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Seamworker’s Closet: Inspiring finished projects!

I love to see finished examples of patterns before I start sewing, don’t you? Seeing what others made can really help get ideas flowing, so we’re taking you inside a different Seamworker’s closet each month to share inspiring finished makes, discuss how Seamwork helps with wardrobe building, and chat about fabric.

Up first is the lovely Beth from Sew DIY, who just completed a stunning sequin Mesa dress this week.


How would you describe your style?

My style is something that evolves over time as I move to different places, start new jobs, fashions change and I figure out what things I enjoy wearing the most.

The biggest change happened after I moved to Southern California from Oregon about 8 years ago. When I lived in Oregon, my style was more utilitarian to protect myself from the rain and cold. I knitted a lot more and actually wanted to be a knitwear designer. After moving to California, it didn’t make sense to wear bulky knit sweaters and raincoats anymore. So I started sewing more than ever. Here I can spend a big part of the year in dresses and shorts without any fear of being too cold. These days I focus on creating an everyday wardrobe that makes me feel stylish and comfortable. I also try to only make things that I will wear frequently.

What is one of your sewing goals for this year?

I did a big closet purge last year so I’m working on filling in some of the holes that left. I’m starting off sewing some basic dresses and trying out different patterns. The Mesa dress has been great for kicking off that goal.

I also want to be more mindful with my sewing and buying. I want to sew things that will be really useful and worn often and only buy new fabrics and notions that I’ll be able to use. There are so many pretty things out there that it’s hard to control myself sometimes. I just want to sew everything! Beyond sewing my own wardrobe, I want to continue pattern making and pushing my designs to the next level.

What Seamwork patterns have you made? Which is your favorite so far?

So far, I’ve made the Reno and Dakota bikini, the Adelaide dress and the Mesa dress. The Mesa dress has to be my current favorite. It’s a great basic dress that I can wear any day of the week. I love it so much that I’ve already made three versions. I’m also planning to make the Adelaide again before summer starts.

How do you use Seamwork as part of sewing your own wardrobe?

It’s such a thrill to read a new issue of Seamwork the first day of every month. As soon as I wake up and see the email announcing a new issue, I jump to the site to start reading. I can always count on it to be inspiring from new techniques to sewing history to new patterns. I’m a big fan of that can be made quickly and easily so the Seamwork patterns are perfect for me.

What fabrics do you like to work with the most?

I really like knits because they’re so comfortable to wear, but it’s nice to go back to an easy to work with woven. I really love chambrays and light charcoal colored linens. I do most of my fabric shopping in the LA fabric district but when I’m looking for something extra special, I like to go to The Fabric Store or shop online at Imagine Gnats or Girl Charlee.

What Seamwork project will you make next?

Next, I’m going to try the Geneva panties and use up a bunch of fabric scraps, and after that I want to make the Moji pants and Nantucket shorts. I also really love the Almada kimono from the current issue. I could see it made in a lot of different fabrics.


Thanks for letting us into your closet, Beth! If you haven’t checked out Sew DIY yet, it’s full of inspiring projects and great sewing tips to boot.

If you want to get on the list to see more finished projects, or start your first Seamwork pattern, create a Seamwork account!

What’s in your Seamwork closet?

Meg Stively

Communications Manager

Meg is here to help you. She's the smiling face behind our customer service and social media. Keeping in touch with our family of stockists, and shipping your orders all across the world, she loves seeing what you're making with our patterns.



February 6, 2016 #

I love what Beth did with the Mesa pattern and think I would also have to alter the neckline as it looks a bit too broad for me. I also like the subtle contour change Beth made at the bottom so the dress is more bell-like. Beautiful article and solid information from the interviewer and the interviewee.


February 6, 2016 #

Thanks for this post! It’s great to see more Seamwork patterns in action. Beth’s Mesa dresses are so lovely! Maybe you could get her to share how she changed the neckline? The original neckline came out too big on my muslin — not just wide but a bit droopy, unfortunately. I’m trying to figure out an adjustment that would still echo the shape of your original pattern sample from the magazine.

But, again, thanks so much for this post — and for the new issue of Seamwork, which features really lovely pairings of Seamwork patterns as well as a really fantastic article by Christine Haynes about translating Seamwork and Colette patterns for woven fabrics into knits. Really, really great stuff!


February 6, 2016 #

Hi Kalimak! To change the neckline, you can redraw the neck at the front and back. Just make sure that the shoulder lines are the same length so that they match up when you sew them together.

To do it, I tried on the muslin, determined where I wanted the neckline edge to be and measured the distance between that point and the muslin. (For example, it might 2 inches.) Then for the front and back, extend the shoulder line 2 inches towards the neck. Then draw a new neckline curve from the new shoulder to the center front or back.

I hope that helps! Happy sewing!


February 6, 2016 #

Thanks, Beth! I really appreciate the tip!


March 4, 2016 #

I resonated with what you said about loving to wear knits but sometimes it’s oh so nice to work with a woven for a while! I’m doing exactly that – having made a knit Camas I’m onto a really nice woven Roxanne (muslin first!). I love your dress! Beautiful, comfortable and drapey.