Friday, May 25, 2018

Bondi dress from Tessuti patterns

How could I resist a dress named after a beach? When it comes to nature a sunny ocean beach is my favorite spot. Plus this dress is a great summer basic, I love the shaping of the neckline and shoulders and it works in so many fabrics.

Bondi dress 1

We were looking for a versatile pattern to use at Hello Stitch Studio for a dressmaking class and Stacey, one of the owners saw this pattern and loved it. Which was great as we were planning to make one in each size!

I think this dress is really versatile. With a little pattern hacking you could change up the neckline (I made one sample with a V-neck) and yesterday I sewed a tie belt which works with this lightweight rayon fabric.

Bondi dress wth belt 2

Sewing and pattern details: I used a woven rayon fabric that I had in my stash. I must have bought it at some kind of tag sale - maybe at the local ASG stash sale that they have 2 times per year. It had a piece of paper pinned onto it that said 45" wide 3 yards and was serged on the cut ends. Nice when I find a remnant that is ready for the pre-shrinking like that. Irresistible as it is a sort of tropical floral in my favorite colors. Super soft and great drape as well, which I think works nicely for this pattern.

Here's the line drawing for the Bondi dress pattern which is from Tessuti Fabrics in Australia.

Bondi dress line drawing

This is the first Tessuti pattern that I have sewn. They are a great choice for beginners or any level as they are mostly simple shapes that show off the fabrics, not a lot of fitting and I found the instructions to be very good.
For our class the pattern is included when you register, you will receive the PDF of the pattern and the instructions to keep, but perhaps the best part - you don't have to print it out because it is already done at the studio! So you can trace out your size. How do you know which size? Because between myself and the studio owners, we have sewn a Bondi dress in each size so you can try them on, figure out which size to make and trace away :) Here's a link to the next session of the class (Sat. June 2) . If it is full then I believe we are scheduling it again before the summer is too far gone.

bondi dress pattern pieces

The pattern pieces are on sturdy tagboard and they have large tracing paper at the studio so this might be the easiest tracing project ever. Which was not ready when I made a couple of the sizes 🙁 so I had to trace for myself. On the positive side - we had the patterns printed at PDF Plotting which was great, super fast service, and quite economical, especially if you have multiple patterns printed in one order. Although recently someone told me about a copy shop here in my town that is equally good and local - so instant gratification! Now if I could just drop off my Burda magazine sheets for them to trace out I would be a happy girl!!

Bondi dress front on form

I made a size 10, and the neckline etc. was just right. I took it in just about 1/2" on each size above the bust dart as the armhole was a bit gaping on me, but otherwise no adjustment. I was thinking of making the size 12 for me but last weekend I tried on the various ones at the studio and realized the 10 would be better. So a win for the try-on system.

Here are a couple of the samples at the studio. Left, size 8, made as pattern indicates, and on the right, in a soft linen from Stone Mountain, the size 14 with the neckline changed to a V-neck and the shoulder edge brought out to a more standard sleeveless dress placement. (also on that one I did an all-in-one facing instead of a bias binding, so that's an option as well.)

Bondi dress examples

Closer look at the neckline on my dress. I love this back yoke detail and the simple closure. Time to confess - I don't make the bias loop for the button - I sew a piece of 1/8" elastic as a loop. So much easier!

Bondi closeup front and back on form

More true confessions - I do make sewing mistakes, usually one per project and on this one I sewed the pockets on backwards, i.e. with the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards. The pocket design on this dress is clever so that you have a stitched on pocket on the front of the dress but that means you need to have the right side of the fabric on the wrong side of the front inside. Makes no difference in the green linen version above as both sides of the fabric are the same but in a print...

Pocket mistake Bondi dress

Late night sewing fail. Oh well, unstitched and did it the right way.

Bondi dress pocket closeup

Bondi dress belt on form

For the tie I just cut up some remnants and stitched together to make a long tie, about 1" wide. Didn't really pay attention to the length, and found that it goes around my waist twice with room to tie which works well in this soft fabric. I think in a linen it wouldn't work as well with a waist tie. This look reminds me of the Sway dress from Papercut Patterns which I have always liked.

