Completed: A Hawaiian Lonsdale

13 May

I actually had this finished a couple of weeks ago, but it’s taken me this long to post since I had to get a special bra to wear with it. And by “special,” I mean strapless. I don’t know why I’m talking about my bra right now, let’s talk about this dress instead!


This is the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress. REAL TALK: When this pattern first came out, I had absolutely no intention of sewing it up as I assumed it would be mega unflattering on me. Not because of the bra issue, like most people pointed out – I have no problems with wearing a strapless bra, it’s like a staple in my lingerie wardrobe (and yay that I finally have one that fits!) – but because the bodice doesn’t have any darts, which I figured wouldn’t work with a large bust. Also, this pattern eats up a lot of fabric and I just wasn’t feeling it. So no Londsale for me, at least not while everyone else was snapping them up.


While I was in NY, we had a mini sewing stuff swap (which I’m REALLY sad I missed out on dumping into… I will have to come back with a suitcase full of patterns and we can do it again, ok?? Hmm plane tickets appear to be cheap right now…) and Sonja added this to the pool, encouraging me to try it. So I snapped it up and found this fabric the next day… it’s from Chic Fabrics, and it was $5 a yard. HELLS YES. Lonsdale, comin my way!


As I was trying it on (no muslin, and not really even a tissue fit… I just based my size off the finished measurements and started cutting), I realized that this dress is SUPER cute and flattering. A bodice with no gathers or bust darts, who woulda thunk?


I also totally get why everyone keeps freaking out over the skirt, it’s really flattering!


(Not really sure what I’m doing here… smelling the breeze, maybe?)

This is a size 0, by the way. I did not make any alterations to the pattern, except my zipper insertion (lapped instead of centered) and I cut something crazy like 5″ off the hem. I like my skirts to hit above my knee.


Sorry for the shit picture and my sad little droopy bow, but isn’t the back cute?? I LOOOOVE that the straps are adjustable, since I can never seem to get them right on the first/second/eighth try. Now I don’t have to worry, whoop whoop.


I definitely want to make a couple more of these – or even just Lonsdale skirts, gawd – as I can see myself wearing these aaaall summer. I think you could probably reduce the amount of fabric needed, too, with some careful planning. Part of the bulk of fabric yardage comes from the bodice being double-layered (you can see the second layer a little bit in my close-ups, as my fabric is slightly sheer), and the ties are one big long piece that goes into forever. I think this could be REALLY fun with the lining being a contrasting fabric – you’d see the contrast in the ties and around the neckline.


Here’s a terrible close-up. Sorry! The sun was REALLY bright and I don’t do that whole wait-until-it-gets-less-bright patience thing very well πŸ˜‰



If you’ve been holding out on this pattern because of the large bust issue, maybe this will sway ya πŸ˜‰ It swayed me, anyway!

Can’t wait to bust this shit out on my vacation! LONSDALE 4 LIFE.


65 Responses to “Completed: A Hawaiian Lonsdale”

  1. Lori May 13, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Super cute dress, it looks great on you – as does everything you where!

  2. Marie May 13, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Why on earth did you assume it would be unflattering?! I’m soooo glad you tried it in the end, because it’s such an amazing shape on you! Love it lady! My plan is to make one that fits me this year…I messed the last one up and had to donate it to my mum who has a smaller bust. She loves it and wears it ALL the time, which makes me happy and annoyed at the same time ;o)

    • LLADYBIRD May 13, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      I don’t know! I guess I assumed that since my bust is a good 8.5″ bigger than my waist, I needed darts or gathers at the bottom to get it to look nice/be fitted without being, like, blousy. You definitely need to make it again this year bc I’m pretty sure this style will look AMAZING on you (like everything you make!).

  3. tialys May 13, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    As somebody else with a generous embonpoint, I might give this a go. It looks great on you and that fabric suits the style so well

  4. nicoleneedles May 13, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    It’s gorgeous! Good to know it works for those of us endowed with a large bust – i may have to make one of my own.

