The Last Gasp of Summer Dress (Part 1)

Lonsdale at last!

Last night, in a fit of madness, I finally cut out the bodice for the Lonsdale dress*. Boo-ya!

So, what’s up with this? Well, I had traced out the bodice pieces in a straight  Sewaholic size 6 back in July (Yes, I’m a tracer. Especially when it comes to almost $20 patterns). Tasia’s size 6 matches my bust measurement, and the waist is only an inch off, which puts it closer to my measurements than any other commercial pattern I’ve run across. Yay! The hip measurements are way, way of—the Sewaholic line caters to the more pear-shaped among us, which I am emphatically not—but that shouldn’t matter for a dress like this. Which is probably why she came out with a dress like this ;).

Anyway, on examining the pieces, I decided to shorten the waist by a LOT. I have a short waist to begin with, and the Pendrell blouse (presumably based on the same measurements) was reported to run long in the waist. Also, there’s the waist-band piece, which will sit below the bodice. Trial and error has taught me that if I must have a waistband on a dress, I’d rather have it start at my waist and extend above. Visual attempts to lengthen my waist don’t seem to help—I get better results with a slightly raised waist. Or I think I do, anyway (think this dress). I took out about 5cm (2″), I’d say. So it will probably end up a bit higher than Tasia intended, but hopefully at a place that looks good on me ;). Remember there’s a 5cm-wide band below the bodice, then the skirt starts.


In the photo I had folded up the bottom edge to to approximately where the seam will be. Since you can’t really see my waist well in these pics, I’ll throw in a slightly more inclusive shot:

Distance shot

Unfortunately taking photos at night in my bedroom with the flash and my backup camera doesn’t make for the best photos ever, but you should get the idea.

I should really make a swayback adjustment, though. Note to self.

Pretty instructions!

I have to say, I love Tasia’s instructions! Look at all those gorgeous little diagrams—barely a word, because barely a word is needed. Kinda like Ikea instructions. 🙂

Now to find time to actually work on it…

*Bonus points to the person who sees my big booboo in this photo.



Filed under Sewing

25 responses to “The Last Gasp of Summer Dress (Part 1)

  1. I like the material your using. So far looks good to me, I am sure it will look great when your done.

  2. Skip the rest and just wear the bodice! 🙂 It’s supposed to be a nice weekend!
    Nice fabric choice, as always. Can’t wait to see the dress completed.

    • I’m tempted! Although the number of days here in a year warm enough to wear such a top (never mind me being willing to 😉 ) I can probably count on one hand. Here’s hoping for a warm September where I can wear it lots! 🙂

  3. I love this pattern and I really, really wish it was something I could wear. While I’m looking forward to the temperatures here dropping under 100°F (38°C), I am glad that summer dresses are almost year round here.

  4. I think the bottom of bodice would look better with 1″ added back to the bottom (i.e. from where it’s currently folded up in your pics – oh, & I’m most envious of your great tummy BTW!). From what I can see the 1″ added-back will not make you look any thicker-waisted, but will IMHO make you look less short-waisted (which is what I think the dress might look like once the seamline is in place from stitching on the skirt pieces). Just my personal opinion/preference though 🙂 !

    P.S. It’s fitting you really nicely around the errmm “front” area – Q: Do you plan on adding any layers/padding to it? A la Sunni’s post: – that’d avoid the need for a bra in hotter weather 🙂

    • Remember there’s a 2″ wide waistband that still goes on below the pieces you see right now. I want the bottom of THAT to go at my natural waist, which it will, roughly, at this length. I will admit I have some peccadilloes about fitting in this area, though ;). And opinions are always welcome 🙂

      I don’t plan on adding bust padding, and I will wear it braless—call me a hippie, but given the modest size of my endowments I like to consider a bra an optional piece of clothing (except for sports, anyway). I do wear them with a lot of my wovens, but I don’t think it makes sense for a dress like this. As for the padding, Sunni’s looks lovely and all, it just doesn’t seem that important to me. 🙂

      I am pretty relieved by the top fit, actually! 😉

      • I’ve so-far gotten the impression that we both like things to fit in a similar way, and because of that I’m going to throw in my comment that I think you’re totally right in your original judgement call about this fit issue. If it was me, I would want the waistband itself sitting on my natural waist and definitely no lower… on me, if the flare of the skirt doesn’t start at exactly the natural waist, I get a bit of a muffin-top look which is actually just a direct result of my short-waisted-ness and waistbands/lines sitting slightly below my natural waist and jabbing into my hips. I can see in the hands on hips photo above that you really actually only have about another inch or so below the current length before your natural waist begins… go with your gut!

