SEWAHOLIC LONSDALE – a case of Lonsdalitis confirmed


Hello Lonsdale.

Sewaholic Lonsdale - front view

Sewaholic Lonsdale – front view

Yes, once again I have been afflicted with another Sewaholic condition. This one I’ve nicknamed Lonsdalitis. (Sorry feeling tired and my imagination is poor today – if you come up with a better medical term for this condition please let me know and I amend).

This is the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress – purchased from Sew Squirrel (where I get my Sewaholic & Colette Pattern – she also stocks Megan Nielsen, Jalie, By Hand London, Made by Rae andΒ nowΒ some haberdashery I noticed!Β I’m trying hard not to purchase any sewing patterns for a few month as I’m saving for the April/May London trip – woo hoo!

To be honest it took me awhile to succumb to this pattern. I just didn’t think it would suit me. Clearly I’m stoopid and required a bossy personal stylist (or perhaps learn to turn a deaf ear to that nasty little lady that lives inside my head – you know the one – I think she haunts us all), as I think it does quite suit me after all.

When I saw this sweet navy/red/white voile in Spotlight it was destined to be a Lonsdale – the size of the print and the whimsical style just seemed perfect for this graceful sundress.

I did make a mistake when I purchased this… I didn’t think it was directional. I just thought it was random daisies. When I laid it out to cut it – I discovered the vast majority of the daisy stems pointed in one direction. Ooooops.

Sewaholic Lonsdale

Sewaholic Lonsdale – pushing up daisies in the right direction

What to do? I certainly didn’t want my Lonsdale to be ‘pushing up daisies’ in the wrong direction! Well one of the blessings of being a not-so-well-endowed vertically-challenged individual means that I cut a Sewaholic size 0 so I can often fit more across the width of the fabric than the pattern layout indicates. So with a bit of wiggling and jiggling I almost squeezed it out. Almost. The straps of the bodice are enormous – very very very long, nearly a metre! I could not get four complete front bodices out of the fabric – so I simply pieced the straps and used these bodice pieces as the lining. And due to the print being ‘so busy’ its hard to find the seam. Woo hoo for Lizzy!

Lonsdale strap join

Lonsdale strap join

While I cut this dress out as size 0 I cut the skirt at a size 16 length. For me, I like the flared skirts to be longer, I think it creates a nicer silohette on my frame. I think it balances the flare of the skirt and the bare shoulders, it makes it more graceful than cute. I’m not much chop in the cute department (not that I’m at all gracious either – but its more fun to pretend to be gracious than cute). Then again I could just be a ‘grandma’ about these things. Some people have commented that I look very 70s… I’m hoping they mean era and not age. πŸ˜‰ I think it would make a rather fabulous maxi in the right fabric.

Sewaholic Lonsdale - the front view

Sewaholic Lonsdale – the front view

I also attached some simple cotton trim to the hem…

Sewaholic Lonsdale, the hem

Sewaholic Lonsdale, the hem – with a little bit of trim…

I made no muslin (naughty Lizzy *giggle*) I figured my Cambie are a nice snug fit so this would be so too. NOT TRUE. It was a little too loose in the back and given the nature of this bodice I decided it had to be fixed. I did consider pulling it all apart – instead I cheated *giggle*. I ran two darts in the back near the strap loops, tapering down to nothing above the waistband. Worked a treat and as this is such a busy print and it has the back bow, it’s not noticeable. Plus I wanted to wear it to a Christmas party the next day.

Sewaholic Lonsdale - the back view

Sewaholic Lonsdale – the back view

This is a seriously easy dress to make, yes even though it is lined and has a zipper.

I put in a standard dress zipper as that’s what the pattern calls for. Next time I’m going invisible (no not like the Emperor’s New Clothes! I’m talking about the zipper!) especially if I’m using a fabric like voile or lawn (which is my favorite poison in the fabric department).

I would also cut the straps slightly longer next time, rather like Boo Dogg & Me did recently.

