Two New Patterns: Harwood and Nicola

Today we’re excited to announce two new patterns: Harwood and Nicola!

nicola dress

harwood dress

They’re similar styles, but constructed differently so it made sense to offer them as separate patterns. Based on your feedback, we knew you wanted a long sleeved dress option, so we made sure one of our dresses had long sleeves. Long sleeves take up more space, especially now that we offer sizes 0-20 and therefore, we have two new patterns to talk about today!

Nicola Dress

I’ve been wanting to design a shirtdress pattern for a while, something a little different from what’s out there already. In fact, I’ve tried but haven’t ended up with a design that just felt right. The Nicola Dress does!

nicola dress

It started with the idea of a loose, relaxed shirtdress cinched at the waist to create an hourglass effect. However, a pattern that hangs straight from the armholes to hem ends up with a lot of bulk around the waistline, and this is especially true for our Sewaholic patterns proportions which are designed for smaller waists and wider hips.


For the Nicola Dress, we added a waist seam so the bodice and skirt are separate pieces, and flared the skirt from the waist to hem. This creates a lovely shape to the dress, with or without the tie belt. We’ve kept the relaxed feel but given it a little more shaping.

nicola dress with long sleeves

The neckline of the Nicola Dress is my favourite part! It’s a V-neck with a slightly curved shape, one that is really flattering to the face. It’s not too low, making it a good option for your work wardrobe. The collar lies flat and frames the face gently. It’s a softer take on the classic shirtdress, and looks best in softly draping fabrics like crepe de chine, rayon voile and challis, and other lightweight woven fabrics.

nicola dress neckline

It’s easy for a dress like this to look extremely girly. We wanted to show its versatility so we styled the same dress with army boots and relaxed poses.

nicola dress

I love it, it turns a pretty, daisy-print dress into something cooler and edgier. Our model Jennifer’s attitude and posture changed completely when she went from heels to boots!


Your choice of cap sleeves or long sleeves. The long sleeved version of Nicola is shown in a bamboo cotton twill for a fluid, elegant look.

nicola dress with long sleeves

Check out more photos, and order your copy of the Nicola dress here!

Harwood Dress

What started out as a View C option for the Nicola Dress evolved into its own pattern as the Harwood Dress. The pattern pieces for the bodice are different enough with the yoke that it made sense to offer it as a stand-alone design. Doing this meant we could construct the yokes and facings differently, choosing the approach that best suited each pattern.

harwood dress

When sewing this black-and-white print version, I wanted the yoke lines to appear more defined from far away. Adding contrast piping is an easy way to do that! The pattern calls for optional piping or trim for this look. We’ve used flat piping here but either flat or corded piping works.

harwood dress

Back views are equally important, and I love how the back view of the Harwood turned out.

harwood dress back view

You can see the silhouette of the dress in this side view photo. That elastic pulls it in nicely for a curvy shape!

harwood dress back view

If you like both dresses and are wondering which one to start with, the Harwood Dress is slightly simpler to sew than the Nicola. No collar or sleeves make it faster to construct.

harwood dress in eyelet

It’s so pretty in white embroidered cotton. Choosing a more delicate fabric and a longer skirt length makes it look quite different from the first dress!

harwood dress in embroidered cotton, close up

Add matching buttons if you want them to blend in, or pick contrasting ones to make an impact! In the confetti-print version below, the black buttons create a vertical line and add interest.

harwood dress

Here’s a side view of the Harwood Dress. It’s great in lightweight fabrics like this rayon voile. The skirt drapes nicely, the waistline isn’t bulky and yet the yoke adds a bit of structure to an otherwise light and floaty dress.

harwood dress

Check out more photos, and order your copy of the Harwood dress here!

We’re working on free translations for Harwood and Nicola in Spanish and French (and Dutch – surprise!) which will be available in a few days. I’ll let you know once they are ready to download! They’re just a little behind but I did want to let you know they were coming. You can see them in the shop listed as ‘Coming Soon.’

Fabric Details

Photos by ImageryWorks – Leanne Scherp and Susannah Street

Harwood and Nicola are both street names in downtown Vancouver. They’re close by each other and intersect so I felt they were perfect names for these two dresses.

Pick up your copy of the Harwood and Nicola patterns today! Here are quick links to the shop:

I hope you like the new patterns. We’d love to hear what you think of them. Thanks for your support!

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55 Responses to Two New Patterns: Harwood and Nicola

  1. Michelle July 8, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    I can not wait to buy these patterns! Beautiful dresses, well done!!!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:21 am #

      Thanks Michelle!

