Introducing the next pattern…the Saltspring Dress!

I’m excited to introduce the next pattern from Sewaholic Patterns today… the Saltspring Dress!

saltspring dress sewaholic patterns

The Saltspring Dress is a breezy, relaxed sundress perfect for hot summer nights and days at the beach. It comes in two lengths, a full-length maxi dress and an above-knee length dress. The maxi dress is so dramatic! (I’m going to show off the maxi dress today, the shorter version tomorrow.)

saltspring dress

What’s neat about this dress is the construction. The inner layer is shorter than the outer layer, which causes the blousiness to sit neatly at the waistline. No need to tuck and then ‘blouse’ the dress yourself, having it slip out of place during the day. You’ll always look effortlessly put-together!

saltspring dress

There are pockets, too! Easy-to-sew inseam pockets make this dress practical as well as stylish.

saltspring dress, sundress with pockets

I’ve included two skirt options, one long, one short. I like the dramatic appeal of the longer skirt, which is great when there’s plenty of yardage available. For an in-between length it’s easy to start with the longer skirt, and measure off where you want the hemline to fall.

maxi skirt on saltspring dress, flowing in the breeze

The key to not looking (too) short in a full-length dress is to define the waistline at your natural waist. Not empire waist as it looks maternity, not drop-waisted as that makes the legs look short. I’m about 5’4″ with short legs, and you can’t tell in this dress! (And I’m not wearing three-inch heels like usual.)

saltspring dress, maxi dress

It’s so comfortable!

saltspring dress, sundress with ties at the shoulder

The straps tie in a bow at the shoulders, making it easily adjustable to raise or lower the neckline. (Or if you lend someone else the dress.) The elastic waistline is comfortable to wear and allows for weight fluctuations, or eating a big meal. Make a tie belt or wear your own belts to cover the elastic waist.

saltspring dress, back view

This pattern is perfect for large prints because there are no seams or darts in the skirt front. Large flowers won’t be cut in half by seamlines.

saltspring dress - no seams down the middle of the skirt

It’s no secret that I love this dress. It’s so easy to wear! A solid version is classic, a printed version is more fun, and a floral version is sweet with a colourful cardigan. The shorter length is practical, the maxi-length is wonderfully dramatic.

saltspring dress

Where does the name Saltspring come from? It’s named after Salt Spring Island, a small island off the coast of Vancouver Island, between the island and the mainland. (I made it one word so it would match the other pattern names.) I’ve been attracted to the Vancouver Island place names this year, starting with Tofino and now Saltspring.

Vancouver Island is known for having a relaxed feel,  and Salt Spring Island is home to artists, free spirits, musicians, writers and organic farmers. It’s the perfect place for a flowy, relaxed sundress with a blousy bodice and comfortable elastic waistline!

saltspring dress, long version

Fabric Notes: Rayon challis from Fabricana (bought in 2010)

I hope you like the new pattern! Click here to visit the shop. Thanks for your support!

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103 Responses to Introducing the next pattern…the Saltspring Dress!

  1. Deb July 24, 2013 at 6:18 am #


    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:30 am #


    • debi July 25, 2013 at 2:14 am #

      i love this dress i’m going to try to make it!! thanks for the work you do!

  2. Jenny July 24, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I am ordering on Friday ~ can’t wait. Oh and I’m so happy a suggested fabric is Rayon Challis – it’s my new favorite.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:30 am #

      Thanks Jenny! Yes, rayon challis is perfect for this dress, it has the right amount of drape for this relaxed style! So glad you like it :)

  3. Erica July 24, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    This is beautiful! I can’t wait to see the short version too!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Thanks Erica! I have a post planned tomorrow to show off the short version, plus a second short version. Plus the short version shows up in a photo on the store page if you want to see it now!

  4. Jenny July 24, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    I love this! This is definitely going to the top of my list! x

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks Jenny!

  5. lisa g. July 24, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    LOVE IT! can’t wait to get my hands on that pattern. well done!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks Lisa!

  6. MrsSmith July 24, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Rayon challis is the greatest thing ever! LOL!

    Very pretty dress – it will be flattering on many body types.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Thank you! I love the feel of rayon challis, it’s so soft and has the perfect drape for this kind of dress.

  7. Meg July 24, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Hi Tasia!
    I assume it would it be fairly easy to shorten the waistline so that it COULD be a maternity dress? I’m looking at needing some of those…

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Congrats! And you could move the waistline, you’d just have to make sure you also shorten the inner layer (lining) as well so that the blousing stays intact.

      • Meg July 25, 2013 at 8:36 am #

        Thanks! I figured as much. :-) Love the dress, it’s super summery!

