FO: Simple Sewaholic Saltspring



Back again with a post I procrastinated over for a few months. Not that there’s anything wrong with this dress – it’s just I’m still struggling to find somewhere to take photos in my flat. The light of an English winter being what it is I’ve pushed the exposure on these pretty high to see the details and it’s less than ideal, gah. The photo situation is a work in progress but I have a couple of things still to try.

Anyways, this is of course the Sewaholic Saltspring pattern sewn in drapey jersey knit fabric. I actually completed this one before going on to the Salt-fall longsleeved variation – as you can see it’s not quite in season.


To be honest, the other reason I was hesistant to post this one, is because there is not much to really say about it. I followed the pattern as written and from memory I didn’t make any alterations. I must say it’s a super easy dress to fit due to the elastic waist and would be ideal if you had to make something for a friend as the measurements don’t need to be so precise.


In the end I figured it’s always nice to be able to see patterns on different body shapes so while this isn’t anything new it’s nice to have in the archives.


I promise something more exciting for next time! I had a lovely time catching up with new and old friends on Goldhawk Road yesterday so the motivation is revving up.

Salt-Fall Dress: Adding Sleeves to the Sewaholic Saltspring Dress Pattern

Salt-Fall-TitleThis is pretty much the dress I want to wear all of the time, these days. It’s stretchy, comfortable and can be dressed up or down easily… and it has pockets.


The Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew + Sewaholic Saltspring

Contrary to what actually makes it to the blog, I have been sewing in the few moments I can grab around work and after my BHL Anna Dress I continued the maxi momentum with a full length knit Saltspring dress (which is languishing in the to be photographed pile). This pattern is everything lovely about Tasia’s designs – deceptively simple, beautifully cut and cleverly designed but it’s very much a summer dress with it’s drapey top and shoestring straps and damnit I wanted these same things going into Autumn so sleeves were needed.

Salt-Fall-SideEnter Sewaholic Pattern’s much loved basic the Renfrew (also made and not yet blogged).

Size + AlterationsI started with a size 16 in both patterns then overlapped the pattern pieces to see how they interacted together.



You can see that the the bodice front of the saltspring dress is longer than the bodice front lining and that it has been slashed and spread not just lengthened at the bottom edge.

Looking at the back view of the saltspring and renfrew together the hardest part was deciding where to align them. Because I was using a knit, I could eliminate the zipper and cut the back on the fold so I started by overlapping the centre back of each piece. Beyond that I just estimated where the waist would fall on each piece which happened to be between the lengthen/shorten lines on each piece so that’s what I went with.

Straight away you can see the saltspring piece is much wider so I started by tracing the renfrew neckline and armscye then merged into the saltspring for the side seam and the hem. I did have to go back and smooth the curve of the side seam but it was pretty straight forward.


I had to do this for the front bodice, front lining, back bodice and back lining. The skirt pieces are from the salt spring and the sleeves are from renfrew.

Other changes – I made a 1.5 inch FBA, made the neckline 2 inches lower at the front grading to a half inch wider at the shoulders.

The Fabric: 2.5 metres of Cotton Jersey from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road @ £3.50 per meter.

Construction: Between you and me I kind of winged the construction but as best I can remember:

  • Bodice front to bodice back at the shoulders and side seams
  • Repeat with bodice front and back lining
  • With wrong sides together, basted bodice to lining at armscye and hem (allowing the bodice to bag out).
  • Sew sleeve seam
  • Sew sleeve cuff and attach as per Renfrew instructions
  • Insert the sleeve
  • Attach the neckband as per Renfrew instructions
  • Continue as per Saltspring instructions


Time to Make: One afternoon for altering the pattern pieces and another for sewing.

Favourite Features: It’s not so much a favourite feature but this is definitely super comfortable which is exactly what I needed. You know those pieces that feel like pajamas but don’t necessarily look it.Salt-Fall-BackChanges for Next Time: Definitely need more length in both the bodice and the skirt. I’m 5 foot 9 and generally I don’t have to make any adjustment for my height but I definitely noticed it here. You can see at the back that the elasticated waist doesn’t have as much blousing because I keep pulling it down. Next time I would add maybe 2 inches to the bodice pieces by slashing and spreading and 3 inches at the skirt hem.