Speaking about zippers – my Coats & Clark pack arrived which I won on Pattern Review for this dress. I was expecting a few zippers. There is a ton! They also sent me a cute as a button thread package – AND a gorgeous tin. Awwww ain’t it cute!!! Polka dots, camo, silver, gold – it’s amazing!

Pattern Review have released their 2013 competitions – I think I might try to enter some this year – for no other reason than it provides a goal – I’m a goal orientated person!

Coats & Clark Zippers

Coats & Clark Zippers

Plus I forgot to mention that I also made an apron for my MIL for Christmas. It’s SQUEE cute. She loved it (I’m pretty sure she did anyway. She phoned up ELH to tell him she didΒ which is a good sign, don’t you think?).

Sorry not my best photos – the sun glare was awful and I had to stand in the shade so I didn’t squint like I was 70!

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116 thoughts on “SEWAHOLIC LONSDALE – a case of Lonsdalitis confirmed

  1. I got another condition, jealousities… Its fabulous and I would vote for u, go on.. enter some competitions girl.

  2. The length really suits you well, and I love the way you “fixed” the loose bodice!
    And of course, that zipper haul is impressive – can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with all those snazzy zips. They might come in handy for said competitions, too.

      • I can see why you’d get compliments, it does look fab on you! And you’re probably right – if it works, who cares if it’s a proper fitting technique? I’ll put taking a page out of your book on my resolutions list for the new year πŸ˜€ Sadly, I’ll have to part with my sewing machine for a few weeks now … LeSigh. How will I cope?

        • LOL hopefully it’s a good page and helps you enjoy sewing even more!
          I think my machine needs a service – I think I will send it away while I’m in London. That should solve missing it too much as I can’t sew then anyway. Travel win!

  3. I LOVE the Lonsdale, it’s my favourite make so far. It looks really great on you, I don’t know why you were worried about it not suiting you! Not sure it’ll get much wear when you’re over here in London though, there’s not often much of the gorgeous weather you’re used to about!

    • I love the fact it’s so pretty but so everyday wear as well!
      I’ve been thinking hard about what to sew for my London trip – ah the stress with a bloggers meet-up to dress for!!

      • Well, don’t be stressed, but sadly I’d not put too much hope on being able to wear a gorgeous Lonsdale in April in UK. I adore it on you and like you I thought it wouldn’t suit me either, but my main reason is that I know it wouldn’t get much use unless we move country! This is a darling make and you’ve done a beautiful job.

        • Ah Winnie you can wear it – you just need to knit some cardigans! LOL. I have no idea what weather to expect when I’m over in the UK. Last time I arrived at the beginning of April and it was snowing. Then I was sitting in the pub garden the day I left enjoying a sunny 24 degree day! And I’m planning to pack light… more room for fabric tourism. Your pattern pyramid is on its way – I’m sure the Queen will be driving past in the next couple of weeks.

  4. What a fabulous condition you’re suffering with LOL. I love this dress on you and the extra length… I too prefer not to go down the track of looking cute… I think I’m a little too old for that path and much prefer the graceful look. I say you look totally very graceful in this dress πŸ™‚

  5. Lurvely. I totally think you got the proportions perfect with the lengthening of the hem – I would have done this too. Which of course means it was the right thing to do πŸ˜‰ Looking gorgeous, and nice shoes!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous as per usual, I love sewaholic patterns too but the lonsdale dress just doesn’t interest me, but it looks wonderful on you πŸ™‚

    I have been enjoying spotlight’s $9 voiles at the moment too πŸ˜›

  7. Looks great on you! The fabric and the fit is just perfect!
    I could never get the Lonsdale to fit me right but I’ve made it for my Mum and daughter numerous times and they both love it!