  8. Julia B. July 24, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    I’ve been a long time blog reader but this is my first time commenting…this dress is amazing! I am excited to make a purchase!!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Thanks Julia and welcome to the comments section! :)

  9. didyoumakethat July 24, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Love it soooooo much!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Thank you!!

  10. Lori July 24, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Love this dress!!! I can’t wait to make one for myself. Will the rayon challis be hot for the beach? I have not made anything with rayon challis yet but do have some in my stash and wondered about its breathability (if that’s a word) on hot days.

  11. Tessa July 24, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    I love the dress! I, too, am obsessed with rayon challis at the moment. I love the way it feels on your skin. That print is great.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      It is so soft, you’re right! Feels great to wear and it’s so lightweight too. So glad you like the dress!

  12. Jan Anderson July 24, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    I absolutely love this dress! It is also something that women of all ages (I am 60+) can wear and make versatile outfits from cottons to more dressy fabrics.

    On another note, I grew up on Salt Spring Island and my family lived there for 36 years. I love going back for visits, although many changes have taken place. This outfit would be ideal for going to the Salt Spring Farmers Market on Saturdays.

    Way to go, Tasia!!

    • ms. modiste July 24, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      I grew up there too!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      I’m so glad you like it, and feel it has appeal for all ages! I think so too. That’s awesome that you grew up on Salt Spring Island, it seems like it would be a great place to visit and live. Love the idea of this dress at the Farmer’s Market, that’s exactly the laid-back vibe I was going for!

  13. Nicole_boldgoods July 24, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Oh good! I remember reading about this pattern but then I searched on Google and your blog and couldn’t find it, so I thought that I dreamt it up! I’m so glad it’s real!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      It’s real! That’s quite funny, wondering if you imagined it or not, I have those feelings as well when I can’t find something again.. did I dream it or did it really exist?

  14. Béa July 24, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I love it! I think the short version is really cute too.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks! I like the short version as well. Perfect for those days where it’s so hot, you want as little fabric as possible touching you, but still want to look pulled-together.

  15. Sam July 24, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    What a pretty dress. I love both the style and the fabric you’ve used.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Thank you! I’ve had this fabric for a while with the intention to make a long dress, it worked out quite well!

  16. Corinne July 24, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    YAY! I’ve been waiting for the release of the Saltspring Dress since receiving the email announcement last week! I’ve been looking for a summer dress pattern for months but haven’t been able to find a pattern that is ‘summery’ enough and has the versatility to wear it for a more dressier occasion such as going out for dinner on a patio or for a more casual occasion like a lazy summer day at home. I even have the perfect sun hat to wear with it! *squeal*

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      It would be fabulous with a sun hat! You could totally wear it dressed up for dinner on a patio, or just around the house.

  17. zilredloh July 24, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    It’s a lovely, effortlessly pulled together outfit in one. :)

    I’m really curious about that inside shorter layer. Will you be showing that off at some point?

    Cheers on a lovely new pattern launch.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks Liz! Yes, I can show the inner shorter layer at some point, good suggestion!

  18. Irene July 24, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    This one is really, really lovely.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks Irene!

  19. Tilly July 24, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    LOVE this! So gorgeous. Now if only I could find a strapless bra I feel comfortable in… xx

    • Carol July 24, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      I was wondering about that too.

      • Jenny July 24, 2013 at 10:14 am #

        You can always add straps so that you can wear a regular bra. Just a thought!

        • Jenny July 24, 2013 at 10:15 am #

          I meant widen the straps

          • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:02 am #

            Totally! You could make thicker straps instead of the spaghetti straps, or double them up, or make thicker straps that gather into the bodice so they’re wider across the shoulder, narrower where they meet the front bodice. (Or, just wear a bra that blends, like a black one with a print like mine.)

            • Tilly July 25, 2013 at 2:31 am #

              That’s a great idea – I’ll do that! Can’t wait to try this out xxx

            • Angela July 25, 2013 at 4:09 am #

              For the pictures I took of the versions I made, I chose bra strap colours that blended with the dress strap colours, and that worked very well.
              I also tried a strapless bra. The trick that works for me is to make sure the band is very firm, almost tight, and that meant going up a cup size to prevent flattening!! With one strapless bra I have, I sewed a chunk out of the back band to make it tighter, and it fit and worked perfectly!

      • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:07 am #

        Strapless bras are hard to find, or rather, it’s hard to find ones that are comfortable enough and/or stay up properly! Or that don’t totally flatten you out if you’re on the smaller side (that would be me.) I have one that I got from Winners that’s pretty good, not too rubbery and not too flattening. Can’t remember the brand so it’s not super helpful to you, I know. I also have one that’s more of a bustier, so it goes all the way to the waist, which helps it to stay up. (Like so – Or you can also just wear a bra that’s similar in colour to the dress so it’s not so obvious, or thicken the straps like Jenny suggested!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      It’s a tricky thing to find, isn’t it? Wish I had a good recommendation that was comfortable, flattering and stayed in place. I do have a bustier-style strapless bra that works pretty well so that may be something to try – it’s a lot of bra, but it does stay upright well. So glad you like the dress!

      • Stephanie July 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

        I too have this problem. I have a very small rib cage but a bigger cup size so feel uncomfortable with thin straps or a strapless bra, which is tough to find in my size (and hate adjusting my bra straps all the time, which happens without straps that are pretty wide). Hmm..I will think about it…The cardigan point made below is a good one. I think this will be very cute on small busted women especially though and I love the fact that it blouses at the natural waist. :)

  20. Kelly July 24, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Tasia I love this dress!! As with every single one of your patterns, it’s simple, but so well thought out and designed. In SF we have no need for breezy sundresses, but I bet it would look great with a cardigan. Thank you for another fantastic pattern!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks! It would be great with a cardigan, or a light jacket, maybe a denim jacket or something like that.

  21. jess July 24, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I was wondering if we can see the line drawing? I checked the shop but there are only photo of the sewn dress … Would be helpful to be able to see the line drawing. Thanks.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      Updated! Thanks for the reminder. I had all garment photos as a placeholder, now there is the envelope cover as well. There’s also the link to the envelope back PDF file, to check out the back view.

  22. ms. modiste July 24, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    I was secretly so tickled that you picked Salt Spring as your inspiration, seeing as it’s my hometown! Well done, it’s so pretty :)

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      That’s so cool! I bet that was a neat place to grow up!

      • ms. modiste July 25, 2013 at 11:47 am #

        It’s a gorgeous place for a childhood, I wish I could move back there one day!

  23. Katie July 24, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I love this one! I will definitely be purchasing :) Thanks for putting out another great pattern!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Thank you! So glad you like it!

  24. Tracy July 24, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Love this new summer dress pattern, I’ve been waiting for a cute maxi dress pattern for this sunny summer we’ve been having in Vancouver.

    Would cotton voile or lawn also work for this pattern too?

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Yes! It won’t be quite as drapey in cotton lawn, but it will work. I made a version in cotton voile that I’ll post this week, I also underlined it so you can see how that would look if your lawn or voile is on the sheer side.

  25. juebejue July 24, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    omg! I made a maxi dress using the exact same fabric last year! :D

    yours has pocket, which i love! great pattern!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      I love it! This fabric works so well as a maxi dress, your version is gorgeous!

  26. Serena July 24, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I LOVE it!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Fantastic! Thank you!

  27. Erin B July 24, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Another awesome piece from sewaholic!
    I was just thinking how awesome it would be if you could photograph your pieces at the location they’re named after!

  28. Erin B July 24, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Another awesome piece from sewaholic!
    I was just thinking how awesome it would be if you could photograph your pieces at the location they’re named after!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      That would be neat, for some of the pattern names that would mean a lot of travel! Weekends in Tofino, trips to Salt Spring Island.. I’d have to take a lot of mini-holidays!

  29. Sassy T July 24, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    As someone said earlier I love the way your patterns are well thought out. They therefore become less of “thats a nice pattern” and more “I must have that pattern”.

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Thank you! That’s such a nice thing to say. I aim to design my patterns so they’re logical in the sewing process, as well as nice to look at!

  30. Katherine July 24, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I love this dress, and it is so appropriately named. Please keep making more patterns!!

    • Tasia July 24, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      You bet! :) I certainly will. Don’t worry, I have tons of ideas still to get out there! So glad you like the new dress!

  31. Joanne July 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Tasia, this is so beautiful! I really like the drape of the skirt and will try your fabric choice …. and I love that there are pockets … Yes! I’ve been looking for the perfect maxi dress and I think this is it!

  32. Anthea July 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I have a few vintage maxi dresses and would love to sew my own. This pattern would be perfect!

  33. Topshelf July 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Wow! This is a great pattern! Off to order it now!

  34. Katy July 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Gorgeous dress! Well done and you look lovely in the pictures.

  35. Helen July 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Gorgeous. I’m not convinced maxis are me, but I like the sound of the shorter skirt length and I love that the inside bodice is shorter than the outside. That’s just genius! A contrast bodice could make this look really nice – like a blouse and skirt, again without the tucking in issue! Fantastic!

