I’ve had my eye on this dress for a little while and it was only when I searched the #seamworkadelaide hashtag on Instagram recently that I realised how many lovely versions of the Seamwork Adelaide dress people have made. I had no idea this pattern was that prolific. Go on, take a look – you’ll see what I mean.
I had it chosen as one of two possible dresses for an outfit from my Design your Wardrobe capsule wardrobe. Of all the outfits I put together, I thought this might possibly be the one that was a bit iffy as far as my criteria went: basically being able to chase a toddler in relative comfort without shedding my dignity. Was it too tight? Would those poppers pop? Would it be comfy enough? The Adelaide has bust darts and back darts, which are wonderful for shaping, but I wasn’t sure if that would, in turn, make the dress too fitted for running around.
But my heart was set on what I like to think of as a safari-style dress and Colette calls a “snap dress”. And once I located this gorgeous floral navy linen in my stash, my mind was made up. I got this fabric at District Fabrics here in Seattle, which is just about to shut up shop and move to the Olympic peninsula. Not too far and a beautiful place for a day trip, but far enough to make popping in occasional. Waaaaaaa.
I decided to make my “standard size” for Colette, which is a 14, but to actually remember to add a 3/4″ full bust adjustment as well as lower the darts by an inch. I considered a sway back adjustment and knew I’d probably need one, but decided to hold off due to the fact that this is a belted dress. I read a post from another sewist a while back (I’m sorry, I don’t remember who) that pointed out it was possible to make this adjustment later on if need be, and that it would be hidden by the belt. Genius!
As it turned out, I didn’t need a swayback adjustment at all and the dress fits pretty perfectly! It’s one reason why I’m so sad that the newer patterns using Colette/Seamwork’s new block don’t fit me so well – these older ones really do! Ah well, I’ll just have to make adjustments I guess! If I were being very picky, I would probably lower the armhole by about 1/4″ and increase the FBA by the same, but, really, I’m splitting hairs.
Anyway, the construction was very straightforward. The bias tape on the neckline is tucked into the placket to create a very neat finish, which is always pleasing. I used lilac store-bought bias tape for this project as it’s being used as a facing and won’t be seen, so it helped keep construction time down. I really wanted a nice, quick project this time! The neckline sits nice and flat as do the armholes, so that’s about the most you can ask for when it comes to a bias finish.
I would say the only vaguely annoying parts were turning the belt and belt loops out. It wasn’t more annoying than any other project – it’s just a tedious thing to do in general, and particularly when your loop turner doesn’t work properly. I ended up giving up on turning the belt loops and made them the “easy” way by just folding, topstitching and cutting out my loops.
I did manage to put one snap in the wrong place on the placket as I made the mistake of measuring placements and talking to my three-year old at the same time and managed to do it incorrectly. Even worse, this was the “most important” snap – the one at the point of greatest boob circumference, so it had to be right! This resulted in a lot of swearing, poking and a resultant hole in my dress. But after some thinking and reassuring chat on Instagram, I sewed a little square of fabric over the hole and attached another snap. Luckily it was on the bottommost placket, so when the dress is fastened you can’t even tell. Result!
Overall this dress is a surefire TNT for me now. It fits brilliantly, is very comfortable, quick to make and doesn’t use much fabric. I wore it with wedges to my Mother’s Day brunch in the photos, but it works equally well with a pair of flip flops and a sunhat. All good, and I fancy a little rayon challis number next, I reckon. Another winner from Seamwork!