Sheath dress in embossed scuba | Seamwork Ida

Sheath dress in embossed scuba | Seamwork Ida

You know how sometimes you’ve had a piece of fabric in your stash for a while and then you see a pattern and they were just meant to go together? This is what happened in this case. I was browsing the Seamwork website just before Christmas, as I had some credit to spend and I saw Ida. She really spoke to me, and then I remembered that I had this piece of embossed scuba in my stash, so the decision to get it was a no-brainer. And it turns out to be such a quick make that a few days later, it was ready to wear during the Christmas party season!

Yes, my friends, this is how long it took to photograph this project! I have said it many times before, but sewing is easy, it’s the taking pictures part that kills the flow for blogging…

But back to Ida… Seamwork describes her as the ‘knit little black dress’, figure-hugging shape which hits just above the knee.  It also has a boat-neck neckline, with shoulder gussets to keep the neckline in place and prevent it from stretching. Self-lined cap sleeves balance the slim silhouette, centre back seams allow for easy fit adjustments, and a slit at the right side seam adds to functionality.

What’s not to love, really?

So here’s my version:

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #01

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #10

It really was a very simple make, and it came together without glitches. Although the fabric is more burgundy than the red in these pictures, it still has quite a Christmasy feeling, and it got worn loads during the holiday season and since. Plus it’s super comfortable, yet dressy, so a win-win really!



Pattern: Seamwork Ida, size M

Seamwork Ida Line drawing

Fabric: embossed medium weight scuba from eBay (can’t remember the seller’s name)

Alterations: removed the side slit, as it was a bit too high for me; used self made bias to finish the armholes and then used the coverhem to stitch in place (as opposed to turning and using a double needle). I also added belt loops at the side seams and centre back.

Fit: The fit was great straight out of the pack, but I think it really depends on the fabric. This scuba is very elastic, but I made another version in a less stretchier material and I had to make a few more alterations (reduce centre back and raise shoulders, as armholes were a bit too low). Do a bit of test to make sure you can get your head through the hole, it could be a bit tight, again depending on the fabric.

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #07


Seamwork patterns are not very complicated to sew, although I laugh every time at their claims that they can be sewn in one hour! I’m a fairly quick seamstress, and it still took me 2-3 hours excluding the cut. I like to take my time with the finishing and using bias tape definitely slow me down. I constructed the main parts with the overlocker, but also used my sewing machine to attach the bias binding on the armholes, and also the coverhem for the neckline, armhole and hem finishing.

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #05

What I loved

The neckline is definitely my favourite part. I love boat necklines and the gusset was a very interesting feature.

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #15

What I disliked

I wasn’t very sure about the cap sleeves, they keep flicking up, and I didn’t like the side slit.


Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #05

As a general observation with Seamwork patterns, I feel that the finishings suffer in favour of a speedy make and I do question some of their instructions. So I like to sort of make my own way and choose options that I feel will look nicer, like the bias finishing.


Probably the most worn dress of the winter season, though it’s light enough to wear in spring and summer. A very nice shape with great details. Winner!

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #12

Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #04

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Lynsey
    22 March 2017 / 9:22 AM

    Super dress, the colour looks great on you and it fits so well, I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks estimated time is too short.

    • Alex
      22 March 2017 / 10:51 AM

      Thank you! Ha ha, yes, taking that with a pinch of salt every time 😬. But they are nice patterns.

  2. hmm… with all the interruptions I get when sewing the estimated time is usually how long it takes for me to sit down at my machine. Your version is really lovely. That colour/fabric is great!

    • Alex
      28 March 2017 / 7:40 PM

      Thank you Linda!

  3. 22 March 2017 / 11:05 PM

    Love everything about this. I subscribe to Seamwork but keep thinking I shouldn’t as I rarely make their patterns – they just seem too basic. Then I see something like your dress and it gives me pause. I shall investigate this one!

    • Alex
      28 March 2017 / 7:37 PM

      Thank you, Sue! I know they are simple, but the details always win me over. Like the insets on this one :).

  4. 23 March 2017 / 9:12 AM

    Pity the cap sleeves keep flipping up, because they’re really cute. Dress is stunning!

    • Alex
      28 March 2017 / 7:35 PM

      Thank you! I made a version without sleeves and not sure if it works as well. I’ll photo and post at some point and you can let me know what you think.

  5. 23 March 2017 / 3:00 PM

    The colour looks fab on you Alex! And the gussets…what a great idea, though I think they should have a different name. Inserts? Sounds wrong having gussets on your shoulders 😳

    • Alex
      28 March 2017 / 7:34 PM

      Thanks, Ali! I Ha ha, I agree! Gussets always make me think of granny underpants :).

  6. 24 March 2017 / 4:39 AM

    Love it! I keep trying to get up enough courage to make a bright red dress! I’ve mostly gone for flower prints and neutrals ❤️

    • Alex
      28 March 2017 / 7:33 PM

      Thank you! Looking forward to seeing your version of the red dress. (Btw, this is actually burgundy, but it didn’t come out too well in the pics).

      • 28 March 2017 / 7:52 PM

        Thank you! Red or burgundy its gorgeous either way ❤️

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