  2. Sarah July 8, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    I noticed on the fabric requirements that you don’t list requirements for 44/45″ width. Is that because this pattern can’t be made with narrower fabric?

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 8:22 am #

      Yes, because the skirt is both flared and gathered, not all sizes will fit on 44/45″ fabric. Depending on the size you make and the actual width of your fabric, you may be able to use 45″ wide fabric. We felt it would be strange to list 45″ fabric requirements for only a few sizes!

      • Sarah July 8, 2015 at 10:09 am #

        Thanks Tasia! Now I’m just deciding which one to buy. I love that gather at the shoulders on the Nicola

  3. Shannon July 8, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    Wow, these are so gorgeous! I especially love the Nicola and the long-sleeve option. It’s so classic and flattering! I’ll definitely add this one to my list. Congratulations!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:21 am #

      Thank you! Nicola seems to be the favourite so far today, it is so very classic!

  4. Charlotte July 8, 2015 at 8:24 am #

    Congratulations on the new patterns, they are both so beautiful! I especially like the Nicola dress, it is really something I’ve been looking for!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks! That’s awesome that you’ve been looking for something like the Nicola dress!

  5. Angela July 8, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    OOOHHH!! Truly liking these, a nice with some variations… yep, I will be getting these asap. Tasha, you have excellent taste!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks so much. I’m glad you like the new designs!

  6. nothy lane July 8, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    What a thrill to see this new patterns posted. Usually you let us know before hand, but unless I missed something, there was little lead up to these. I’ll be getting both these patterns and starting next week. Your work is outstanding Tasia! It makes sewing more fun when using excellent well thought out patterns.

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:14 am #

      You didn’t miss anything, we didn’t do a lot of ‘Coming Soon!’ teasers this time around. And thank you! I’m so glad you like the new patterns. I’m lucky to have a great team to work with here, making product development even more fun!

  7. Betty Jordan Wester July 8, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    lovely! The Nicola especially is very beautiful! I love the 70s feel to it with the long sleeves. I can’t wait for my local shop to get it in stock!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      It is a bit 70s isn’t it? In a good way! Many of our retailers placed orders in advance, so check, they may already have it in stock.

  8. Rachel July 8, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Well worth the wait! These are both lovely, I can’t choose between them so will probably have to have both. Well done!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      Thank you! It’s hard to choose a favourite, both patterns are selling equally well so far.

  9. Sandra July 8, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    I am so excited for the Nicola! I ordered it as soon as I saw your Instagram picture. I just hope it arrives before my holiday at the end of the month, as I am planning on taking my machine with me to the South of France, and this just jumped to the front of the queue!
    It reminds me of a DvF wrap dress, but with buttons and no awkward risk of flying open or exposing too much cleavage.
    I have the perfect viscose waiting for it.

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

      Thank you! I’m pretty sure your order is already on its way so I hope it arrives in time for your holiday. It’ll be so lovely in viscose!

  10. Marybeth July 8, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    So beautiful. I love them both!!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Thank you!

  11. Caitlin July 8, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    These are both so gorgeous! I hope there will be sew alongs, as I always find them helpful. Even though your earlier patterns are equally wonderful, I love how your newer patterns have evolved into more grown-up and elegant garments!

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      That’s a really nice compliment, thank you! I think part of the elegance is due to the beautiful model and photography, but I agree, my tastes have changed over time. Same with the fact we’re growing. Now that we’ve got Marissa contributing to our pattern designs her influence will start to show in our products. It’s an exciting evolution for us and I’m so glad you like the new patterns!

  12. Annabelle July 8, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I love you for creating these patterns! I’m 39 weeks pregnant and looking for something fun to sew once I get my body back. I need something nursing friendly (yay shirtwaist dresses) and something that will be kind to my mommy tummy (yay elastic waist)! I was planning on altering some patterns by adding button fronts and an elastic waist – but that always feels like a lot of work (especially with a newborn and toddler to attend to). Sewaholic patterns fit my body well, so it will be easy to whip one of these up. Okay, it won’t be easy to do anything after this baby, but using your patterns will be easier than anything else I was going to attempt ;)

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

      I’m so glad you like it! You’re right, the elastic waist gives you a forgiving fit and the button front seems like it would be nursing friendly, from what other people are saying! If you’re short on time the Harwood is slightly easier and faster to sew, but the Nicola is only a little bit more work to make.

  13. Emma July 8, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I really like them both! Quick question: would it be possible to add the sleeves from the Nicola onto the Harwood?