  5. Lelie May 13, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Very cute!

  6. Sarah W. May 13, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    So cute! Red is my favorite. I should have lent you my ukulele for this photo shoot! πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD May 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Ahhhh, that would have been so cute!!

  7. Gjeometry May 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Very cute and definitely summery! Thanks for the review.

  8. Wendyp May 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I love the fabric. I have tried on dresses like this before (with the tying around the neck thingy) and they really don’t suit me, but I think it looks really well on you. Another job well done!

  9. CGCouture May 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Good to know it will fit a larger bust, I haven’t purchased it specifically because I was afraid it wouldn’t work. Yours is very cute, love the color and the print! πŸ™‚

  10. Roisin Muldoon May 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Nice work, Chuckles, I love it! This shape really suits you and I bet you’ll make lots more. I have a large bust too and find it flattering although damn, I HATE wearing a strapless bra!

    • LLADYBIRD May 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      I used to hate strapless bras too, until I realized I was wearing about 2 sizes too big in the band. Now I don’t have to hoist it up at all – that shit stays in place and it is awesomeeeee.

      • ariada May 14, 2013 at 1:28 am #

        Your dress is awesome. Now I want that pattern! I know this is somehow personal, but I am really interested in the ‘strapless bra for big cups’ issue. Do you have a preferred brand or a link to share?

        • LLADYBIRD May 14, 2013 at 10:15 am #

          Haha naw, it’s not personal to me… I just don’t normally discuss because I don’t think most people care to know about my bras, you know? I’m actually still trying to find my preferred brands; my issue is that I wear a 30 DD/DDD, and most companies don’t stock below a 32 in strapless (at least not in stores – and yes, I can shop online but I prefer to try it on before dishing out my money). My new strapless is the Freya Deco convertible bra and I looove it – the band is nice and tight, it has straps that can be adjusted for narrow shoulders (LOVE) and it’s so pretty πŸ™‚ Not too expensive, either!

          Forreal, though, if you want the srs low-down on bras for big cups – especially with a small band – you need to check out Kristin’s blog and soak up some of her knowledge. She is amazing and I bow to her bra posts.

          • ariada May 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

            Thank you πŸ™‚

  11. Susie Homemaker, MD May 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Reading your Lonsdale post was like reading my own thoughts! I also held off on making it for the same reasons but finally did a few months ago (you can find pics on my blog). I did add a 1″ FBA and rotated the extra waist fullness into the center front seam and the side dart got rotated into the neck tie gathers. I also shortened it several inches to hit above the knee. It really is a fun and easy dress to sew up and wears so well.

    Your Hawaian version is perfect and will be great for a warm-weather vacation!

  12. Clipped Curves May 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Ahhh so summery! I was also sewing holiday clothing this weekend only it was cold and raining here!

  13. lisa g May 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    i was just talking about how i would really like to make a lonsdale this summer! great job, yours turned out super cute!

  14. black label May 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    super cute…love the red & white hawaiian vibe.

  15. Marie F. May 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Really a nice dress, I love your fabric! I am planning to do a Lonsdale really soon… just need to find the time!

  16. Angela May 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Oh good grief.. I hadn’t bought this pattern but now I’m reconsidering it.. although my daughter and I have the opposite problem – not overly endowed on top. But maybe since it doesn’t have darts, it will work on a small bust as well? Hmmm…. any thoughts anyone? We bought need some summer dresses ASAP, so I need to get started. She is honestly built like a runway model – 5’9″ 120 pounds, but not a lot of bust and it is really hard to find clothes to actually fit her and not make her look like Olive Oyl (ok, I think I just really dated myself with that reference…)

    • LLADYBIRD May 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Sewaholic designs patterns for a smaller bust (well, at least in proportion to the hips) so yes, I think this would work wonderfully on her! You may need to do a SBA if there is too much ease in the top, but I think this style looks great on the lesser-endowed πŸ™‚

      • Angela May 13, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

        Ah, so again I can blame you as I spend more money… LOL! I went ahead and ordered it …. A couple months ago I was asking you about your new Bernina… and ended up going out and buying one! And yep – I LOVE it!!!

