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The Color Issue + Sydney and Adelaide


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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The May issue of Seamwork is up and ready for you to read!

In this issue:

natural dyeing copy


nashville copy

bts copy

Some favorite quotes from this issue:

“The creative process is a series of highs and lows, and that’s just the nature of the beast.” -Emily Adams, Professional Help

“Developing a personal color palette allows you to sew clothes that always make you feel beautiful. Color then becomes an integral element in your design process that allows you to create garments that are a true reflection of your style and unique features.” -Elizabeth Farr, Design a Personal Color Palette

“Peasant blouses are prime examples of a commitment to creating beautiful clothing despite little resources. These blouses often used no more than a yard of fabric, but hours upon hours were poured into the needlework.” – Behind the Seams: The Peasant Blouse

And here are the two new quick-to-sew patterns in this issue:

adelaide-01 copy

Adelaide is a simple shift dress with a snap front closure, that is ideal for spring and summer. Sewn up in chambray or linen, this dress is the perfect throw on garment for the warm days ahead.


Sydney is a wrap-style layering piece, that perfectly tops off a sleeveless frock. Use a light weight woven like lawn or rayon to make a breezy topper for your summer sun dresses.

You can visit to read the issue, download it from the current issue page, or subscribe to get the patterns.

Due to popular request, we have added a more detailed image of the Adelaide.
Thank you for your feedback!


Haley Glenn   —   Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments 31

Lou Sewcial Warrior

I’be just read the colour palate article and it’s amazing and i’m definitely going to have a go. I love the wrap top too- just what I need in my wardrobe and I can already see a sweet length hack.


I love the natural dying article! I’ve been wanting to dye a silk blouse of mine (at scouring the internet for the right instructions), so the timing is perfect.

Maybe I missed it, but is there a specific plant/ recipe to achieve the magenta color used for the Adelaide dress? Or is it more a matter of experimenting with different plants to achieve the exact hue?


H Jacqui! Great question, we actually bought the fabric for the magenta Adelaide as is. The Sydney worn with it was dyed using red cabbage. If you take a look at the swatch image in that article, you can see an example of silk dyed with red cabbage, which yields a much more vibrant outcome than then linen used for the the topper. Experiment with different mordants to get varying intensities and shades.


Ah ok, thanks! I’ll definitely start playing around with red cabbage – that’s an easy one :)


Best issue yet! Nothing in print or on the internet comes close to the quality of content Sarai and her team provide to those of us who love to sew and create. And Lauren Taylor – thank you for your tour of Nashville. Hoping to be a Nashville resident myself soon. Fabric shopping with you would be a dream!


I’m really excited for this month’s patterns in particular! I’ve been having to admire from afar, due to being very pregnant at the moment. But the Adelaide dress in particular looks like it will be a great pattern for easing me back into sewing after I have the baby next month, since it’s not too fitted and nursing-friendly!

Marsha Nikooforsat

Dang!!! I can’t decide which issue is my favorite now:) This issue is definitely on point! Love the Sydney top and Adelaide looks so stylishly comfortable. Thanks for the great reading…


Oh, you hit it out of the park again! Love this issue! The dress is cute, and the way you have articles that deal with the patterns is so helpful.

Also, I have a special love of the article about color. I have red/green colorblindness – yep, one of the rare women with it – and color is unnerving for me because I never know what I’m not seeing. You know that colorblindness tests – see the numbers in the dots at the eye doc? I can’t see a thing after the first two pictures. Any how, to find out about the programs that will determine the color of the pictures and use those to make up a color palette – how fascinating! I need all the help I can get. LOL!!


The Australian issue! It is getting cold down here though.


Thank you for a wonderful issue.

When I downloaded Sydney I didn’t see a wide version. Is that still coming?


Hi Abigail. Thanks for the heads-up! There was a problem with the wide format version but it’s fixed now. If you download a new copy from your pattern library page you’ll get the wide format version as well as the others.

Sorry about that!


No problem, and thank you.


I like the dress, but the model’s hair is in the way in all the pictures. It’s really annoying!


I noticed the same thing. Any chance we could get a picture or two on here without the hair in the way? I’d like to have a better idea of how the top of the dress fits.

heather 1976

I totally agree with this?

heather 1976

!, not question mark.


Thank you for your feedback! I updated the post to include an additional image of Adelaide.


Great new issue of Seamwork! I particularly like this month 2 patterns and the color palette guide. And I am going to use the tips for snaps right away! Thank you!