  8. Ooh I love this!! I bought this pattern late last summer but didn’t get around to it; I really must put it on this summer’s list!! (it’s winter here now lol)

    I love the daisy print – it’s so cute without being ‘twee’ – the navy background is right up my alley! lol

    • You are absolutely right, the print is like daisies for grown-ups. I feel girly but not childish which is a nice compromise for a daisy print!
      It’s a great summer pattern, nice and cool to wear and I love the bare shoulders but the modest coverage. It’s a nice combination.

  9. Beautiful dress! I wouldn’t have thought to lengthen it, but it was the perfect choice. The fabric is a great choice too, fresh without being too cute. Can I please borrow some of your skills? I’m sitting here unpicking the side seams of my Renfrew. My muslin worked fine, but I apparently have a VERY stable knit for my fashion fabric and I’ve made a straight jacket instead of a cowl neck shirt.

  10. Wow, what a gorgeous dress! So effortlessly summery….perfect! And I love your idea of making the pattern into a maxi dress – think I’ll have to add this one to the list…

  11. That is indeed a lovely, summery dress but dressy too. The length is just right; very graceful indeed. And I’m impressed by your making necessity the mother of invention to find a quick fix to a problem. If it works, it’s right. End of story! I’m also quite jealous of your ability to wear such lovely shoes. πŸ™‚

    • I did think about pulling it apart but decided that it would probably put too much stress on the fabric – and take awya the enjoyment of the make… so I think the simple back dart were a good compromise and if the weight comes back (that dropped off after I stopped eating bread) it’s going to be an easy fix to let out!

  12. I love the dress and have been eyeing it off since I made the Minoru about 6 months ago. The only thing that I don’t like about the dress is the bow/knot in the middle of the back… I just find it uncomfortable when driving a car… do you think it would be easy enough to change that? (it’s the only reason I haven’t bought the pattern!). Either way, the dress looks amazing on you and I love the fabric choice too. I’m in WA so will head out to my local Spotlight store and see what other fabrics they have (just hate the service at that store! lol)

    • I think if it’s light enough fabric the knot is not too annoying. If you figured out the perfect strap length and didn’t feel the need to have the adjustable option with the strap you could perhaps just anchor them into the back of the dress, you would need to change the construction slightly but it could easily work. Much the same way the Cambie straps and be altered after the lining is attached. Just leave a gap to feed the straps through when you sew the bodice shell and lining pieces together. There was still some of this at my Spotlight a few days ago – if you want some I can purchase and send over and we can figure out payment. It’s on special for $9 a metre now!

  13. Oh man, just what I need another case of Sewaholicitis! I am still getting over Thurlowitis and feel a bout of Cordovaitis might be looming. I have looked at the Lonsdale pattern and wondered if it would suit me and if I really need it. Your version makes it really hard to say no. It is lovely!

    • It’s a very comfortable dress and lovely on a hot day (oh dear I’m not helping you). I’ve got Cordova too but it’s hard to get motivated to make a jacket when it’s 30+ degrees outside!

      • Ahhh summer…that is the only thing stopping me making the Cordova. It is on my autumn/winter wish list though. Maybe I could show some restraint with this dress though. I have way too many dresses for regular rotation and they are starting to feel neglected. Do dresses have feelings! I am getting too emotionally involved with my sewing I think!

  14. Omg I think this is the nicest Lonsdale I have seen so far! I def wasn’t as taken with the Lonsdale as much as I was with the Cambie from the very beginning but your dress is just wow! I especially love the longer maxi style length. ONCE AGAIN Lizzy you have made me change my mind about a pattern – you’re like a dog whisperer for sewists!!

    • Your comment made me laugh out loud – if only I was so good with my crazy whippet! I ‘really’ like this pattern. It’s simple enough to put together but looks fabulous.

  15. That little dress does remind me of the ’70’s, but looks totally hip in that fresh fabric. I love mixing vintage vibe with up to date. It’s really flattering. How nice to wear a sundress to a Christmas party, I’m having beach envy again.

