Monday, September 18, 2017

Knit dress: Pauline Alice patterns Aldaia dress

September means vacation to me, and I just returned from a glorious and relaxing time in Hawaii. With quite minimal time on-line - and that might have been the best part. While I love keeping up to date it does feel that sometimes looking at screens has overtaken actually doing things - whether for work or leisure. I didn't bring my laptop - and decided not do much else, not even take many pictures. Which left me free to watch other people taking pictures  - with the reward of seeing a lot of other people have some "oops" moments. Is that mean to say? It is funny to see someone walk into a pole because they are too focused on their selfie stick. Of course at the beach there is the possibility of seeing a phone go dunk in the ocean. Ok, call me cruel but it was funny...

Anyway,  I will admit that having an iPad loaded with books does have it's advantages. Years ago my dad would just shake his head at the quantity and weight of books that I would pack, but what can you do? a three week vacation sitting on the beach, reading, swimming and breaking for ice cream is just about heaven to me but it does require bringing plenty of books. So e-books do have that advantage. Although I do miss the days of buying $1 used books at the library and saving them up for travel.  

With teaching classes at Hello Stitch, doing private lessons and sewing for a couple of people I really needed to step away from the sewing machine but now I'm rested and have plenty of posts to catch up on. I will be teaching a class on Knit dresses starting Oct 21 so I wanted to sew this up and see how it goes together. My verdict - super cute and I am about to cut out another one, a winter version. Note that for the class another option is the Turner dress by Cashmerette patterns.

This photo is kind of blurry and has a strange exposure - I took it with the timer on my iPad. I also think I took some of these pictures on a day when it was over 100˚F so they were of the quick dash outside for photos and be done with it variety.

red white dress 6

It looks much better on the dress form. You can see that it is a true red and bright white print. I actually made this as a test version, the piece of fabric has been sitting in the closet for at least 2 years. I ordered it from Girl Charlee and when it arrived I thought it was a bit too busy - even for me. Also I just couldn't picture it as anything. However the weight of it was perfect for this pattern so I decided to give it a go.

red white dress front view
red white knit dress back view

Once I saw it on the dress form I really like the fabric - although it still is a bit wild.

Here's the pattern, it is shown on the envelope with these three variations but in actuality you can mix and match all the skirt, bodice and sleeve combinations to come up with a lot of different looks.

Aldaia dress pattern envelope

Aldaia dress options

I copied this image from Pauline's blog to show the mix and match options  - and it also would work well for color blocking.

I sewed size 40 which is what I have used in her patterns before and the fit was really good. The neckband fit perfectly which is a nice feature. I also can see using this pattern as the starting point for a knit tee shirt.
red white knit dress side view

My fabric was a slightly strange width, it had a big white unprinted section on either selvedge so the actual usable part was nearing to 50" wide. Because of this and only having 2 yards I had to reduce the width of the skirt, so I just pinched out about 2 inches from each skirt piece at the hem and then tapered that pinch to zero at the waist. And I don't even miss the fullness, in fact it seems right to me so I am not going to add it back for the next one.

Other sewing details, I just sew knits on the regular sewing machine, with straight stitch. However - this dress has a very fitted waist, and after I basted it together I realized that I couldn't get it over my shoulders unless I used some type of stretch stitch. So I sewed the waist seam and the side seams with a small zig-zag and that was just right. I think I lengthened it about 2 inches so as designed it is kind of short.

Another not so great photo - and the sky was really that color on the day when the fires in N. California were making very smoky and grey all over. Glad that has cleared up.

red white dress 8

Last weekend was my knit t-shirt class at Hello Stitch and it was full with some people on the waitlist so we are scheduling another session sometime in November. And coming up soon is the one I am really excited about - the weekend Jacket Essentials workshop. I am planning lots of demos of techniques and hands-on practice to making the perfect tailored jacket. For some of the other classes, like the Button-front shirt, knit tee, skirt, dress and Fit Lab, these will be regularly on the calendar so check the Hello Stitch website. We are usually scheduling about 2-3 months out.

Next up is my birthday dress - my personal tradition to make a summer sundress type item to wear on vacation (nice how that all fits together, huh?) and then some giveaways, plus the Pattern Whisperer returns!

Summer is gone next week, right? on the 22nd autumn begins....and I am always sad. Fall sewing - not a thrill, as you know by now that perpetual summer would be fine with me. However I do have some beautiful wools that I am ready to get working on, so I guess I will allow this change of season and temperature (like it is up to me, ha!) For now I will enjoy the fact that it is still shorts and tee-shirts weather :)

So for those of you who are excited for fall sewing and wearing boots, scarves, sweaters, layers etc, I say...what is wrong with you?  Well, to each her own sewing style and season. I look forward to seeing whatever you make!

Happy September Sewing,

What better post to use this two-tone dahlia than with this two-tone dress? I have been waiting to post this one. This was a great year for my dahlias and I have plans for even more next year.




  1. What a lovely dress! I hadn't given this pattern a real look, but I think you've convinced me to buy it! The sleeve options make it really versatile!

  2. Beautiful make as always. It's a joy to see your creations (dhalias included)

  3. Love this dress Beth. Like you I have plans to make a winter version. Just a great pattern.

  4. What a lovely dress! Everytime you mention Hawaii I go fetch my photo album from our once in a lifetime 1990 trip. Sigh. Can't wait to see your birthday dress in a Hawaiian setting! End of daydream, back to living in a country where one always needs scarves, sweaters and layers, even in summer!

  5. You are FULL of surprises, Beth. LOVE THIS DRESS ON YOU. So glad you decided to put this fabric to use AND for another summer dress. Looking forward to your birthday dress.

  6. This is just a great dress - a perfect marriage if pattern and fabric. It looks great on you. -from another lover of summer

  7. That's so nice! I love the print and it works well with the pattern.

  8. I am SO SO jealous of the lucky ladies who get to take a class from you ... sigh... The dress looks great - I would have never imagined that print would look so good.

  9. What a great pattern, and a perfect, versatile one for using in a class. Once you've got the sizing and fit sorted there are so many options!

  10. Do you know you can get $1 e-books for your Ipad? I belong to 3 lists that send the discounted books to my email. I belong to Bookbub, Bookperk and RiffleBooks. All have e-books for $3.99 to $0.99. It's great for stocking up before a vacation.

  11. The dress is beautiful! Happy Birthday and so glad vacay was wonderful! But the thing that stuck out to me is that you couldn't afford to bring all those books on the plane with you today! It was cost you an arm and a leg in overweight fees!

  12. From reading your post it sounds like a great and restful vacation. I have been eyeing this pattern for some time now. Glad to read your post and your review at PR. I think I will give it a try. I like you can live with sunny, warm weather and not a lot of layers of clothes. My DH is just the opposite. Look forward to your cooler weather dress from this pattern.

  13. Beautiful dress and beautiful garden. I love these pictures. The dress looks fab on you. Congratulations!

  14. I like the dress on you. Everything you make fits beautifully. Your garden is always gorgeous, but I have a soft spot for dahlias and this one is gorgeous. I don't have enough sun for Dahlias, but we belong to a CSA that has flowers as part of the share, and the Dahlias are blooming and creating a gorgeous display on my dining room table. One thing about getting to cut them somewhere else is I don't have to cut up my garden.

  15. Wow! I'm afraid I'd be so overwhelmed. I'm going to enjoy watching you design clothes online, I will be sewing vicariously through you lol. I'm in awe.

  16. Love that dress!