Even though I am quite short (1.61cm), I always have and still do like oversized clothes. The Sydney has tempted me to try a new pattern,  but like all oversized styles it is designed for the tall and slim. It was pretty clear that it would need some modifications to make it suitable for short, round-ish me.

Lets look at the drawing on the StyleArc website.

And now the fashion pic.

I think you need to be pretty tall for it to look like this. The pic below I found on the net gives a better idea of how much volume there is, although unfortunately it is slightly sideways.


Too much volume for me, as I discovered when I made up a muslin. I cut a size 12, which should fit me pretty well according to the size chart. It was huge, as I more or less expected.

I have said it before and at the risk of sounding like a cracked record I will say it again: a lot of volume in the skirt only looks good on me when the bodice is fairly fitted. so I took in the bottom of the bodice by about 10-12cm, which is a fair whack in anyone’s book. I know there are some wrinkles above the bust, which make it look as if it is too tight, but there is plenty of room. I get those wrinkles all the tim when taking photos, even with loose garments, because my camera is up quite high and I need to lft my arms to turn on the timer to take each shot. The fabric seems to be getting bunched up on my bra when I raise my arms and I never remember to pull it down for the photo. Anyone else have this problem?

After I had narrowed the bottom of the bodice I took a good 30cm out of the skirt circumference as well, divided up between the 6 vertical seams. The result was much better.

But what I also discovered was that the front of the dress has a lot more volume than the back. So for the real version in a light cotton I decided to use the pieces for back of the skirt at the front as well. Then I made 1.5cm seams, which would have taken a further 6-8cm out of the circumference all up. Even 2cm at each seam wouldn’t have hurt.

I skipped the front pockets because I wanted to top stitch the vertical seams. This looks nice but would have been difficult with the pockets. If you really want them it would be very easy to put them in the side seams instead.

All the sewing details are on PatternReview and here are the pics.