  16. Oh, that is stunning, Lizzy…really it is. I hadn’t seen that voile in Perth yet…will keep an eye out. I am seriously DROOLING over that lace trim at the hem and the PERFECT length!!! You look gawgeous dahling! Good on you for MacGyvering the straps too. Awe, love everything about it.

  17. this dress is perfect on you! it looks fabulous! πŸ˜€ love the colour the shape and that you lenghtened the skirt! it looks so classy but fun and summery! amazing outfit!

  18. I’m considering this pattern & your version is totally selling it!!! I’m glad to hear “real” sewers I admire resort to the sort of dodgy sounding fitting practices I do – frequently I’m afraid, naughty me… and really, if it ends up this gorgeous, why not!?!

    • Well I once had a formal dress that was too big in the bodice and that’s all they did. I thought I was dodgy but I unpicked them years later and the dress fitted perfectly. We all change sizes at different point in our life.

    • Thank you Karen – I think it is a good showcase of my clavicles. A bag of spanners? I had a giggle imagining what that looks like, although some men would find a bag of spanners highly alluring – I’m just a bag of bones!

  19. You know, we’re built similar, and I haven’t bought the Lonsdale because I thought it wouldn’t look good on my build… but after seeing yours, I going to serious consider getting the pattern. Love this version.

    Question–do you find the tied straps annoying? I just can’t imagine liking that. I think I would sew them in permanently without a bow.

    • I do a google image search and see how a pattern looks on people of a similar build – it’s quick and you get a gallery of images to look over.
      I think this does suit lean builds, it’s not a curve creating dress but it does showcase shoulders, lean arms etc.
      I don’t find the bow annoying but my fabric is very lightweight. I do get my husband to do it up for me. I think you could sandwich the straps between the bodice layers where the strap loops are, you just need to figure out exactly how long you want them during construction (a bit like the Cambie construction). That would get rid of the bow.

  20. I love this dress on you and I think it’s fine if it’s a little 70s. I can’t call it retro because then I’ll start telling everyone to get off my lawn and shake my fist and some such.

    I do wish I had your zeal for competitions. I get nervous and bail. Maybe I just need hand holding and what better place to find that than Twitter. πŸ™‚

    • LOL are you going to shake your fist at me when I blog my MacCalls 6611 jacket? It’s hanging up waiting for some blog photos. It’s sooo pretty, I’m actually impressed with myself (fat head moment).
      I think 70s fashion would have suited me… Alas why not 50s which is so much pretttier!

  21. Definitely looking graceful! Another gorgeous dress and I envy the sunshine as it was dark and foggy here by 3ish, although I know the heat has been responsible for some not so lovely things too. Anyway, you look stunning and the print is gorgeous!

  22. If this is what Lonsdalitis looks like, I want it please! What a beautiful dress…I hope you get addicted and make loads more! I made this pattern up last year but it ended up being too small in the bodice, which was soooo sad…this summer I’m going to nail the fit ;o) By the way, I hope I get to meet you when you visit London!!!

  23. Those straps are very fabric hungry aren’t they. But what a winner of a dress, it looks stunning on you – love it. The trim is a lovely touch. Win.

  24. i’m a bit late but that dress looks absolutely wonderful on you! i think that and the darling cambie are my favorite! hopefully my dress will look half as good as yours! πŸ™‚ x

  25. Absolutely lovely! And I think you’re right–the longer skirt does suit you. Not everyone can wear that length, but it works on you!
    And I’m fairly certain no one mistook you for a septuagenarian πŸ˜‰

  26. I love the style of this dress! The fabric is just lovely, and with such a busy print, I could not even tell you had to join pieces together for the ties. It’s beautiful with the extra length and trim!

  27. Totally stunning and totally convinced me to buy this pattern! Just need a summer holiday somewhere beachy (pity it’s heading into autumn!!).

    • Thank you! Yes, the temperature has really dropped in the last couple of days – so sad. I love this dress, I feel a million dollars in it. Oh well. Time for winter sewing – maybe a Renfrew or two!

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