        I actually have this theory… I’ve noticed that short-waisted bloggers either seem to like really low-rise everything (you and me) or really high-waisted things. I think that’s maybe because we have experienced that weird hip-jabbing, muffin-top-inducing thing of waistlines sitting just a smidge too low. But of course this is just a theory based on very limited observations 😀

        • I think there’s something to your theory ;). For me (and you, too?), the short waist is compounded with a somewhat rectangular figure; I think it’s the combination of the two that makes the waistband-at-waist issue so problematic. I don’t want to completely change the look of this dress, which does have the waistband at the natural waist, but I do want to tweak it to work best with my figure. 🙂

          • My figure is not rectangular, but the funny thing is that because of my short-waisted-ness I always assumed it was! When I started sewing again I was shocked to find that I actually have a 10″ difference between my waist and my hips… it’s just that my natural waist is like, a foot higher than where RTW clothes want it to be 😉 (Okay, slight exaggeration.) That, and I seem to be quite long from waist to hip/crotch in order to compensate for the short waist. Confusing!

      • Ahh… I totally forgot about the waistband going in too 🙂 And you’re right the bodice looks great on you lingerie-free as it is (if it ain’t broke, then why fix it!) 🙂

  5. Yay! It’s going to look so pretty! I love your fabric choice.

  6. You stitched wrong side to wrong side, or at least that’s what it looks like. I think this dress is going to look really cute on you–the fabric is so pretty. Good to know that this pattern will work well for those of us who have no waist definition, do you suppose that the full skirt will help balance out big shoulders?

    • Not quite! I’ll give it a bit longer for people to guess ;).

      I’ve moaned a lot about halter-dresses and broad shoulders, and I’m still not sure how much of my issue is in the eye of the beholder (i.e. me). We’ll see. I’m hoping to have enough fabric to do the full-length skirt, but we’ll see…

  7. Amy

    Cute! I did a bodice test and it fit me really well, too. I love that the bust to waist ratio was spot on for me, unlike other patterns… I look forward to more of them! I hid the sway back by pulling the ties up a bit tighter in the back rather than tying them around the neck… but then again, it starts to sit a bit on the shoulder blades when I do that.

  8. You expect me to see your mistakes when I can’t even see my own??? Love that fabric !

  9. I love halter neck dresses (don’t have one – yet), I love how they show off shoulders & you know, those shoulder bones (call me weird, but I think shoulders can be very attractive). Yours is a perfect torso for such a pretty halter neck bodice. Don’t go thinking anything else! And sorry, I am blind to any deliberate mistakes ….

  10. I don’t have my pattern handy, but just a guess: is the booboo that you cut the fabric with right side facing out rather than in?

  11. Blinkin’ selvedges…
    I can so see this on you, even though you are NOT a pear shape! I would wear it, and I’m another shortwaisted rectangle, except my muffin is far bigger than yours!
    I had to laugh at your title – I started a cape recently, and perhaps I should call it my last gasp of winter cape!

  12. Alrighty, I’ll fess up! The booboo in the first photo is a cutting error: the bottom layer of my folded fabric (on the top in the photo) ended a good inch or more above where the pattern piece extended too. Oops! And I am NOT recutting, so I’ll need to piece in some more fabric along the bottom and use that piece in the lining.

  13. That looks gorgeous on you! You should make a top out of it…

  14. Pingback: Renfrew vs. Knit Sloper—Round 1 | Tanit-Isis Sews

  15. I’m so glad I found this post. I had to shorten the bodice by like, 3.5″!!! I am also short waisted, and when i had attached the waistband where it was originally *supposed* to be, it was not fitting correctly.

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