Wow, It feels like such a long time since I’ve blogged one of my makes. And such a lovely make it was too. The Seamwork Adelaide dress — also known as the snap dress — is a departure from my usual style of a fitted bodice, nipped in at the waist, and a full skirt. So, I’m not sure how it looks on but it feels wonderful so zero f**ks given. Let’s tuck into the details, shall we?
And I present to you… SNAPS! These ones are plastic Prym Colour Snaps in white and I installed them using the Prym Love Vario Pliers (Love is a special addition range and so they are turquoise but they have them in their standard navy too). I didn’t have an awl for preparing a hole so used a knitting needle to instead. The cotton fibres moved out of the way fairly easily. Tut tut.
Now, I have to be very careful what I say here so as no to put you off snaps — I know what the majority of us sewists can be like; we’re scared of something new at the best of times — but these were a bloody pain! The process itself is not complex but for some reason, I struggled with the execution. First, I attached a snap backwards. Do you think you can get one of these off once you’ve pressed it in? No you effing can’t! Well, I managed it in the end but not without almost losing a finger trying to pry it off with a knife. Then, once the snaps were all in, they wouldn’t snap together…WHAT THE?! After much near-futile pressing, I used the pliers to jam those lil’ suckers together. Those snaps are never coming undone, and the dress is now an over-the-head situation. Not sure what I was doing wrong; either pressing them in too hard or not hard enough. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to know!
Admittedly, this one of the back isn’t the world’s best photo as I’m standing at a bit of a jaunty angle anyway. The print was slightly irregular so whilst I made an attempt to cut the pieces out straight (pattern-matching rapidly went out of the window), the print does drift slightly across my back. You know what I say about the back though, kids; I can’t see it so I dun curr. I really should stand straighter though.
Here you see it with a belt but that’s right, not the belt in the pattern. Good spot. I did make the belt as per the instructions but I just didn’t like it how it looked. And by the time I’d come to take photos, it had been banished from my memory (hence why there isn’t a photo with it).
Whilst, as I said, this was a departure from my usual style of dress I couldn’t leave that waist accent completely behind so needed something to visually bring the waist in. The belt in the same fabric really wasn’t achieving that enough for me. Cue contrast belt.
These photos were after a day of wearing so you can see the fabric does crease and stretch a bit but it’s no biggie. After a wash, everything snaps (geddit, geddit?!) back into place. Ooh, sexy hand pose. I say ‘sexy’…
The finished result? It’s love of the unconditional variety. Sure, there are some things I would perhaps change (read on for more details) but she’s just such a cutie regardless.
Those of you who watch my vlogs may remember that I mentioned in my Fabric, patterns and sewing plans July 2016 video that on a trip to London, I visited the Islington Sew Over It store and picked up 2.5m of this strawberry zig zag ikat. Sadly, this colourway has sold out but they still seem to have it in black and white; black, white and red; and black, white and turquoise. In store, I picked it up for £10/metre.
Sizing and cutting
I cut a size 4 at the bust and waist, grading to size 8 at the hips and cutting the length of the size 8. A gentle word of warning, I’m short but Seamwork patterns do seem to come up quite short.
Fitting and alterations
- Sewed a deeper shoulder seam by 1.5cm. I did this because I was worried about the neckline being really low after adding the binding. I shouldn’t have changed it because it was fine. Or at least I should’ve lowered the armscye to account for the change as it’s now a little tight there. The change also did something strange to the belt loops; jacked them up somehow. I say somehow, but them being moved up the body due to this change makes perfect sense.
- Brought the side seams from the waist down in by 1.5 – 2cm
- Ommitted the final snap, for a bit of leg action (see aforementioned sexy photo above)
I reiterate what I’ve said in other posts: Seamwork pattern instructions are fab, the images are great and the method is described in detail. We won’t talk again about the snaps and anyway, that certainly wasn’t Seamwork’s fault. Oh no, that was all me!
My belt seemed to come out much thinner than the one pictured in the pattern photos on the Seamwork Adelaide page. I’m not sure if it’s just an illusion but either way, it’s a shame because the chunky belt was one of the features I really liked. If it is a real effect, the reasons for this remain unclear but it’s either that they changed it in the pattern after the photos were taken, or you’re supposed to sew it with a smaller seam allowance (not mentioned in the pattern). I especially think it might be the latter because they also don’t tell you to trim the seam allowance before turning. But if it’s sewn with a normal 1.5cm seam allowance, you really do need to trim the seam allowance because it’s makes turning much easier, and the points at the end don’t come out nice otherwise.
Overlocking: Overlocked all the seams with white overlock thread
Topstitching: Standard topstitching on my regular machine
Bias Binding: The collar and armholes are bias-bound with ready-made
She’s pretty much how I’d imagined her, with the exception of the belt being missing and she’s so comfortable to wear. Things I’d change? Fix the armscye and probably bring the side seams in more, in fact I could probably cut a straight size 4, with the length of the 8. Also, I didn’t really enjoy sewing the belt loops on, they were so fiddly! So, they might be goners the next time I make this.
Something a little secret for now *wink* which should be revealed in the next week or two. Oh, and my next vlog: July’s makes — perhaps not as productive as one might’ve hoped but hopefully a couple of goodies — followed by an August sewing plans vlog.