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Emma's Nina Lee Southbank Dress Review - Made In Blue & Blacks Houndstooth.

I sat on the train heading to London filled with anticipation and excitement. I was heading to The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court and I knew I’d be meeting the Sewalicious ladies – Amy and Nicki. I had spent some time previously looking over all the gorgeous fabrics available on their website and I had my pattern and fabric in mind already. As I arrived and met the girls, they warmly welcomed me and very quickly the chat turned to what I’d chosen to make for the blog. Nicki showed me the petrol blue & black houndstooth and I was immediately sold. It is the softest viscose jersey and has a very luxurious feel. It is of medium weight, is 155cm wide and is £12 a metre so you’re getting a lot of fabric for your money. You do need to bear in mind that this particular jersey only has a widthway stretch so may not be suitable for some projects. I discovered this when trying to insert the sleeves but a little more on that later.


The Southbank Sweater had been on my mind for a while, it is simple yet elegant in style and I was struck by its versatility. There are three versions to choose from, A sweater dress, standard sweater and a cropped sweater. I opted for the dress version as I felt this fabric best complemented that version. As a small UK size it was great to see that this pattern has a great range – sizes 6-20. It also comes complete with a comprehensive guidance booklet and excellent quality pattern paper.

The make itself if you are a seasoned sewist is probably going to take you a couple of hours tops, it is a basic construction and goes together very well, very quickly. As a beginner sewist, I would say this is a great introduction to sewing with jersey.

The jumper comes together very quickly, once joined at the shoulder seams you insert the sleeves. This is where I had a small issue as I had chosen a fabric with no lengthways stretch! This has happened to me before and in my experience I have found that in most cases it can be resolved! The issue you face is you will have an excess of fabric on the sleeve that you cannot stretch to fit the armhole as you would ordinarily with a two way stretch fabric. Now, whilst I don’t recommend this it does work if you ever find yourself in this situation! I sewed two rows of basting stitches around the head of the sleeve and simply gathered them enough to comfortably fit the armhole, you can then attach the sleeve as per pattern recommendations.

Fitting the sleeve

From here on out the sew was simple, you attach the pockets and then sew the whole dress together at the side seams and around the pockets.

Attach the pockets

The collar, cuffs and hem band are all constructed in the same manner, I like to prepare these all at the same time for that very reason. Then when the time comes to attach these sections to the dress/sweatshirt they are already prepared.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this make as much as I enjoyed making it. I highly recommend the pattern, it is one you will use over and over again. The fabric is also beautiful and is only going to complement your stash! I’ve not used a viscose jersey before but will definitely keep my eyes open for it now. It just feels so soft and beautiful against your skin and it looks great made up.

I cannot wait to make more versions of this sweatshirt, I have already found some more fabric that I love on the Sewalicious website. It is the black and grey animal print sweatshirt fabric, totally on trend for this season and I think it would look stunning either as the cropped version or the sweater dress. Decisions, decisions!!

Finished sweater

Love Emma xx


Leave your comment


This dress looks so pretty.  Love the Southbank dress and in this fabric it looks very classy. Sarah xx
Guest replied on 18/10/2018 19:05
Thanks so much 💙 The fabric is gorgeous, so soft and lovely to wear. X
I am off to buy this fabric...i love it!Mary
Guest replied on 18/10/2018 19:06
Yaaaaay! It’s the most beautiful fabric. You won’t regret it 💙
Gorgeous make Emma!!! Stace x
Guest replied on 18/10/2018 19:07
Thanks Stace, lovely straightforward make. There’ll be lots of these in my winter wardrobe! 😀 xx
Looks gorgeous on you, love the fabric and pattern choice!  Good read too! 😊 Xx
Guest replied on 18/10/2018 21:25
Thank you so much 💕
Great information. I am not good at matching correct fabric to a pattern.