First Worn: Family hols in Avignon.

2013-10-15 13.51.29



BHL Anna in Jersey

Photo 19-08-2013 09 31 24

Hulloh! I finally had a wee rest from work and managed to break my sewing dry spell in a most luxurious way – a stretchy, flowy Anna dress from By Hand London.

The Pattern: By Hand London Anna Dress

Size + Alterations: I know that the woven version is going to need some alterations including a full bust adjustment but for this one I embraced the stretch and just made a straight size 20 off the pattern. If I’d thought it through beforehand I would have eliminated the seams and darts from the back bodice but it still worked fine with them in. The only defference to the jersey was to take a wedge out from the under arm through the waist then grading quickly out at the hip.

Contouring the side seam

The Fabric: A funky grey on black aztec printed jersey found a the last Birmingham Rag Market Meet-up in June. I wasn’t sure it would work but the lovely ladies on twitter and instagram were all the support needed and Lizzy shared a link to this gorgeous knit version from Sew Exhausted.

Photo 17-08-2013 20 50 51

Time to Make: A few hours – about 50:50 cutting out and sewing together. I overlocked most of the seams which speeds things up for sure but the cutting took a while as you’re dealing with some loooong pattern pieces in the skirt.

New Skills: For the darts and tucks in the bodice I got to try out the walking foot that came with my new sewing machine and it worked a dream once I managed to actually get it onto the machine. For finishing the armholes and neckline I serged the edge then turned it under twice fixing with a straight stitch and another foot – the one with a 1/4in seam guide.

Photo 19-08-2013 09 32 41

Favourite Features: I love a good kimono sleeve and these fit well. The skirt is super full but becuase of the panels it doesn’t feel cartoonish.

Anna-PortraitAnna-Out-FrontFirst Worn: Lazing around the house and down to the shops on holidays – ’cause it’s all about the casual glamour, right?



Mission Maxi

imageBring on the Sun!

imageThe Pattern: Jamie Christina Mission Maxi, view A

Size + Alterations: I cut a size 16 (chosen by my high bust measurement) then made a that’ll-do style of FBA, i.e. I fudged it from a few different tutorials on the interwebs. I didn’t want a side seam bust dart as this is jersey so rather than sew the one created by the FBA I just eased the excess into the back pieces at the side seams. To my great surprise it actually worked!

The Fabric: Oh this fabric! It was lust at first sight. I’d already found a nice classic navy at a previous shop when I spied this origami paper style print at Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road and to make it even better it was only £3.50 per metre and is super soft.

Time to Make: So fast, I cut out the night before then sewed it together in an hour or two the next morning.

New Skills: Attatching a knit binding – the instructions are awesome for this.

imageFavourite Features: So quick, so neat, so easy, so comfy.


Changes for Next Time: Adjust the back piece to hide bra-straps.

‘scuse the scrunched up face – the glare was out of control!

First Worn: On holiday back home and many times since.


Palette Challenge: Saffron Vogue 1250 + FBA

Continuing on my quest for work-wear that feels like PJs, I finally jumped on the Vogue 1250 bandwagon and like a broken record I can add my cry to the masses – “what took me so long?!”.

Made from a soft golden light-weight double-knit found on Goldhawk Road, I started cutting the pattern at 6:30pm last night and was done by 10:00pm. It’s such a dream to go together.

The only tricky bit was figuring out the full bust adjustment, as there is really only 2 pieces to this pattern – the upper back, and the rest. I took flat measurements and added a couple of inches to the skirt at the centre back. I knew I’d need more room at the bust but I didn’t want to add any at the waist so rather than a normal FBA, I winged it. (Sorry if it doesn’t make sense – the pictures didn’t come out as clear as I’d hoped.)

The net result is a much deeper tuck at the shoulder giving more room at the bust. I had my fingers crossed the whole way but I like how it turned out.

