Sheath dress in embossed scuba | Seamwork Ida

Seamwork Ida (Header).png

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?

Seamwork Ida Line drawing

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

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

Construction: 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 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.

Verdict: 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) #12Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #04Seamwork Ida Burgundy Scuba (2017) #06

Thanks for reading!


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  1. 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 😳


  2. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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.


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