This 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.
Enter Sewaholic Pattern’s much loved basic the Renfrew (also made and not yet blogged).
Size + Alterations: I 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.Changes 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.