Wear a blanket to work...Seamwork Mesa

Pattern review of the Seamwork Mesa dress, with long sleeve alteration.

This has been one of my most worn clothing items this season. When it's cold and dark in the mornings, and I'm feeling exhausted, all I want is comforting clothing. So my task this autumn was to find a way of achieving this, whilst maintaining a professional appearance for work. I have to say, the Seamwork Mesa pattern and quilted ponte combination I went with has totally smashed this. It's comfortable, quick to make, and everybody comments on it (always a nice touch when you've made it yourself and they don't know that). I know lots of you love the secret pyjamas idea - this is my version - a secret quilt!


I bought this fabric a while ago from Dragonfly Fabrics. The exact same one isn't available from there any more, but they do have others there. I can't remember the cost at the time, but it was around the £12 mark I think.  You can search for cloque jersey as well as quilted, and find other similar fabrics. The quilting effect does give this fabric body and weight. It's still got some stretch to it, but definitely feels more substantial than other pontes I've worked with....which is perfect for the job that I had mind. It cuts and sews like any other ponte - easily. I sewed this dress on my regular sewing machine, using a zig zag stitch. So far the fabric has been warm to wear, without being claustrophobic, and has held up to a fair amount of washing too. FYI I ordered 1.5m (and had some left overs), but I think if you were making a short sleeved version could manage with just 1m.

Seamwork Mesa dress in quilted jersey

Pattern and Instructions

The pattern is from Seamwork magazine; if you are a subscriber, you get credits to spend on their patterns. All their patterns are intended to be quick sews too. The Seamwork Mesa is a relaxed fit dress, with short sleeves and side slits. It can be worn as a dress or as a tunic, and is designed for knit fabrics. The pattern recommends lighter weights than I used, but you can see that it turned out just fine.

Seamwork Mesa dress

The download includes copy shop files as well as pdfs you can print at home, and standard Seamwork instructions. Their instructions always have a photograph of the finished article plus general tips for sewing to start with. It is always worth reading this because they often use a 3/8" seam allowance for knits. If you are used to 5/8" from other patterns this could easily catch you out (it did on my first Seamwork Astoria). The rest of the instructions are quite straightforward and have diagrams to help too. This really is a quick make because it doesn't require much fitting and is only made up of 5 pattern pieces.


I did make a couple of alterations to this pattern, and I required the Seamwork Astoria to do it. I wanted longer sleeves (it is a winter dress after all) and a slightly higher neckline. The Astoria is one of my favourite pattern pieces, and the lengthened version I made last year is one of my other most worn work items this winter too.

I merged the bodice pieces so that I could use the Astoria neckline on the Mesa dress, and used the Astoria neckband pattern piece instead of the Mesa one. I also used the Astoria sleeve pieces to guide the lengthening of the Mesa sleeves too. I also sewed my Mesa without the side slits, as this also wasn't the work appropriate look I was going for.

Seamwork Astoria

When I had finished the Mesa I had ended up with it sitting just below my knees. It wasn't very flattering in this fabric on my short frame so I altered it to a much shorter length and used a nice wide hem to give some structure to the dress. I made a size M and didn't make any fitting alterations.


What do I like about this pattern? I like how quick it is to put together! It's a staple and dependable silhouette as well so could be used a lot to make comfortable casual wear, or dressed up too.
What I don't like about this pattern....nothing. It's great as it is.
Would I make it again? You betcha. I can see a summer version in a fun print coming up!

And I love wearing this to work when it's cold and I'm tired!

Do you have any secret pyjamas or blankets that you manage to get away with wearing out and about? Share your makes and pattern recommendations below!

Pattern review of the Seamwork Mesa dress, with long sleeve alteration.

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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