        • LLADYBIRD May 14, 2013 at 10:16 am #

          HAHA sorry not sorry! These are both purchases you will not regret πŸ™‚ YAY BERNINA!

  17. puu May 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    i think it’s super-flattering, and what a great combo of fabric and pattern. great make!

  18. PendleStitches May 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Sigh…I’d kept this off of my list for the same reason as you and now I have to add another pattern to my “to sew” list because this is SUPER CUTE on you! Love, love, love that fabric!

  19. sewbusylizzy May 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Agreed. I thought this dress would look awful on me but it turns out it’s perfect. I wear mine a lot, the skirt is gorgeous, I made mine with a light voile, I lengthened the skirt and it’s just perfect.

  20. mokosha May 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    soooo prety.. i have a similar dress from my pre-sewing time and i love love it! maybe i need a new one now πŸ™‚

  21. Aleksandra May 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    So cute on you! I adore that fabric for this pattern. And to the person who asked about whether this would be good with a small bust, I can attest to the fact that it is super flattering for those of use who are less well-endowed. πŸ˜‰

  22. Carlee May 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    This dress needs to go on vacation.

  23. Rochelle New May 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    OH MY GAW SO CUTE!!! I bought the Cambie instead of the Lonsdale because I thought I’d get more wear out of it, but now I really wish I bought this one! It looks awesome!!

  24. Eleanor (undeadgoat) May 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Hey Lauren, the way that the Lonsdale is able to have no darts or princess seams is because the excess is actually gathered into the knot and/or rotated towards the shoulder and cut off at the neckline! The C.F. seam also does a little bit of the fitting work, but the overall shape of the pattern piece is actually pretty close to the results of a basic dart rotation exercise . . . with the darts rotated up. Among other things, that’s why the waistline of the bodice is so curved.

  25. Rebecca @ sewciopathic May 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Ack. Every time I come here, I’m like, my god, this girl is awesome. Girl crush much? Yes. Yes.

  26. macstabby May 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Gurl. WUT. Want!

  27. Jennifer Lauren May 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I haven’t made the Lonsdale yet but it’s in my pile. I’m kind of like you and aren’t sure whether it will suit me or not! But, I think the time has come to get my A into G and try it out!

    The dress looks beautiful on you!

  28. Chickeys May 14, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Sweet jesus, so cute. That tropical print is so lovely and it looks great in that swingy skirt!

    I don’t have a large bust, buuuuut I am going to Hawaii in October and I have been searching for the perfect beach sundress pattern (rather fruitlessly, I will add!) AND Fashion Fabrics Club is having a big summer sale! Lawn for $4 per yard, yus please! So I have definitely been swayed. πŸ™‚

    I need some other Sewaholic patterns anyway…Alma, get in my life!

    • LLADYBIRD May 14, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      Omgah this would make the perfect Hawaiian vacation dress! GUH pls take me with you… I am very small, would easily fit in a medium-sized suitcase πŸ˜‰ hahaha

      Also, you should not have told me about that fabric sale. Nope. Dammit.

      • Chickeys May 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

        HA, of course you can come! A slew of family will be there, you’ll blend in just fine! My little 18-month-old nephew is coming too, everybody’s attention will be on him anyways. πŸ˜‰ YES VACATION.

        • Angela May 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

          Ah, I will check out fashion fabrics!! We are heading off to Hawaii in July, and I am starting to work on summery dresses for our trip.

  29. maddie May 14, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I agree! This pattern in super flattering.

    And the bust darts are still there – sort of – they’ve just been rotated and changed to shirring at the CF neckline. That’s my pattern making geekiness coming out.

  30. Lisa May 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    LUAU-READY, LUAU-APPROVED. Oh, I love how summery and flattering this pattern turned out! The little bow at the back and the adjustable straps are such a nice detail. Getcha Mai Tai on up in that piece, ma’am! Good work!

