Super cheap dress alert! Sewaholic’s Lonsdale dress is not really known online for its frugality and I will freely admit that I used over 5 metres to construct it. However, it was very cheap to make due to an amazing shop in Tokyo that sells fabric for 100 yen a metre (about 60p/EU0.75/US$1) – I seriously miss that shop now! At the time, I couldn’t decide between two or six metres, and I am so glad I went all in for six metres! Even so, I had to do some creative cutting to make sure the fish were all heading the same way, leaving me with a lot of awkwardly shaped fragments. I think they may reappear as pockets and contrasting parts of Datura and Sorbetto tops in the future, but for now, they’re just swimming about in my bag of scraps! I have worn this dress to death at weddings, parties, and nights out in sweaty Singapore, and it is a dress that begs to be twirled and danced in. As you may have guessed, I love this dress and will be making many more versions in the future…
The pattern I used is Sewaholic’s Lonsdale dress, and there are tons of beautiful examples all over the internet showing just how well loved this dress is. The ones that persuaded me to go for it were Ginger Makes’s beautiful flowery version , Sew Busy Lizzy’s daisy extravaganza and this really unusual (but lovely) dragon extravaganza. I really wasn’t sure if this style would suit me, but I thought it was worth a try. This pattern was my first forary into indie patterns after learning to sew purely from Burda magazines and Japanese language patterns (hurray for lots of pictures!), and it was such a breath of fresh air to have so many well-written instructions and pictures after Burda’s often complete lack of them!
This dress has everything I could possibly dream of and is perfect for Singapore’s hot and humid weather. The fabric looks like a kind of printed seersucker and is very light, but luckily dark enough that I did not have to line it (I made another version out of spotty fabric and had to hastily line it with a chopped up bed sheet once my husband pointed out that you could see my pants!!). The dress has a dimpled look when it comes out of the wash with regularly spaced indentations; if anyone can identify the fabric, I’d love to know what it is!
The Lonsdale has pockets which are deep enough for bus passes, keys, phones, and even a very slim book! They are also so neatly fitted that they don’t bulk out too much when they are full so there are no weird lumps all over the place – hurray! I had a few fitting issues with the bodice which I solved by adding a few centimetres of fashion fabric to the back, although this does mean it gapes horrendously at the neckline… I think I just need to do a FBA rather than going up a size, so I think I will definitely be attempting that next time. It’s incredibly lazy of me to have not to have done this especially as Tasia has up a ton of links to help here. Next time, next time…!
This pattern is a breeze to put together, but it does take a LOT of time because of the long, looooong halterneck ties. Don’t try to put it together the day you are planning to wear it (like me) or you may end up fudging bits (like I did…). Tasia’s instructions are really friendly and very picture heavy. There was also a sew-a-long a while ago which is really helpful if you like to see exactly how things go together.
There are multiple ways to tie the halterneck straps to give you a looser or tighter look depending on how you feel, and again, the very organised Tasia has a tutorial on this here. This woman is a regular superwoman!
I’m off to go out twirling in my dress, but I will be back very soon with photos of yet another Anna! What is the cheapest dress you have ever made? Was it a pattern you expected? And can anyone identify the mystery fabric?! Also, did you see this? I know it’s completely unrelated, but it’s so exciting! Maybe I should make a space dress to celebrate…