Bondi dress back view

Back view. Just FYI, for a bra I tried one that I have where the straps can be changed to an X in the back and it worked perfectly. Although there is probably a peek of strap at the opening in the center back yoke. Which I think is better than the straps sticking out at the shoulders (ugh that makes me crazy to see that).

So that's the latest on my Bondi dress. Pattern love!

Bondi dress with belt 4

After these pictures were taken I looked at the thermometer on the patio and it said 59℉. Yep, it was a bit brisk for a sundress. The weather is weird, people. But you know that. In any case, we are supposed to have a nice warm up this long weekend, which is Memorial Day, so a bit of sewing, some garden work, a sewing student tomorrow, a plant sale on Sunday, plus dinner reservations and a holiday get-together. I had better step away from my laptop and get moving!

Upcoming classes at Hello Stitch Studio: 
Sat. June 2:       Bondi dress class mentioned above
Sat. June 12:     Sewing Pattern Alteration and Fit Lab
Thurs. June 14:  How to read a sewing pattern 6-9pm. *I love to do this class - and it's not just for beginners  - it's a great way to discuss sewing patterns, find out about what makes a pattern good/not good, how to match the right fabrics to a pattern, how to choose your size and all kinds of other details before you sew a stitch. (p.s. this one is post-workday so I think we will include a happy hour element to the class 🍷
Sat. June 16:     Pencil skirt  (two session class)
Sat. June 16:     Sewing with Knits, Basic T-shirt
Sat. July 14:     Pants clinic: Diagnose your fit issues.
Tues. July 17:   Button front shirt class (two session) any shirt pattern
Sun. July 22:    Copy your favorite garment.  (we just did this one last weekend and it was So Much Fun! and a few people emailed that they couldn't make that date so here's another session)

and one more that's not on the website but will be soon:  Pattern Hacks, (Sat. July 28) where I will show how to use the patterns you already have and create new necklines, add or move darts, change sleeves, mix and match two different patterns and generally have fun with hacking up your existing patterns.

Happy Weekend Sewing,

for today's garden photo - May means rose season, as you can see in the photos above, most of my rose bushes are blooming like mad. Which is lovely and means I have an abundance both outside and in the house. We have to enjoy them now because they get a bit tired in the August heat, particularly that yellow one. But today's rose is one that blooms all summer long, and might be 30 years old? no idea as it was here way before me. I would love to know which variety it is. I think maybe Mr. Lincoln. (for you rosarians, I think it is a hybrid tea, canes are about 3-4 feet long and then stems grow anywhere from 2-5 feet long, and puts out either single flowers or a cluster on the stem. I probably have that nomenclature all wrong but you can get the idea. Also it has a lovely rose fragrance and the blooms last at least 2 weeks often longer).



  1. It's a pretty, easy summer dress. I really like it on you. Burda had a dress issue, I think last month, and my big complaint was that summer dresses need to be easy, like this dress, not fitted at the waist like all of the dresses in the issue. It's too humid and hot here to wear a fitted summer dress. Enjoy.

  2. Looks like a perfect dress for hot weather, (which we definitely have here at the moment, over 30c) and it’s great that you can add your own variations to it. Great pattern for a class too!

  3. I have the Bondi dress on my list of patterns to try. Tell me, how did you get it printed on tag board? I don't see that option at PDF Plotting, but I'd like to try that out as well for some of my favorite basic patterns.

    1. Hi, we had the pattern printed the regular way, which is on fairly sturdy paper. Then Stacey, one of the owners at Hello Stitch cut out the pieces and pasted them onto tagboard. So it was a fairly time consuming process but worth it for a pattern we are using multiple times.

  4. Your Bondi dress is so pretty and perfect for spring/summer! I can relate to late night sewing mistakes, but it really worked out well for you.

  5. what a lovely dress, Beth! so pretty on you. Simple lines, and very comfortable and breezily cool for summer :)

  6. Great dresses. I really like the V-neck.