Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bondi Dress from Tessuti Patterns, batik version

Note to self - get moving on blogging my summer items. While it’s not a necessity I do like to blog most everything I sew for myself. As it turns out this frequently is the only place I make any sort of notes on the sewing or fitting details. Often I fit on the fly and consequently the only record of changes is here on the blog. Not helpful when I go to sew the pattern again, which is something I really like to do. 
So here’s a summer pattern that I’ve now used 4 times. This is the second dress version and I have two tops make from this pattern, one in silk and one in rayon.

It’s the Bondi Dress from Tessuti patterns, a simple shape that actually lends itself to a lot of creativity. Not that this version is all that creative, I just added a wide ruffle to the bottom edge. 

Batik dress by pool

There was a Vogue pattern our a couple of years ago that had this same look. Actually that pattern had the ruffle only across the back bottom edge of the dress. It was a quirky detail and the versions I saw looked interesting but I had plenty of fabric and wanted the ruffle all the way around on mine. While ruffles and flounces are back in fashion at the moment the've never left in Hawaii and you see lots of beautiful dresses here with deep hem ruffles, either floor length or shorter.

Here's a closer look at this fabric, which I've had in my stash maybe 10 years? I bought it in Honolulu when my sister lived there and she's been back in California for a good while. I bought it at Hawaii Fabric Mart which is the only large fabric store I've found over there, it has a several stores on Oahu and Maui. They sell mostly Hawaiian print fabrics, with some batiks, Japanese fabrics, quilting cotton and some dressmaking fabrics. If you are in need of denim or other fabric standards and you live in Hawaii I think online shopping is the only game in town.

Batik dress back neckline

One change I've made to the Bondi dress/top pattern is to add about an inch to the center back seam so that I can make it overlap, here it closes with some sewn on snaps. That way it's not open and I can wear a racer back bra underneath.

Batik fabrics are a bit stiff and not my usual choice for clothing but this fabric softened up enough after washing to be suitable for this dress style. It does wrinkle more than my liking but it's also not noticeable with that print.

Batik at HJ2

I also made a tie belt and wore it that way one evening. We went to a new to me restaurant, which is Haleiwa Joe's. Since we were staying in Kailua we were not far from the location in Kaneohe which overlooks Haiku Gardens, thus the very scenic pictures. It was absolutely beautiful despite raining buckets just as we arrived but then stopped and looked so lush and tranquil. The food there is good, it was packed with locals and the Mai Tai was one of the best I've had.

I wore this dress a couple of nights before and then when I was putting it on this night I realized that I hadn't really finished it! Pre-vacation rush sewing strikes again. I had put on the bias binding around the armholes and then basted up the side seams to double check the fit. I must have thought "fit is OK" and then set it down and later thought it was all done. So as I was putting it on I realized the side seam basting was coming undone at the top of both side seams. That would have been embarrassing to be sitting somewhere and have my dress slowly coming apart!


Rummaging in my makeup bag I found this sewing kit taking from some previous hotel stay. Those things are useful! So a quick hand stitch and all was secure. Note the needles are pre-threaded. I used the brown and blue threaded ones so now they are empty, I think I will refill it and be sure to have this handy for travel sewing emergencies :)

To complete the travelogue here's another look at the view from the restaurant. I think they rent that garden space out for weddings.


That's it for my summer sewing this year. I didn't actually add all that much to my summer wardrobe as I have SO many lightweight cotton dresses which are suitable for the hot summers in my part of California. The leaves are dropping here and while it was about 88℉ here yesterday I think fall may arrive soon. But until then it's short sleeves and no jackets for us, yay!

Batik dress at HJ

Up next, a couple of Burda items, and my pursuit for some new/interesting shirt patterns.

We have lots of classes coming up at Hello Stitch, I wrote about them in this post or you can always look at the Hello Stitch website to see what's available. Including my Jacket Tailoring class which we again offer in late January - oooh jackets - you know I'm excited about that!

Happy Sewing, Beth

not my garden, but some lovely Hawaiian orchids to admire.



  1. That's a lovely dress Beth - and stunning scenery! This is one of the Tessuti patterns that I don't own - the cut in shoulders always put me off a bit. But a racer back bra is really all that I need to solve that issue! I really like the added ruffle (and suspect that the teen might like one too).

  2. I love your version of the muumuu, especially the version styled with the tie. The batik looks great, and such a wonderful fit too. Funny story about the basting! Thanks for including that bit.

    Have you not shopped at Kaimuki Dry Goods? After a quick internet search, looks like they are still going strong in the same location on the hill above the Punahou area, just off of Whilemina Rise, on Oahu. If you have never been, you must make a special effort to stop next time. I last shopped there around 2005, great high quality fashion fabrics, bridal, etc. though they may have changed their inventory some since I lived there.

    1. Hi R, yes I've shopped at Kaimuki Dry Goods, quite a bit when my sister lived on Oahu. I was always underwhelmed by their selection, they do seem to cater to quilters although they have some lovely home dec fabrics too. I'm just spoiled by the fabric store selection here in N. Cal :)