New dress: Seamwork Adelaide maxi hack with a whiff of Wiksten

Is this really a hack? Adding a bit of length and some pockets? I don’t know and I don’t really care for the word “hack” either. When I was younger it was a colloquial term for a particularly globulous spit, (and perhaps it still is), but in any case it doesn’t exactly inspire visions of elegant sartorial alterations. Oh well, whatever. It does a job, I suppose.


I have made the Seamwork Adelaide once before and it is, without doubt, one of the best fitting patterns I’ve made, straight from the pattern. Seamwork may have its detractors, but I bloomin’ love my lily linen dress. Having said that, I hadn’t initially planned on the new version you see before you. Oh no. That was actually supposed to be my first project from the Nani Iro Atelier book and I’d even gone so far as to cut the dress out. You know what’s coming, don’t you?


I did think to myself, “oh that’s bit’s a little wider than I thought”, and “huh, the collar really looks a little wider in the photo”, etc. But because they were minor observations and because I think most sewists’ natural default is to think “What did I do wrong?”, (right? it’s not just me I’m sure) I didn’t really look at the book very closely until just as I was about to interface the pieces and realised – doh doh doh – there was no seam allowance on the pattern pieces. CURSES. Now, for practically any other pattern in the book it wouldn’t matter, because there is an aircraft carrier’s worth of ease in most of them, but this one has a placket, a collar and so on – and there’s not much you can do with negative space. I brainstormed a million crappy things I could try to fix it, but in the end I realized that cutting a slightly less voluminous dress from the pieces might be my best shot at saving this gorgeous fabric. (Which, incidentally, is a crepe from L’Etoffe Fabrics.)


I have since cut out a new Nani Iro dress with the added 3/8″ seam allowance, and guess what? It looks more like the one I was expecting in the first case. Funny, that. But back to this one. As I say, I already made the Adelaide and added an FBA last time, which saved me some work. This time I shaved a quarter of an inch off the depth of the armscye, but the other changes were more cosmetic than technical.


I retained as much length as I could from the Nani Iro pieces and it added around 8 to 9 inches to the length of the dress. I then also made sure to add a side slit at the bottom on each side to ensure I could put one foot in front of the other without falling flat on my face. I did this very simply in a similar manner to my Wiksten shift dress by stopping sewing the side seam early, where I wanted the slit to begin.



I then basted this part and pressed the whole thing open, before removing those basting stitches. I then just edge-stitched that seam allowance down at 1/2″ all the way around the opening. Voila!


The other change was to add patch pockets and I really liked the look of the Wiksten shift pockets too, so based mine on those. I wanted them large and simple, so cut out two large rectangles from my remaining scraps. I pinned them on against my dress after sewing the darts and worked out where I wanted them to go and that I wanted to use a 1.5″ hem folded twice on the top and edge-stitched to create the top of the pocket, and then I folded and sewed the other sides at 1/2″ seam allowance.


The only other change was to omit the belt loops and tie. I like the tie on my linen dress, but preferred it without this time. I used snaps again instead of buttons, which I really like. The only part that gave me a little trouble was attaching the binding. The crepe is a bit fiddly and I didn’t take enough care, so I unpicked most of it and used a lot more pins the second time round and it lay a lot flatter.


Annddd… there’s not much more to say! This is another really comfy, pretty flattering Adelaide dress. I really like it! The End. 😀



7 thoughts on “New dress: Seamwork Adelaide maxi hack with a whiff of Wiksten

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