Saturday, August 1, 2015

Nicola sundress

A sundress with a sunflower pattern on a sunny day in August! 

The Nicola dress pattern from Sewaholic took me only a few days to make. It's a nice simple design and I only had to make my usual adjustments, no surprises.

Here is it from behind:

The fabric is a Vlisco superwax fabric, which is a slightly lighter weight cotton than their regular wax fabric. It's not quite as fine as a lawn cotton, but very close. The fabric is floaty, so the dress isn't quite as draped as it looks on the sample dresses from Sewaholic. Lawn or voile is recommended but I think this slightly heavier fabric turned out okay, however, I would not use anything with more body than this.

The color is a crazy shade of green. It looks yellow sometimes, but it's really more of an acid green. The only matching thread I could find was silk, so yay, I had my first experience with silk thread. It is nice.

I am very pleased with the collar/yoke design and sewing instructions. The sleeves are a little silly looking to me, but flattering once on the figure. Unfortunately, they join up to the bodice in a thick seam with two layers of sleeve, two layers of yoke and then a bias strip. You can see on the back yoke there is bubbling from so many layers. I pressed and pressed, but I should have taken more time and care in trimming all the seam allowances. With a lighter weight fabric, this might not be a problem.


My first alteration was a 3" FBA in the form of darts on the bodice. I decided to do this instead of increasing the gathers and waistline because I didn't want it to be too blousy.

Once I attached the skirt to the bodice, I saw that it was too blousy anyways, so I raised the waistline by 3 inches in the back, and 1.5 in the front. This lessened the bagginess in the bodice, fixed my swayback, AND it gave me a lot of seam allowance to use as casing for the elastic. I used a wider elastic band (3/4") with the extra room. (When I got to the part in the instructions about using the elastic guide to measure the elastic, I hunted over and over again for the pattern piece with the guide, thinking I had lost it. There is none... the guide is written in the instructions, just under the first mention of it. Observant.)

I did not sew down the elastic until the rest of the dress was constructed. I waited until I could see with the buttons how tight I wanted it to be.

Oh, the buttons! I spaced them closer together on the bodice so that I would not have any gapes, measuring to make sure one was at the apex of my bust. The skirt buttons are more widely spaced. I did not use the pattern guide for this, just a measuring device and my own experience. 

I cut a size 14 bodice, grading out to 18 waist and hips. The length is perfect as is from the pattern, I am 5'7" for reference.  

Here it is on me (sans belt):
The armseyes could have used a little reshaping, but my bra is covered. I think a few washes will also soften the fabric up so it does have better drape. 

The shoulder gathers don't quite flow over the bosom, but puff slightly near the v-neckline. This appears true in the willowy model too!

One more:

I was making faces in the photos so sorry for the cutoff heads!


  1. Great fabric! Very cool dress and you did a great job fitting!

    1. Thank you! I just bought the Sway dress pattern- I love yours, looks so perfect for hot weather!

  2. Lovely! I adore all of your wax print creations, but this is one of my favorites!

    1. Thanks! I've been holding on the fabric for awhile. It's very bright, but fun to wear.

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  4. Gorgeous! I just love that fabric and it fits you so well.