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      The Harwood has a slightly extended shoulder on the yoke, making it not exactly the same as the Nicola bodice. Part of the reason we have them as two separate patterns! Nicola has a one piece yoke, Harwood has a back yoke and a front yoke joined at the shoulders.
      If you had both patterns, you could use the yoke from the Nicola to shorten the yoke of the Harwood at the shoulder, and then you’d be able to set the sleeve from Nicola into the Harwood bodice. Does this make sense?

  14. Marije July 8, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Wow, I love them. I was going to not sew any shirtdresses for a while, but now I have to reconsider… I bought some black-and-white fabric that would be awesome for the Harwood dress and that will give me a chance to give sewing with piping a first try.
    Great patterns, they are definitely on my wish list now.

    Also, let me know if you need someone to proofread the Dutch translations. I am a Dutch native and English teacher :)

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

      Sewing with piping is fairly straightforward, I bet you’ll have no trouble at all! The most important part is sewing it in evenly, if you’re using flat piping, or getting close to the ridge if you’re using corded piping.
      It’s neat to see so many people that speak Dutch. Thanks for the offer to proof the translations, we’ve got it covered this time around but it’s very kind of you to offer!

  15. Megan @ TheGreenViolet July 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    I think the Nicola will finally be my first sewaholic pattern! I’ve just been biding my time since you increased your size range, I’m not really a button down shirt kind of girl so I’m so happy to see these dresses in this release! I love the cap sleeve option on the nicola. I’m not really a collar wearer, but am I correct in assuming it would be fairly easy to omit the collar on the nicola pattern?

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

      You certainly could omit the collar on the Nicola, following the instructions as written and just skipping all references to sewing and attaching the collar. That would look really nice I’m sure!

  16. Annie July 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Purchasing from your site:

    I would like to purchase one of these really lovely patterns but your website made it so difficult, I finally had to stop. Paypal is supposed to make it easy, but my “lost password” was not permitted to be used again, and after a frustrating one half hour, I gave up. I ended up going in some sort of website loop which was not forgiving, and where my information had to be entered and re-entered and then was rejected.

    I love indie patterns, but each site has different requirements, and even with Paypal, I found I had to enter my information yet again, which is what Paypal eliminates on other types of sites.

    I wonder why on so many indie sites where I purchase, if Paypal is used, I still have to have a presence, and make up a password, when all I want to do is purchase one thing, once in a while. And the PW requirements seem to be various and different.

    Today was the last straw. I’m purchasing at Joanne’s from now on. And the sad thing is, I have sewn one of your patterns and it’s a favorite. I have the money, just not the time to fiddle with the website.

    • Tasia July 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

      Hey Annie, I’m sorry you had such a frustrating time using Paypal! We do have the option of checking out without Paypal as well by entering your credit card information. You don’t need to use Paypal to make a purchase, we do offer an alternative. That’s one of the things that was important to me when we set up the new webstore back in 2013 – being able to offer more than one payment option.

      Jo-Ann’s doesn’t carry our patterns, but here is a list of all other retailers that do! Hopefully there’s one near you.

    • Annabelle July 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

      Hi Annie,

      I just made my purchase using PayPal and I want to point out that even if you select to checkout using PayPal, the site will first ask you to log-in to the Sewaholic website – not the PayPal website. So the password that it is asking for is your password for the Sewaholic website. I bet that if you can remember your log-in information for Sewaholic, it will only take a few minutes to complete the rest of the transaction.

      Every website operates differently, but it is very common to have to login to the website before completing a transaction, and before entering your PayPal info.

      • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:52 am #

        Thanks for sharing your experience, Annabelle! That’s a good point about the login to the Sewaholic webstore.

        The reason you have to create an account, is so you can order PDF patterns and have them stored in your account forever. I did have it so you can check out as a guest, but that led to all kinds of problems once we started offering PDF patterns! So in order to offer PDF patterns, we also have to enable customer accounts. Hope this all makes sense, Annie, and let me know if there’s anything I can help with!

  17. Dani July 9, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    Ha! I love that daisy-print dress styled with the army boots. It takes it from super feminine to something you’d see at a summer music festival. These are lovely patterns!

    • Tasia July 9, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      It’s fun eh? I wanted to show it with a different attitude. It’s easy to picture a dress looking dressy, but you can also wear the same dress in a completely different way.

  18. Jess July 9, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Love the versatility of the Nicola! Summer, Winter, she’s got ’em both covered.

    • Tasia July 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      That’s the beauty of long sleeves – it looks more suitable for Fall and Winter automatically. Even if you can layer over a sleeveless or cap sleeved dress, it still reads as summery when you show just the dress. Glad you like it!

  19. Marit July 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Both sweet and elegant at the same time! High five;)
    I’ve completely fallen in love with the embroidered cotton fabric you used for your Harwood dress, but unfortunately I can’t find it on the internet. Do you remember the name Télio has given the fabric…maybe that would make my search easier?

