Seamwork // Adelaide Dress

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.

Seamwork Adelaide

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!

Seamwork Adelaide

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.

Seamwork Adelaide

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).

Seamwork Adelaide

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.

Seamwork Adelaide

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’…

Seamwork Adelaide

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.

Seamwork Adelaide


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)
Pattern instructions

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.

Working on…

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.

16 thoughts on “Seamwork // Adelaide Dress

  1. This looks great (and yes the snaps are the only reason I haven’t made this yet!) it’s top of my list of things I wish I’d had time to make pre holiday! Snaps aside, did you find Seamwork’s estimated timings accurate? Also, spill the beans lady!!


    • Thanks Becca! Hmm Seamwork says 3 hours, I’m not sure it is supposed to include cutting. Just sewing, yes you probably could squeeze it into that time if no alterations were needed. I’d love to see how it goes if you make it. Ha, the something secret is something er… sexy. 😉 There I am with the sexy again. Tut.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks really lovely Jen. I quite fancy having a go at snaps, though your nightmare experience has taken some of the shine off my enthusiasm.

    Intrigued by your seeeekrit plans.


    • Thanks Leigh! Oh no, please don’t let me put you off snaps! Everyone else seems to have no trouble so I probably did something wrong. Oh, some of the secrecy is because I’m not sure if it will come off. :/


  3. I’ve heard quite a few traumatic stories about snaps and your experience tops them all! Thank goodness you can still get the dress on with them shut as it looks great! I love that fabric.


    • Thanks Jane! Ha. Wow, I imagine that’s not a good thing that my experience tops the others. I undoubtedly did something wrong so am speaking to a sewing friend and snap-extraordinaire this weekend to work it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the dress! Shame about the snaps – I’ve yet to try them but I will one day. Love your vlog by the way 😀


  5. Okay now I really need to hype myself up about trying snaps! Here’s me thinking they were way easier than buttonholes.
    The dress looks great. The bodice fitting is great! Which is always a sewing win when no toile is done.
    I am loving your vlogs and am super jealous of your sewing space! It looks like a pinterest dream world xx


    • Well, I definitely did something wrong I’m sure because everyone else has no problems at all so don’t let my experience stop you! 😀 My machine is a little grumpy about buttonholes so they’re still easier than that.
      Thanks! Yes, I was really happy with the result with no toile. I’ve gotten better at measuring the pattern pieces so after avoiding the toile stage more often. Really glad to hear you like the vlogs! 😀 Love watching you on Gabby’s. Ya know, I’m not sure how I made my sewing space look quite so nice really, it’s certainly a great motivator.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think this dress looks lovely on you, very summery. I got given a snap set and pliers for Christmas and am yet to have a go


  7. You’ve done a lovely job with this it looks great
    I feel your pain with snaps. I got very close to crying trying to put mine in and nearly gave up & did buttonholes instead. Sheer bloody mindedness won out in the end though, I weren’t going to be beaten by inanimate objects – but mine also remain firmly closed, so you’re not alone. I agree about the belt it looks better with the contrast and definitely comes out thinner than the picture. I’ve bought fabric to make my second Adelaide as it is a lovely comfy summer dress. As for Seamworks timings, I can’t make anything in 3 hours, I think that is misleading, even without the snap trauma!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment Sam (and my apologies for the delay in responding)! Glad I’m not the only one who’s had snap trauma! I think I’ve gotten more of a handle on them though, and I hope you’ve had similar success. Also glad I’m not the only one who thought the belt was thinner, and yup, I don’t think I can make anything in 3 hours either!


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