We got there in the end Tacara…

Just hangin’ on my deck…

Now why , you may ask, am I standing on my deck on a very warm sunny evening in wool, boots AND a scarf. Other than “because I can” and “I’m still in love with my new fence” obviously.

The Seamwork Tacara first came to my attention when it was discussed in the Curvy Sewing Collective as a good candidate for the Same Pattern Different Body  post. I love these posts, it’s so helpful to see how a pattern works on a variety of shapes, what adjustments are made and also how each person styles their look.

I promptly went online , but while I loved the cocoon shape, and the myriad of ways it could be worn, there wasn’t actually a lot of pics of curvier sewers wearing a Tacara. Naturally I needed about two nano seconds to realize I wanted one of my own. Even better there is a SPDB post coming up at the CSC so if you are a curvy sewer be ready for plenty of inspiration!

What hem, I have no idea what you’re talking about…


So, how did it work out? Well, lets just say this garment is now known as the Dress of a Hundred Alterations. At least I had the sense to make a muslin for once!

20190217_190151 (1)
Hmmm, not perfect 

I made my first Tacara in a light rayon knit from Spotlight (good spotting, I have used it before ) While I ended up with a perfectly wearable dress, I felt like a bit of adjustment would make it much better.

The general consensus looking online is it comes up quite large, so I cut a size 16, adding 2 cm/1 inch to each sleeve as I was worried about cutting off circulation to my fingers! For reference my measurements are 44″/112 cm, 38″/99 cm & 48″/124 cm

Now, the pockets. Oh those pockets. I can only surmise this pattern was developed for someone with arms like my husband, loooong. Only he’s 6 ‘ 3″ and I’m not. They are crazy low. I literally had to stretch to get my mitts into them?

It all just felt (and looked) too big.

So, iteration two, this time in a gorgeous merino wool from The Fabric Store. I wont lie, I feel very spoilt having so many amazing fabric stores within easy reach, and to be able to treat myself occasionally.

Merino is a wonderful fabric, it breaths, drapes, keeps you warm & comes in the most glorious colours. It’s also quite spendy, so I didn’t want to mess this one up!

But it IS cocoon shaped, seriously!

Alterations, I’ve made a few (in my head I’m hearing Frank singing My Way!) . First up, I sized down , cutting out a 14 ( I’m an accountant, I’m used to manipulating figures, but me a 14, really???) . I reduced the bicep adjustment to 1 cm/1/2 “, and raised the pockets by a whopping 10 cm/4.5 “. Then I got a bit trigger happy and shaved another 4 cm off the length. Which I then realized was a tad to much to achieve a nice chunky hem. I didn’t want to sacrifice too much length so we have a lovely knee grazing dress with an ABOMINATION of a hem. More waves than a day at the beach, I apologize profusely.

Yep, no blue fingers here folks, complete ease of arm movement…

The sleeve actually needs to be reasonably snug, to balance the volume of the dress, but as someone who has suffered from the dreaded sausage arm syndrome, its a fine line, very dependent on your fabric. Make the muslin kids. Honestly.

Now, back to those bloody pockets (yes, I’d got a bit sweary by this stage). I was quite tempted to ditch them altogether. I’ve realized with the benefit of hindsight & a few wines the method described is probably perfect for use with a sewing machine, but for an overlocker (serger)? Not so much. After making an absolute Horlicks of my pockets, and unpicking them in a state of deeply bad karma, I found an online tutorial that made far more sense. Please save yourself the wine & do it this way.

Just shut up about the hem & keep taking the photo’s thanks …


I feel like this dress is a fabric version of Granddad’s hammer, new head, new handle, but it’s still his hammer right? I’ve altered so much of the pattern , but really to make it look like the picture & line drawings on the pattern which is what I liked so much in the first place!


While not without it’s tribulations, I’m actually really happy with the finished dress, its perfect for me at work, with boots & a cool scarf/necklace. It also works at the weekend over jeans , and I’ve realized with leggings, a big pashmina  and slip on shoes this is THE travel outfit (when you live in NZ you travel LONG haul, it  takes on a whole new meaning when you’re wearing something  for over 24 hours to get to Europe)

This fabric 🙂

Next up, a gorgeous Infinity scarf in this amazing Liberty  jersey , I adore the colours and I love a scarf that doesn’t need lots of fiddling. I know it’s none of my beeswax but why do so many people wear black in winter when we have all these glorious colours & prints to wear??

Now, has anyone seen Tommy?

Hmm, did I shut the cat door down…?


Have a great week!

Kristina X











  1. Susan@IFRMarketing.com says:

    This is a perfect dress! The style, color and panache you give it makes it so versatile. Regarding the hem, do you have enough fabric left to make a shaped hem for the current length or a banded hem if you want it longer?


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks Susan, I may try a banded hem, just need to figure out if I have enough fabric (or I may just have to suck it up & pretend not to notice it!) 🙂


  2. Debbie Cook says:

    OMG tears are running down my face! So funny! Great finished dress in the end … I’ll never touch a Seamwork pattern myself so kudos to you for sticking to it! Great color! And great cat on your head. Hehehe!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks Debbie, I’m glad I persevered, even if I was ready to throw it out the window at one point! Tommy is such a photo bomber, he just cant help himself…:)


  3. Sydney says:

    Your posts are always so much fun! Love the dress and the way you have styled it, and love the cat.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thank you! I do love writing them, glad you enjoy them too 🙂 x


  4. Terri says:

    I enjoy your writings, so funny.


  5. Marlene says:

    Love the dress on you, love your honest but funny posts, love the cat, (love the fence too), and I also wonder why so many people wear black when there are such gorgeous colours around to make us feel happy! Thanks for bringing a smile (and the odd chuckle too) to my day.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks so much Marlene, glad you enjoy the posts, I do have fun writing them (sometimes more fun than the actual sewing if I’m honest!:)


  6. erniek3 says:

    Thank you so so so much for this. “Why on earth would I muslin a simple dress?” Well, thanks for answering that! This is a dress shape that I love that hasn’t loved me back, and this is going to help change that relationship. Also, the knit pocket in a seam (to the tune of “Pulling mussels from a shell”) tutorial is now on my hot list.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Ha ha, thanks, yes, simple does not always end up being “simple”, but its worth persevering:)


  7. Melissa Sugrue says:

    I love everything about this dress! Can’t wait to see the SPDB post…. it might prompt me to actually print out the pattern! I hear you about the colours – I think the only black in my wardrobe are leggings and tights!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks! Yes Im looking fwd to it too, I love seeing how differently people interprate the same pattern. Yay for colour & print 🙂


  8. sewkris says:

    You’re like my personal pattern tester!😂 I do appreciate the details about this pattern because I was just getting ready to tape the pattern together and cut it out! I would love to try merino wool jersey some day.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Excellent, happy to help (we have very good taste in patterns too!) 🙂


  9. Raz says:

    Your dress is lovely! How do you find the recovery on the merino fabric? I made a concord with merino from somewhere else and it has got wider and shorter over time.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi there, I’ve actually found the recovery really good, I pre washed my fabric before sewing , and gentle nachine washed with wool wash , I’ve found the recovery goid so far👍


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