  36. Mads July 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    LOVE this dress! I’ve never found a RTW maxi dress that really works for me, but I think this pattern is going on my “NEED IT RIGHT NOW” list (especially since there is a shorter skirt option, too)! Your fabric choice is perfection, btw.

  37. LLBB July 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Oooh, love the idea of this with a large scale print on the skirt!!

  38. Lizzy July 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    This is so very gorgeous and so very me – and very you I must say, I think you look gorgeous in these shots.
    I can’t wait to make this for our summer, I can see it in a light rayon or floaty voile. I must get myself on your pattern testing list… everything you make is perfect for me. I am Sew Addicted to Sewaholic. :-)

  39. Debra Hewitt July 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    What a beautiful dress! I love it!

  40. Amy July 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Brilliant dress! I just love it! You always create the best patterns!

  41. Nothy July 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I love the dress and I think you could really play with the straps varying the width as you see fit…and I spent a summer on Salt Spring Island so the name alone sells me on this one!

  42. July 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Amazing dress! I’d love to give it a try, have been on the look out for maxi dress all summer!

  43. Susan July 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Another winner! I think I should just set up some kind of automatic payment system to kick in with each of your pattern releases.

  44. Sarah C July 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Loving this! I have been thinking about a dress like this for sometime now.

  45. Alicia July 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    just YES.

    This is exactly the kind of thing I want to sew and wear at the moment – not fussy but really lovely, and I bet it will be super versatile. Great stuff!

  46. Renay July 25, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    So beautiful!
    Cannot wait for it to warm up here in Melbourne… :-)

  47. Michelle July 25, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    I lurves this!!!!

  48. Amanda July 25, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    I’ve been doing the impatient dance waiting for this to be available….these last few days have seemed like forever!! LOL off to buy this now!!

  49. Amy July 26, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    I love this so much !! Congratulations on another beautiful pattern

  50. Jennifer Lauren August 3, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Tasia, you’ve done it again – such a beautiful beautiful dress!!

    I loved Vancouver island when we were there in the summer over 2 years ago now, time really does fly! It was lovely to meet you at the time as well :) Hopefully I’ll make it back there again soon. xx.

  51. Leah August 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I LOVE the maxi version of this dress, but living in Brisbane I need more coverage on top to protect against the sun. How do you think it would look with wider straps? Would it be easy for me to alter the pattern like this?

  52. Carla August 5, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Tasia…I want to make this dress for my mother. Her measurements are 38-35-40 inches. Can you tell me which size would be best to use? My concern is the waist measurement. Thank you so much for creating this beautiful dress!

    • Tasia August 5, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      Hi Carla! I would guess a 12 or 14? Size 12 has a 37.5″ bust, size 14 has a 39″ bust. The hips will be fine as the skirt will just end up a little more flared on narrower hips. And for the waistline, the finished measurements will stretch (size 14 = 31″) so what I’d do is measure out the finished waistline in elastic, and get her to try it on, and see if that’s going to be TOO stretched on a 35″ waist. 4″ of negative ease might be a little too tight, but if so, then test out the elastic until she’s happy with the tightness, and then use that as your elastic measurement instead of the elastic guide.

      Hope that makes sense!

      Here’s the envelope back for reference:

      • Carla August 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

        Thank you for taking time to reply. I’m still a little confused because I’m not an accomplished sewist :) Can you tell me what negative ease means? I see the finished measurements on the pattern back, but the waist seems too small even on a size 16. Are you saying that I can use the size 12 or 14 and just create a larger waist by using more elastic than called for? Will the dress still blouse nicely? I really, really like this pattern!

        • Tasia August 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

          Yes, that’s exactly it! Use the size 12 or 14, but create a larger waist by using more elastic than the pattern says. Longer elastic means that the dress will be less cinched in at the waistline. The blousing will still be there, because the blousing comes from the inner layer being shorter, so it’s about the length, not the width. Hope this makes sense! I’m glad you like the pattern!

          Oh and negative ease means that the garment is smaller than the body measurement. Normally ease is positive, like if your bust is 36″ and the finished garment is 40″ = that means 4″ of ease. However if you are making a swimsuit, say, then you would want it to be smaller than your body so it says on, so perhaps your swimsuit would measure 34″. Since ease is always garment minus body, then you would have 32 minus 34 = which equals -2 or 2″ of negative ease.

          • Carla August 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

            Oh, thanks for the lesson on ease! I hope to purchase the pattern this weekend. Mother will be 80 on September 10, and I want to finish it for her birthday!


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