To the color article, I’d like to add that “Custom Color Analysts” often work with as many as 3,000 swatches of fabric AND many give custom style information too. Both style and color matter. If you wear just your best colors but in styles that aren’t flattering, you won’t look or feel that great. And, conversely if you wear just your best styles but not in great colors, there’s room for improvement. You want to be wearing (at least some) of your best colors and in your best styles to look and feel amazing. 12 Seasons considers only skin (not your hair or eyes, which also matter!) and they work under very hot, very bright lights; Color Alliance has a computer pull colors and this is an art not a science – a human should be reviewing what’s pulled. Find a custom color analyst who has studied by way of apprenticeship rather than a few weekend workshops and who offers style advice too. Most importantly have a look at their work and see if YOUR eye likes their work. I wish I’d learned my colors when I learned to sew as a young teen! It makes your sewing SO much better!

Teresa Ward

AS USUAL, an excellent issue of Seamwork! The Color Palette is timely for us, as my daughter & I have been trying to determine her daughter’s colors. Mom is a ‘Summer’ but her 2yo is not! So, off to the paint store we go! Thanks, again!


This issue is exactly what I needed. I have been frustrated with buying fabric to sew garments with, mainly because I am confused as to which shades of a color will work for me. I think a color consultant is exactly what I need.

But, after hours of online searching, I am not finding someone reasonably priced with good recommendations in the LA area. And I know they must be here! Would you ladies have any suggestions?

Thank you for this awesome monthly inspiration!

Julie Parrish

I’m happy to see an article on natural dyeing, but think some details on disposal of mordant bath and dye bath is required. Natural does not necessarily equal safe! And a fixative/mordant does more than help fabric take the color – if you don’t want the color to wash out in the laundry or fade in natural light, mordanting your fabric is very important.


Hi, it’s Tracy (I wrote the article) — sorry there wasn’t room to go into detail on mordant disposal, but here’s some more info from Griffin Dyeworks (scroll down to “Safe Disposal”):

As for dyebath disposal — I compost the dyebath (and plants) when I’m done. If you adda any mordant during the dyeing process, I’d use the Griffin Dyeworks methods at the link above.

Hope this helps!

Julie Parrish

Thanks! Cool that many of them can be poured over your plants (esp. copper) and actually be beneficial!

Wendy Neal

I’m excited to get started on Adelaide, I need a new summer dress! Gathering my materials, and I cannot find 1/4″ single-fold bias tape anywhere! What size would work as a comparable substitute? Those size 14 snaps are not a common size either, but I found some.


Hi Wendy,
I like using the 1/4″ Bias Tape maker Tool by Clover. It is really helpful and allows me to easily make custom bias tape. 1/2″ single fold bias tape would also work, but I wouldn’t recommend going much larger.
Thanks for your question!


I absolutely love this months issue. The aesthetic is perfectly seamless, and it made me want to begin sewing immediately! The fabric hunt has begun :). So glad your team say a creative space in the community and had the vision and skill to fill that gap.


I finished Adelaide! I tried it on for my daughter and she said “Gee mom, it looks like you just went to the store and bought it!” I’ll take that as a compliment. I used a linen/cotton blend fabric and sewed mock French seams in the shoulder seams, regular French seams in the side seams. I did use the 1/2″ bias tape and it worked fine, and looks fine, however it adds a bit of heft that I don’t think I need. I loved making this pattern because there were several techniques I’d never done before, the belt, belt loops and snaps were all new to me. I plan on making another one straight away. I made a size 14 and the fit was absolutely perfect, except a bit of gape at the front neckline. I’d like to make an adjustment for my second Adelaide but am unsure how to do it. The neckline doesn’t lay flat against my chest, about an inch or so extra fabric up top around the first two snaps. It fits perfect in the bust, so I don’t want to mess with that, but not sure what I can do to tweak the neckline…..anyone have any ideas?


Wendy, I had the same problem! I measured between an 8 and a 10, and ended up making a 10 per the pattern instructions. It fit fine in the bust and waist, but the neckline gaped terribly at the front and back. I solved part of the problem by taking in a few inches on each shoulder seam, but there is still a slight gaping problem in the front. I am considering adding a dart or tuck on either side, but would love to hear a more experienced sewer’s advice! Also wondering if anyone with a large bust has made the Sydney top. With my short torso and large tracts of land, I fear it will make me look a little ice cream cone-y.


Neckline gaping can be caused by two separate things, a hollow chest (think below the clavicle but above the bust), or bust that is proportionately fuller than the rib cage and waist. Luckily the adjustments are pretty easy!

Adding neckline darts or tucks can be an excellent option to amend this fit issue. That excess in the neckline can also be rotated into the bust dart. The third option is to cut a size smaller and make a full bust adjustment.

Hope this is helpful!


Hi! Do you think quilting cotton could work for the adelaide dress? I am looking forward to start I am having difficulties finding a linen or denim fabric at a good price (canadian post fees are super expensive!..) Also, it would be useful to have more lightweight fabric suggestions for the dress!

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