I’ve wanted to make the Seamwork Arden for a while but never got around to it. Then I stopped wearing dresses as much and decided to shorten it to a blouse length.
Seamwork Arden is a loose fitting babydoll dress with a shawl collar and long darts to give shape. I used the bonus which has a gathering at the yoke instead. The bonus has gathering only at the centre bust and the centre back, but I chose to do some light gathering across the whole yoke.
Seamwork’s size range is okay. It tops out at a 54 inch bust, though, which is actually a bit small imho. I think the standard should be a 60 inch bust at the very least. We need to do better there.
I made a straight size 24 with no changes except to the length. The fabric I used is a rayon twill that is heavenly. It’s deep stash for me since I have had it since about 2013 since it appears in this post on my fabric stash. I bought a bunch at the same time and most of it has been sewn now but this was one that was so lovely and high quality that I couldn’t bring myself to make anything with it.
I just love it and wish I had more tbh because I could definitely see the Glebe pants in this fabric, too.
Okay, let’s discuss the clown in the room. Yes, this top is giving me serious circus vibes between the collar, the print, and the oversized look.
I AM HERE FOR IT.
I just love it. I originally had the top a bit longer, but then cropped it shorter so that it would work great with high-waisted pants and also offset the volume.
It looks great with my Willandra pants!
I think given the volume in this size and the wide shoulders, I could have sized down to a 22 instead. I also need to correct the wavy front hem due to my bust size pulling it up. I’ll have to add a bit of a curve to the front at the top for that.
Dear me, I love the sleeves. Yes, they are slightly too long on my t-rex arms but they are fabulous. The volume, the cuff, the lovely fabric.
And that freaking collar. It’s a massive bow and so pretty.
That said, Seamwork has some weird instructions for the collar that don’t sit well with me. I also wish the collar turned into the bow, which is what I had expected but the bow is actually sewn into the centre where the collar meets. Having made bow collars like this before, it seems like they went that way to avoid complicated instructions and make it easier for beginners. It’s not my preference though. I was thinking as I cut out the pattern pieces of redrafting that but that type of finish does also require a few changes including how the yoke is attached. So I left it. I won’t make the change for the future either since it’s too much work. I definitely get why they didn’t do it. Ha!
It is this sewist’s opinion, though, that Seamwork instructions are often hit or miss. I would say their more recent patterns are much better but since Arden is from a while back in their catalog, it isn’t great, which is odd because the instructions are super long!
I loved making this blouse though and will be definitely making more next time. Although, I think I will size down to a 22 for the shoulder fit and a bit less volume.
As you can see, I had fun taking pictures for this one. There is something about large voluminous sleeves that makes me feel like a romantic protagonist even if it’s set in a circus. Hahah.