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Happy New Year sew pals! We are back with Episode #3 of the Sewing Club Podcast and it's all about the Sia Dress by Marsha Style. Following on from the Sage Brush TopGemma of Sewing Gem and I came together and chose the Sia Dress for this episode as a fun challenge with lots of options to make it our own. I also wanted to make up something that's been sitting in my queue for way too long and support a local (Gold Coast, Australia) pattern designer in the process! 

Pattern: Sia Dress by Marsha Style 

Size: 4 

Fabric Type: cotton lawn print 'Tessa' & cotton voile lining 

Fabric Supplier: Madame Iris & The Fabric Store

Featured Labels: new release 'Circa 2024'

I knew I didn't have time to make a toile but also knew I would need to make some fit alterations as I went. A cheeky workaround for this is to cut the lining fabric first, and make adjustments to that, before cutting into the fashion fabric. If I got it wrong, I could just cut some more lining fabric but not get some more outer fabric!

I started with some alterations to the bodice, knowing I'd need to cut it a bit shorter to fit, whilst also reducing volume in the bust. I sewed the front 'V' as per the instructions but before attaching it to the waist band, I held the two pieces close together to sandwich them and reduce the depth of the 'V'. It's still quite deep but doesn't go all the way to the waistband as it's meant to! 

When we spoke to the pattern designer, Taree, she shared her original intention for the dress was to loosely fit the body, hugging slightly at the waist and with more ease at the bust and hips. Taree mentioned it was very easy to 'overfit' the dress and make it too tight! In lieu of this, I made sure not to over-fit the waist band and am happy with amount of ease in that area, it's super comfortable to sit and move around in. 

 I was originally drawn to the tie sleeve option but because of our climate, decided to go with the other sleeve, cutting it shorter and adding a pleat to the hem. I omitted the waist tie for personal preference, and also made a small adjustment at the top of the zip, curving it towards the neckline to avoid gaping. 

My intention was to cut the fabric so that the stripes in the palm tree motif created a stripe effect on the fabric, and for these lines to be central in the bodice piece. It just happened to line up so nicely on the back too!

Buttons! A few years ago I made cute little buttons out of resin - I found some vintage buttons that had a flat back, made a mould out of them and poured some resin in. They just happened to be the perfect colour here! I sewed the button holes and cut them open as normal, but when it came to sewing on the buttons, I deliberately sewed them on through all of the layers of the fabric. They don't need to be functional to get in and out of this dress...

Don't be intimidated by all the parts and pattern pieces! Once you have the waist band how you like, the rest is very easy to fit and I only made a couple of tweaks, 1/4" here and there. If you get stuck, there are some great video tutorials on the Marsha Style website, which I found super informative. 

The Sia Dress is probably one of the better fitting dresses I've made; all the darts just seem to be in the right place. The 'set in' sleeve is delightful, with gathers at the top of the sleeve head and the drafting is perfection. The darts in the back bodice  and back skirt come from the waist, and just seem to fit really nicely. I love the front pleats in the bust in place of darts! Did I mentioned it has pockets? 

I'm excited to get invited to go to lunch to wear it...because it fits so well!  

You can listen to Sewing Club Podcast Episode #3 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Audible or Google Podcasts (insert other favourite poddy platform). Here you'll find all the show notes and we'll also reveal the pattern for Episode #4, so you can sew along at home! 

Be sure to check out Gemma's gorgeous gingham Sia Dress over at Sewing Gem

Want to sew your very own Sia Dress? Get 20% OFF the pattern with the code: SEWINGCLUBPODCAST 

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