Ariana, a dress for Sri Lanka

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 15:13

Oh look I’m back on the blog!

I may not have been blogging, but I have been sewing, and I want to try and start sharing again. Properly.

Not only sewing though. I’m feeling a little spark of creativity and I’d like to start writing again. Properly.
So, As it Seams is risen!  It might take a slightly different form. There will be sewing, of course. But there could be some more thoughtful writing.

Expect a few more tales from the frontline of my slightly insane life, lived in the eye of the storm of being 40-something, working in the insanity of British politics, living in a too-small-house with a teenager who won’t get off the sofa, a ‘characterful’ nine-year-old girl and Mr Midlife Crisis.
But I’ll put that whole shebang to the side for just now. And write about something which makes me happy in a pure simple way.

Like this dress, this fabric, and wearing it on a beach in Sri Lanka.

There’s a whole back-story to Sri Lanka. It’s on my writing ‘to do’ list. (If you really, really want to know, The Sri Lankan government has kindly published my account of what happened to us 14 years ago following the tsunami. Or this, filmed by Mr Midlife Crisis).

Suffice to say, that we took our children on a  three week holiday to Sri Lanka in April.
Holidays, for me, mean sewing. Frantically sewing beautiful dresses when I should be packing.
It’s an excuse to get sewing the patterns I’ve hankered after. Like the Arianadress by Stylearc. It’s a classic sundress. Sheared back! Patch pockets! Breezy skirt…perfect.

And fabric. Like this block printed cotton from Merchant and Mills. Sadly no longer available. But this is similar.
I was sew grateful to Mie from Sewing Like Mad and her thorough post full of tips on sewing this dress.
I paid heed to her tips! I added an inch and a half in length to the bodice (I’m also long waisted), interfaced all the bodice lining pieces and made the straps half an inch wider.
I made sure my waist seam allowance was pressed upwards, and I followed every tip to keep all those seams stitched inside the lining out of sight! Thank you Mie!
Mie, please note my pattern matching across that bodice!

The result is my near-perfect holiday dress. (If I made it again, I’d make the straps another half inch wider still – in the blazing heat of Sri Lanka, with sweat and salt and sand I found they rubbed a little).

This Merchant and Mills cotton is the perfect weight for a sundress, and made for a tropical climate. It was only *just* sturdy enough for the full-length button placket though, and I did tear one button hole.
But this dress did also have to withstand some gruelling conditions. (Think six hour bus journeys squeezed on a sweaty plastic seat next to a pile of crates and with a sleeping child on my lap, or cycling through ruined Buddhist temples in the jungle, dusty jeep looking at elephants, that kind of thing).

It also enjoyed a trip to heaven… this beach on the south coast of Sri Lanka, where the sea was azure, the sand pink and gold, the hammock was always free in the tiny beach bar, and it only cost £20 a night in our guesthouse. Ask me nicely and I may tell you where it was….

Oh it's good to be back! On the blog I mean. I can hardly remember how to do this, so do please bear with me as I try to figure out my new-look blog. But I will be doing more of this. I have a lot to say (and sew)!

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  1. It is so good to have you back!

    1. Thank you Marta! Hoping I can keep it up - a bit!

  2. Oh, I'm so glad to see this post and the beautiful photos from a no doubt glorious vacation. It makes me especially happy to hear that my post was useful! You look beautiful in your dress!


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