  31. Amanda May 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Beautiful Lonsdale, Lauren! I was interested in reading your thoughts about not needing to do an FBA – my version felt like it needed one…or something. I was getting the ‘diagonal line syndrome’ from the bust to the waist, which a pattern drafter showed me could be corrected by adding a dart. I saw that Sarai at Colette Patterns did that for her version. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make another so thanks for the inspiration!!

  32. Stephanie May 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Oh your lonsdale is so cute! I love the print of the fabric. It’s so summery.
    I too didn’t jump on the lonsdale bandwagon. I like the dress but I just think that I wouldn’t get enough opportunities to wear it. Unfortunately the weather in Ireland is just too cold 😦 If I have time I should make one for holidays though! Unfortunately there are too many more practical and wearable things in my list for now.

  33. lloubb May 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    looks so fun on you! I think the secret to this design is pulling the straps tighter than it initially seems like you should. When I first pulled my finished dress on I thought it didn’t fit but then it was great when I pulled the knot tighter. I’ve seen some people blog that it doesn’t fit great at the neck and I always think pulling tighter will fix it!

    • LLADYBIRD May 15, 2013 at 9:23 am #

      I totally agree – if the strap is too loose, the bodice ends up too low and it throws off the proportions.

  34. crystalpleats May 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Oh, I adore the Lonsdale and its gorgeous neckline and straps. You look fantastic!

  35. Susan - Knitters Delight May 15, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    I had your original sentiments about this pattern. I love how yours turned out and since I do have the perfect fitting strapless bra, I have no excuses. I would live in it all summer too!

  36. Jo May 15, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    I love it! And I’m amazed that you didn’t even need to do any alterations! Wow! It’s super cute… I love Sewaholic. And your creations πŸ™‚

  37. Ashley May 15, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Love it! I had been holding off as well for the same reasons you mentioned. Now I may have to give it a try…

  38. Angel May 15, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    What a nice summer dress! Perfect for a sunny dress.

  39. Tasia May 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    So cute!! (No wonder I had a rush of Lonsdale pattern orders this week!) It looks gorgeous on you, it’s the perfect holiday dress. I lived in this dress on my road trip holiday last year. (My dress, not your dress, that is!) I’m so glad that you got a perfect fit over a curvy bust, that is great to hear! You’re right about the knot, if it’s tied too loosely it can gape.

    Anyways, your dress looks awesome! You are so productive. Every few days there’s something new and gorgeous posted here!

  40. Renay May 16, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Loving it! i too have avoided this pattern, even though I love it, due to bust issues….
    You have made up my mind. Must have it. And I am such a sucker for tropical fabric…. sigh

  41. Carolyn May 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Perfect fabric + Perfect pattern = AWESOME dress!

  42. gingermakes May 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    This looks adorable on you! I’m so glad! I KNEW you would look super cute in this pattern, but then again, you look cute in everything, so it’s not like I’m some kind of genius!

  43. raesock May 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    oh man, that really looks great! it is so flattering!

  44. Kelly May 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Your Lonsdale looks great! You’ve used the perfect fabric, and you’re right, the dress is so flattering. It’s not really my style, but maybe I should reconsider – the dress looks so good on everyone who makes it!

  45. Becca May 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    This is so cute and really flattering! The fabric is perfect for that dress. I’ve always thought this was a cute pattern, but was concerned about getting this pattern because of the “large bust issue.” I suppose my fears have now been assuaged. Although, I’ve yet to find a strapless bra that truly works.

  46. missjoiedevivre May 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    I’ve never really been sold on Lonsdale until now, but this is amazing. You manage to make everything so pretty and shiny and covetous! Stop it!

  47. sallie May 20, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    This is freaking beautiful – as always! I don’t know why I’ve waited to jump on the londsdale wagon – seriously every version I’ve ever seen of this dress has me drooling… just do it already!


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