Sew & Tell - Lima Dress - By Mary-Ellen

Hi everyone,

I’m Mary-Ellen (otherwise known by my Instagram handle, @shesewshappiness). I’m a relatively new sewist, having taken up dressmaking early in 2020. I did so for two main reasons. Firstly, I became very conscious of waste in the fashion industry and was so disillusioned by fast fashion and the exploitation of labour that goes on within the industry. My conscience has made me focus on living more sustainably; slow fashion is a great place to start. I’ve become mindful of the fabrics I use when making my own garments and when you learn how much work goes into making clothes, you really do look after them; the idea of disposable fashion really upsets me. Secondly, I was so tired of poor fitting clothes. We’ve all been there, I think. Ready to wear fashion very rarely makes you feel good about yourself. The inconsistency of sizing makes our relationships to our bodies strained. Learning how to sew, how to fit garments to your body (rather than the other way around), is an act of empowerment. 

That’s where the Lima dress came in. A few months into my sewing journey I discovered Kosedo Studio and the Lima Dress. 

The Lima dress is one of my all-time favourite patterns; featuring princess seams, V-neck, a gathered skirt (with length options) and those gorgeous puff sleeves, this dress ticks all my boxes. This pattern is so versatile; you can create strikingly different looks simply by mixing up the fabrics and the prints and varying the length. I think it is the drama of the sleeves that really make this dress for me. There is something so fabulously feminine about the puff sleeves – and they’re so easy to do for the amount of impact they provide to the dress. One of the things I really like about this pattern is that the instructions are so clear that a beginner would feel comfortable with them; I was that beginner the first time I made a Lima dress – I’ve now made 5 and I’m sure there will be more. It’s a signature look for me now. The size chart for this pattern is incredible and unlike anything I have ever seen before: it includes three bust sizes to help you customise the fit. No FBA here! And that’s the beauty of Kosedo Patterns; these patterns are designed with an expert knowledge of what works on female bodies of all shapes and sizes.


If you’re interested in following my sewing journey, I have a website  (  where you can find my blog, pattern reviews, fashion history articles, recommended sewing themed reads and more. 


You can also find me on Instagram as @shesewshappiness. Feel free to pop up and say ‘hi’ and share your sewing experiences with me.


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