Here’s a quick summary of Seamwork for those with no clue what it is:
- Seamwork is a monthly online sewing magazine ($6/month) published by the folks at Colette Patterns.
- Articles includes profiles, Q&As, sewing advice columns, step-by-step tutorials, pattern styling tips, personal essays, homemade beauty product recipes, fabric advice, etc.
- Each issue has a theme (Issue No. 26’s is “Back to Basics”) and includes two new sewing patterns (PDF only). The patterns reflect the theme and are designed to be relatively easy, fast projects.
- Your subscription includes 2 Seamwork credits per issue. Seamwork patterns cost 1 credit, and PDF Colette patterns cost 3 credits.
It breaks down to a pretty great deal—if you actually get around to printing, taping, and cutting the patterns, let alone sewing the damn things. I love getting a shiny new issue in my inbox the first of each month, but I’m realizing that I rarely follow through with the actual garments. Right now I’m hovering at 15 Seamwork patterns in my library, with 20 credits burning a hole in my pocket.
It’s a lot like flight miles. I build up my Southwest Airlines miles and then, oddly, am kind of sad to use them, even when it’s for something totally rad like a vacation to Costa Rica.* Am I turning into a digital hoarder?!
This is all to say that I’m really glad I took the time to sew this Neenah Dress! It’s one of just three Seamwork garments I’ve made, the others being the Almada robe and the Akita top. I like my Almada robe, but I sewed it in the wrong type of fabric: an ultra-lightweight rayon challis that wrinkles like crazy. Akita turned out way too tight in the chest. I followed the sizing chart and made a 6, but I’ll size up if I ever try it out again.
But that’s enough about my misfires. I’m happy to say that I adore Neenah.
I figured the fit of this dress would be relatively forgiving, so I went with size small rather than medium. For reference, my measurements (36-29-39) fall between a 6 (U.S. small) and 8 (U.S. medium) for Neenah. Before I go on, I should mention how important it is to check your fabric’s percentage of stretch before making Neenah. The pattern calls for a knit with at least 25% stretch. According to the stretch gauge, my stable knit (I think cotton-spandex?) just barely made the cut.
I sewed up the body and sleeves and tried on the dress. Luckily, the body fit pretty great. Snug, but still very comfortable. As for the sleeves…
The were way, way too tight at first. It was like wearing a super-duper-tight long-sleeve compression shirt. NOT COMFORTABLE, hence the panel that begins about an inch from the underarm seam. The sleeves are still snug, but the additional fabric makes them infinitely more wearable.
After the sleeve fiasco, I figured I’d need to cut a wider piece for the turtleneck to ensure it wouldn’t get stuck on my dome. I believe I added about 1.5 inches of width. It’s a tiny bit of a squeeze to get the dress over my head, but it’s not so tight that it rips off my makeup or musses my hair up too badly.
I didn’t add length, which is rare because I’m 6’o” and have a long torso. Maybe the fabric pooling a little at my back is an indicator that I could’ve added length in the waist area, but honestly, I won’t change much if I sew this again. I might add another half inch on the sleeve, but that’s about it.
Neenah is a winner in my book, and it’s definitely the most wearable Seamwork pattern in my wardrobe. Do you have any Seamwork hits or misses?
*If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica, I’m all ears on tips. I’m going with Marc and another couple for a week at the end of February. We’re flying into Liberia, but everything else is tentative at this point. Let me know if you have any must-see spots!