattern, it seemed good enough so I cut my actual fabric.

I used Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush Voile Maybe in Rich. The lining is Kona Cotton in Pearl.

The dress came together fairly smoothly, following the sewalong and finishing all the seams as Tasia did. The side seams are french seams, the front seams I turned and stitched, and for the back seams, I used the serger on in the lining and covered the seam below the zipper on the voile with bias tape.

I didn't like how the turned and stitched seams looked though—the fabric rippled a lot, even after I pressed it well (especially the voile, but also the cotton). You can sort of see what I mean in this picture:

Underlining the bodice was easy, and Tasia has a post in the sewalong about it, but figuring the best way to attach the skirt lining to the waistband and zipper was more of a challenge for a novice like myself. I ended up stitching-in-the-ditch.

It worked okay—below is a what it looked like on the inside (not perfect, but at least I stayed on the lining). I used brown thread on my needle and the pink thread on my bobbin.

My underlined waistband, however, was thick, and it made attaching the zipper over that section difficult. It turned out wonky and I didn't have the energy to take it out. I wore a shawl over it at the October wedding so it didn't matter. Maybe next spring I will re-install the zipper.

I did a rolled hem on the skirt lining with my serger, and like I mentioned, I hand finished the outside hem in the car.

All in all I am pretty pleased with it. Looking forward to the summer weather already!

Unfortuantely we had to take these pictures while it was very sunny, but I am happy we got some at all.

I already ordered Tasia's newest pattern, the Minoru Jacket, and I'm hoping this time I will be able to do the sewalong as it goes and post in a more timely fashion! Even though I don't consider myself pear-shaped, which is what her patterns are designed for, I think they are flattering.


  1. What a great improvement you got in the fit from your muslin to your finished dress! The dress is beautiful, and suits you wonderfully. And fitting issues is not for the faint-hearted - this being your third (did I get that right?) sewing project is just mighty impressive.

    Well done!

    1. Thanks! It was my third sewing project in the category of apparel for myself. I have a fair amount of experience in sewing for my kids and sewing bags and other accessories. But this was my first time making a muslin and making pattern adjustments. Phew!


Thank you for commenting! Moderation is turned on so your comment may not appear immediately.