    • Tasia July 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Thank you! Depending on the fabric and styling these dresses can go either way, sweet or elegant. :)
      The white embroidered fabric is in stock at Blackbird Fabrics here - also in ivory here
      I’ve lost the tag but after checking our order history I believe the name is Alice Embroidery, if that helps! Hope I’m right :)

  20. Tammy July 10, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Lovely dresses! I have the shirtdress as my next dress type to try. I have a few questions: Have any of the curvysewingcollective ladies sewn either of these? I know from reading that Idlefancy loves shirtdresses! :D Also, do the dresses have pockets? I am a total lover of pockets and every dress (and pants of course) that I’ve made have pockets. I am so happy that your patterns have increased the size range and still hope that you’ll add sizes to your older patterns (specifically Belcarra and Hollyburn as I have both and have made the alterations, but I’m sure others would appreciate a larger range ;) )

    • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      It’s probably too soon for anyone to have sewn it up, since it’s only been released for a few days! Neither dress has pockets but it would be an easy addition if you wanted inseam pockets. Here’s a post on how to sew them, with tips on adding inseam pockets to patterns without them –

  21. Maria Curciarello July 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    I love both of these patterns. However, since I’m short-waisted, I try to stay away from dresses that have defined waistlines. Is there a possibility that someday you would consider re-drafting these patterns without the elastic waistband and shaped more in the princess line style?

    • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:50 am #

      I’m glad you like the patterns! It’s unlikely that we would change Harwood and Nicola from being any different than they are now. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be Harwood and Nicola! I like your suggestion of a princess line dress without a waist seam so we’ll keep that in mind for future designs.

    • Kim G July 14, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      Hi Maria –

      If it helps, I’m extremely short-waisted and found the Cambie dress, at least, to fit perfectly in the bodice without any alteration to the length. I’d bet that the new patterns are drafted similarly.

      (Even if you do have to shorten pattern pieces, they all have a helpful line across them to show where the best place to add or remove length).

      If you are more concerned about how the finished dress will look because of your proportions – I think in a shirt-dress style, having the defined waist looks really nice, quite a different effect than if the same person were wearing separates such as pants or a skirt that sit at the natural waistline. I agree that separates can look a bit strange on short-waited figures, cutting our bodies into oddly-proportioned sections, and I bet you are in the habit, like me, of wearing pants a bit below the actual waistline, and possibly a lot of longer tops.

      The thing is with tailored dresses – for me, at least – the dress itself unifies the body proportions and evens things out visually, because it is all one material, while the waistband nips in and looks neat, tidy, and extra curvy. (That’s a bonus for me anyway). Having a relatively short waist also means that a dress makes your legs look longer.

      Hope that helps… :)

  22. Sarah C July 11, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    Oh man I want these both so bad! They look lovely. The Nicola would be perfect for fall and the Hardwood for summer.

    • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:49 am #

      Thanks so much! Yes, the long sleeves give you more options for fall and winter!

  23. Sujata July 13, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    Hi Tasia! The models are lovely, but I’d like to see *you* in these dresses too — your figure is closer to mine.

  24. Donna July 13, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    I love them both – I got the Nicola, but I’m sad to see that that this is three dresses in a row without pockets. One of the reasons I love indie patterns is that they used to include pockets where the big companies didn’t bother.
    Bring back the pockets!! Please?

    • Tasia July 14, 2015 at 8:29 am #

      I’m so glad you love the Nicola pattern! It would be easy to add inseam pockets to either dress pattern. Here’s a post on how to sew them, with tips on adding inseam pockets to patterns without them – That would be my recommended pocket style if you wanted them.

  25. Ofer July 15, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    The Harwood is great. I love the yoke. too bad I can’t make any more dress (I made too many…not using them in my everyday life) Is there a good tutorial about changing a dress pattern into a blouse? I tried once and it came out horrible.

  26. claudia July 17, 2015 at 6:18 am #

    Love both dresses and have already received the patterns. I have the perfect cotton voile for Nicola in my stash, however I’ll have to underline it completely for modesty. My question: The instructions tell me to interface the yoke. Is this strictly necessary? There was no interfacing in the Granville yoke. I feel like there will be to much bulk if there’s an additional layer of underlining (also cotton voile) and that the yoke may feel stiff. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • Tasia July 20, 2015 at 9:22 am #

      No, you don’t need to interface the yoke on the Nicola. I believe it’s the Harwood instructions that direct you to interface the yoke. If you did want any additional structure the underlining will have you covered!


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