The Birds Swing-Top Tee

Jumping straight into the lounge-wear category of the Palette Challenge here is a super comfy tee using a bird-print jersey scored at Saeeds Fabric during Claire’s Walthamstow Meet-up.

The pattern is the Swing-Top from the kick-ass Dixie-DIY. Although this early version has been discontinued Dixie has just released her new Concert-tee pattern which I have earmarked as soon as I find the perfect wide-striped knit.

The other super find on Dixie’s site is the Never Fear Knits series she made last year – a seriously comprehensive guide to sewing with knit fabric. Using all the tips this top came together in less than two hours after printing the pattern and would be perfect as a first foray into sewing jersey. I used a zigzag stitch for all the seams and left it un-hemmed.

To say this is comfortable is an understatement – it is ridiculous and now I want to make a million of them.

Operation lounge-wear is off to a flying start!!

The Gray Swan Dress

A sudden rush of sewing mojo has me twirling like a ballerina.

Sometimes, things work out better when you stop worrying about the consequences and so it went with this dress. This winter, it seemed all the high street stores had these little ponte skating dresses with circle skirts and although I had some left over double-knit from my Minoru muslin I had no pattern that would work.

In the end, I used Ali’s method of pin-tracing the bodice pattern pieces from my Gertie dress (which originally used New Look 6824); the sleeves came from my newly adjusted Victory Hazel Dress Pattern and the skirt is a 3/4 circle. The construction was a case of trial and error.

The princess line fit well but gaped a wee bit at the centre front so I gathered approximately 2in of length out there. I free-handed the cut of the neckline then added a band of the same fabric using this tutorial to get it sitting flat. My favourite thing though,was top-stitching all the seams; thanks to Tasia’s instructions on the Minoru jacket I already knew I liked the effect on this fabric. I even topstitched the darts at the back! For the circle skirt I used Patty’s calculator to do the maths.

I love the end result and feel I could fit right in with the Corps in Black Swan…

{illustration} Amy Westcott : {source} Clothes on Film

Okay well maybe not but if you need me I’ll be pirouetting over here.


Note to self – do not let fantasies of ballet stardom distract you from the weather report… unfortunate circumstances may result in windy Scottish cities.

{source} Kestrel Finds & Makes

Palette Cleanser: Stripe Knit Sorbetto

Following all the muslining fun yesterday I felt the desperate need to complete something, anything, from start to finish. So out came this remnant of black & white striped knit and Colette’s Sorbetto pattern. There was only 75cm (30 in) of the fabric but it was more than enough.

I omitted the front pleat and lowered the scoop neck by 2in. At the back, I made a quick tie inspired by Mena’s Sorbetto on the Sew Weekly which is very appropriate given last week’s theme of inspiration from their archives.


I lowered the back scoop neck then added the tie piece to the centre, like Mena added to the bottom in her picture above, then cut down the centre to create the two ties.

I was so excited to put my new twin needle to use, but I ended up only finishing the arm holes due to some serious tension issues from dear Elenor.

The top side worked out okay-ish.

But the bottom tension was a disaster. Instead of the bobbin thread zig-zagging nicely between the two rows, it stayed straight and my machine doesn’t have separate tension for the bobbin.

Still, it meant the whole shebang was finished in well under and hour and I can’t complain about that.



Oh, Ugly Pants!

I have some weird obsession with ugly ‘trendy’ clothes. Think jumpsuits, bubble skirts and harem pants… pretty much anything featured on The Man Repeller. It’s not that I necessarily want to add these items to my wardrobe it’s just that they fascinate me… like watching a trainwreck or American Idol. It’s horrific but I can’t turn away.

I say all of this in explanation for the pants I sewed this weekend. I did consider not posting these but then I saw the following comment from someone on BurdaStyle on a similar pattern and I couldn’t resist!

A DON'T like this demands a Black Bar!

“Still dont know whether to make this or not, sometimes these pants look like you’ve pooed a microwave or something but other times theyre cute! hmm :P”



…….. yup!

(but oh so comfy)