Pattern Review: The Seamwork Leighanne Dress
This one is a bit special
Some of you might know, my name is Leighanne and I am beyond proud and excited that Seamwork decided to name a dress after me.
I have been a Seamwork ambassador for over 2 years now and we are lucky enough to get a sneak peak in to the new season of patterns. When Hayley first presented the summer range (winter for us southerners) I was blown away, but my favourite pattern of all was the midi empire line dress that would be the pattern for June.
I loved it even more when I later discovered I would be its namesake.
The Seamwork Leighanne dress, is in my opinion, just a perfect summer dress with some details that really make it stand apart. It features a curved bust line which is really flattering and pretty, delicate double straps that feature a ring and slider. It has cluster darts along the bodice and skirt seam and pockets too!
It has just the right amount of flowy fabric and the bonus version of the pattern features a ruffle tier to extend the length of the dress and add a bit more hippy-chic.
The style is oh-so modern and it really was a delight to sew. The pattern has launched with a cropped shirt called the Wynn, which as you’ll see below is the perfect pairing for this dress.
Pattern & INSTRUCTIONS
The base pattern is midi length with side slits and an invisible zipper. If you are a Seamwork member, you’ll have access to the bonus too which turns the dress maxi in length with a very well proportioned ruffle.
As you would expect from Seamwork, the instructions and construction process are excellent and they have even added a template so you can get the angle on the double strap just right.
I think that Seamwork instructions do make every step feel really achievable, even the invisible zipper, which I have only done one of before.
The only criticism I have is a bit of inevitable hand sewing of the lining. I HATE hand sewing, no matter how slow I go it just doesn’t look good, but that was a small price to pay for my beautiful dress!
I had decided that I wanted the ruffle on my dress, but I wanted to maintain its midi length and so I set about making a few adjustments.
I took the pattern piece for the ruffle and laid it over the skirt piece. I folded the skirt pattern piece up by the depth of the ruffle so I could add the ruffle, but the overal dress length would not change.
I also noticed from the pattern pieces that the straps were quite narrow. I set about making them a bit more G cup bra friendly by widening them to 19mm, the width of my bra straps. This also meant I could use my existing bra making supplies of rings and sliders. It turns out that I think I prefer this dress with a strapless bra as the pretty strap detail still gets lost with a bra strap, but I also personally prefer the slightly wider straps so would roll this change forward onto my next Leighanne dress.
The dress came together pretty quickly given the elevated features that it has. It has a low back bodice which is really flattering when on. It fastens with an invisible zipper. The instructions said it needs a 14″ zipper. I had an 8″ in my supplies so thought I would try and and it still works perfectly. Even with my wide hips and tum, it still opens enough to step into withouth any problem if I don’t want to go over my head.
Summer Dress of Dreams?
Yes, I think it could be! And I am not just saying that because of it’s name!
I love the modern lines of this dress but also how wearable it is.
A lot of empire line dresses and patterns that are being released at the moment have an extreme narrow bodice.
They might look great on a waif-like teen, but when you are a G-Cup Mama with an aging bod, having a bit more of a flattering line (and frankly a bit more fabric!) is just a necessity.
I love this dress so much that I used some special fabric that had been waiting for a special dress. This fabric is some Italian Couture Deadstock with a gorgeous border print that arrived in a delivery for my store. I kept this piece back for me and have been waiting for the right plan for it since.
The Leighanne Dress was an instant match in my mind and I hatched up a plan for how I would use each of the elements of the dress. I settled on using the border for both the bodice and the ruffle and used the striped piece of the border for the straps. I have never planned fabric placement so much, but I am so over the moon with how this has come out!
This is one of those dresses that just feels good on and I want to twirl around and around in it and frolick along a sunny beach – Alas, on the day this dress launches, we head officially into the winter in NZ and so I may need to wait to enjoy it, so for now it hangs proudly on my door like the piece of art it is!
You can find the Seamwork Leighanne Dress Pattern Here
You can shop for Designer Deadstock Fabric in my store here