Hot! The “Woolloomooloo Wharf” dress | Adey Lim

The Facts

Fabric: Fuschia linen from Shanghai fabric market 2.5 metres $11.60
Pattern: Simplicity 3640
Year: c. 1940s
Notions: Invisible zipper from stash
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: 24 July 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$11.60

My dress this week was inspired by Debi’s “Raspberry Sorbet” Dress.  I don’t usually sew with solid colored fabrics but love the sweetness and simplicity in Debi’s version and decided to give it a try. As I only had a day and a half before the start of my vacation to sew this up in between last minute packing and my regular schedule, I had to pick a 40s pattern that looked doable fast!


In came Simplicity 3640, a 1940s pattern with shoulder yoke details, gathers at the bodice and a very clean simple front. The V-neck bodice is joint to the skirt at the lower waist with a V shaped seam.


As I didn’t have sufficient time to start on the belt, I decided to make the dress wearable on its own by adjusting the fit and was pleased with the outcome.

IMG_2245 I ‘ve been to Sydney in winter but never did I experience continual rain for 2 and a half days. I was SO glad the sun finally decided to make its appearance and it was on my fourth day, just before our flight to Cairns, that I managed to get these photos taken outside our hotel. With everyone else on the road dressed in layers of dark colors, wearing this fuschia dress definitely brightened up my day! I think it brightened up the day of the hotel staff and the navy boys who walked by while hubby and I were taking photos at Harry’s as they asked if we wanted sailors in the photo. Off course! IMG_2227
These photos were taken at Woolloomooloo Wharf, one of the many places hubby and I love in Sydney as it’s just a short walk to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Opera House, The Rocks and the legendary Harry’s Cafe de Wheels! While the curry tiger is often mentioned as a hot favorite, my vote goes to the Chili Beef Pie! Those pies tasted even better on a rainy winter day!

I took my self made echino scarf off for most of the photos so it doesn’t cover the v-neck and shoulder yoke details but left it on for the photo above as I do love the colors it adds to the dress and how the yellow of the border print matches my shoes.

Here’s a photo just outside the Blue Sydney where we stayed. The hotel used to be old docks storehouses for wheat and wool more than a century ago and I love that its architecture and design integrates some of the old features its original building.

It’s the first time I’ve sewn with a solid colored linen and frankly, I am not used to how crinkled it can be and how little effort it takes to produce a wave of wrinkling effect. In fact, the bottom of the skirt crinkles the moment I slip the dress on. That irritated me quite a bit but what I do love were the look of the fabric with its weave and how its reflected light in a subtly pretty way.





Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.


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  1. It’s just beautiful! I recognized it right away as a nod to Debi’s lovely dress. You’ve done a brilliant job! The fit and colour look great on you and your yellow shoes are fabulous!

  2. Fabulous dress Adey! I love that colour on you and the waist and yoke designs of this dress are divine! Love that first photo!!! Were you able to meet up with Veronica in Australia? Sounds like it was a great vacation! Can’t wait to see more photos!!

  3. I can’t say enough how much I love this dress. The fit, the colour, the waist… It’s too much awesome to bear!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous!

  5. Adey, lovely dress and made minutes before leaving on vacation. I love how it connects to Debi’s dress. The real visual treat is to see this lovely raspberry dress against a cool blue gray background…wow what a great palette!

  6. Looks fantastic – it’s a lovely colour on you. Do you mind me asking where you got the pattern? Does Simplicity re-issue it’s vintage patterns or do you just have to hunt round flea markets etc for them?

  7. Looks great! I particularly like the shoulders. I don’t think I’ve sewn with a solid-colored fabric yet, I’m getting inspired to do so, however. :)

  8. Just Wonderful!! That color is Lovely on you and the pattern is simple and interesting. How did you like sewing with Linen? I’ve got some yardage and am a pit nervous about cutting into it. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!

  9. Adey.. what a beautiful dress. You did an excellent job.and the rasberry color looks great on you.. So sweet to add the soldiers in the pictures..nice!! Happy sewing.

  10. Gorgeous! That color suits you so well. Like you said, linen is tough because it wrinkles, but it does look divine.

  11. It’s beautiful. The colour, the texture of the fabric and the shape are just so you. I love it!

  12. margueritedesigns

    Great dress and pictures – lots of fun!

  13. Aww I love this, especially how simple it seems to be until you get closer and see all the beautiful waist and yoke details. Gorgeous

  14. So pretty! The perfect dress for the trip, the wrinkles are not important when it comes to linen, they complement … and such wonderful photos!

  15. Such a pretty dress – the fitting is just perfect and you look so bright against grey old Sydney.

  16. Beautiful dress. I think the solid probably shows off all the design lines really well. Glad to see a new creation from you.

  17. The fit is so perfect . Beautiful job!

  18. the colour and fit of the dress is perfect on you!

  19. Yay Adey that colour and cut look fab on you, I know where you’re coming from with the linen and wrinkles…annoying hey? That a side, fabulous dress.

  20. Adey, this is fabulous! The color and style are so fetching on you!

  21. I think we may have been in Sydney around the same time!

  22. So gorgeous Adey, I’m so loving all your red dresses! It’s such a great colour on you! And this pattern is just AMAZING!

  23. Thank you Sarah!

  24. I think so too but we didn’t know we were gonna be there the same time! What a pity, we could have met!

  25. Thank you so much Reana!

  26. So thrilled that you like the dress Marie!

  27. Thank you so much Cathe, I love the color contrast with the background too :)

  28. Thank you Lindsay. I am so sorry I couldn’t revert earlier as I have been quite ill. I get most of my vintage patterns on ebay or etsy. There is also evadress for repro patterns. Hope that helps!

  29. Thank you so much Tasha! Yeh, I have been so into prints that I have neglected the solids. Think it’s a nice change sometimes :)

  30. Thank you PepperReed. I actually found linen as easy to sew as cotton so no fear my dear! I think my only tip will be to set your iron on high to get the crinkles smoothen out before cutting, good luck and happy sewing!

  31. Thank you so much Judy! Yah, the soldiers were a bonus :) My fave pix of the lot.

  32. Thank you so much Amy!

  33. Thank you Nikki!

  34. Thank you Diane!

  35. Thank you Kirsty! Can’t wait to see your completed take on Debi’s dress! It’s so fun that we have the same source of inspiration!

  36. Thank you so much Rosy, your white blouse is divine!

  37. Thank you Jen :)

  38. Thank you Crystal, I am tempted to try solids more often now :)

  39. Thank you Justine, can’t wait to see your finished housedress, I have been thinking of sewing one too.

  40. Thank you Fiona, sorry for the late reply, have been quite ill.

  41. Thank you Kazz! Oh, the wrinkling on linen is so annoying! I don’t think I will buy linen again and still have a few to use in my stash.

  42. Thank you sweet Meg!