Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Lonsdale/Simplicity Tiki Mash-Up

About a year ago I bought this lovely cotton from Abakhans in Manchester. As usual I bought it on impulse without any idea as to what I would do with it, so it sat in the stash for about a year while I did other stuff..

I knew it was destined to be something vaguely Tiki, but my mind was made up when I saw the Hawaiian Sewaholic Lonsdale made by Fiona from Diary of a Chanstitcher

I ordered the pattern straight away! But I wanted to make the skirt a bit more sexy. Then I saw Cassie's Butterick 5880 with the side flounce and got some further inspiration. 

(By the way, go and check out both of these ladies' blogs - they're fab!)

I went off and traced and slashed and taped and measured, until I had what I thought was a pretty reasonable version of the flounce in Cassie's beautiful dress. But what I didn't realise was that this flouncey business takes up a helluva lot of fabric! Everything was laid out meticulously, but there was no way it was all going to fit. Back to the drawing board...

But then the lovely people at Simplicity came to the rescue. They sent me a few patterns to try out, one of which was this:

And view C has a flouncey Tiki-esque look, which takes up much less fabric - Jackpot! 

Enough of this waffling - let's get a look at the finished product! Here it is:

It's hard to see the flouncey bit unless the wind blows:

Here's a close up of the bodice knot detail:

I rarely make a muslin of anything, but I was worried about coverage in the bust area - I'm a bit top heavy - so I muslined it to death, finally settling on cutting a size 12(UK) in the waist, and then expanding to a 16(UK) at the neckline, and it worked out just fine.

I also took Fiona's advice regarding the straps - I just pinned them in place each side of the zip and topstitched through the bodice. Mr Needles helped pin them in place, and ever since he's been referring to himslef as 'Tom Ford':

I also did a lapped split at the back of the skirt. I didn't bother matching any patterns, because quite frankly I didn't really care!

And that's that. It's warm enough here in London at the moment that I can hopefully wear this a lot more; at the very least I can use it as an excuse to drink some tropical cocktails!

See you soon!



  1. Love the dress and it's a definite for a cocktail or two. Wouldn't be warm enough here in Cumbria though!

  2. Brilliant solution and lovely result, hope you get lots more heat wave to enjoy. The skirt pattern cover is so yuck I would have just breezed past without stopping to look enough to see that lovely flouncy one.

  3. Whoa!! Hot mama, I love it! The bodice is to die for, perfect with that fabric! And, yeah, that flounce thingie ATE so much fabric I almost had to scratch it. Not only that but that Butterick pattern was a BIATCH. Just sayin. Your dress is perfectly HAWT. xox!

  4. Lucky you: it's bloody freezing and blowing a gale up north today! (I'm another one in Cumbria.) Definitely jumper weather again. It's a lovely dress- I hope you get to enjoy it for a while longer even if my dresses are packed away for now.

  5. Wowzers! What a gorgeous dress! I love the fabric, it's so cheery. I hope the weather holds, so you can wear it for a bit longer.

  6. I love this! I have the Lonsdale pattern but haven't got round to making it yet. I think I actually prefer your skirt with it. And the fabric is perfect.

  7. Gorgeous as ever Mrs Needles! You look wonderful and this is a great mash-up. Did you take it to Portugal? Chuckling at Mr Ford-Needles :)

    1. I did take it to Lisbon, but everyone's a bit casual over there so I didn't wear it. Besides, climbing all the hills in that city means you have to wear really unglamorous footwear, which just wouldn't do with this dress!

  8. Gorgeous dress, it looks great on you!

  9. Love this, the fabric, the pattern mash-up - it's all a collision of FABULOUS. Beautiful & classy

  10. Hi I love the dress!it looks great.

  11. I have seen this in real life so can vouch for the fact that it's fabulous! Looking awesome as usual, Nicole!

  12. So exciting to see my dress as a little bit of inspiration! You've knocked it out of the park with yours! The fabric is gorge and I love the addition of the flounce. It's perfect for the tropical print!

  13. That print is beautiful and the dress looks great :-)


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