Saltwhistle Top & Dress Pattern

Have you heard the news? I collaborated with Tami to design a pattern for Love Notions and it just launched! Woohoo!

First of all.. little old me? I’m still in denial! The last year has been an absolute whirlwind learning new things, practicing illustrations, making mock ups and just figuring out this whole pattern designing thing. I’ve received so many messages about being half absent! I hope you guys see now that I was doing all sorts of things behind the scenes and not hanging around idly. Although… I can’t lie… there was also a crazy amount of procrastination in the mix too. I was terribly afraid of my first pattern failing completely and I was literally never satisfied. Fear is a hell of a thing! But finally, we made it! Saltwhistle is live and ready to be sewn up by all of you in this amazing sewing community!

Wanna know all about the pattern?


  • Square faced neckline
  • Scalloped faced hemline
  • Designed for lightweight woven fabrics
  • Sizes XS-5X with full bust option


  • Peplum Top
  • Knee Length Dress
  • Layered Knee Length Dress

Sleeve Options

  • Sleeveless
  • Short puff
  • 3/4 bishop
  • Ruffle

I’m sure you’re probably wondering all about the meaning of the name Saltwhistle right? And maybe you want to know how all of this came about.. what the process was like and all of the nitty gritty details. Lucky for you, I did an introduction post on the Love Notions Blog all about the evolution of this pattern. I even included earlier line drawings and sketches from when it was a totally different design.. can you believe this was a shift dress at first? I highly recommend you go check out that post for a nice in-depth background on the Saltwhistle Top & Dress pattern.

Let’s chat about my versions. My lemon print top is sewn up in cotton poplin. It’s the peplum top view with the short puff sleeves. These sleeves are an earlier version of the pattern and have since become a little puffier with some added length. With cotton fabric, the scallops were super easy to sew. Everything stayed in place which contributed to a really quick sewing process. Of course the cotton fabric gives the peplum top a lot more structure and I know some of you won’t like how much it sticks out so that is definitely something you want to keep in mind when selecting fabrics for this pattern.

My mustard peplum is my absolute favourite. I chose the ruffle sleeves which are self lined. This fabric is a crushed cotton and has more drape than the cotton poplin. It is still much more structured than a rayon would be though. The self lined ruffle sleeves especially stand up and I am in love with that look. Again, if you want flowy sleeves, I suggest using a lighter fabric. The pattern is very versatile and looks completely different in different fabrics so you can pick your fabrics depending on the occasion or the type of look you want to achieve. On this version, I did a blind hem using my sewing machine so there isn’t that harsh line of topstitching. I made sure to mention that in the pattern instructions and there is even a video link in there that demonstrates blind stitching (by machine and by hand) on this particular pattern.

The layered dress is definitely a statement piece and I think it will make a lovely party dress or wedding guest dress. Think garden party or garden wedding in the summer time! It’s not a view I see myself sewing up very often… but one I will definitely gravitate to when I need a stand out piece for a special occasion. For this one, I used the sleeveless bodice pieces and the fabric is rayon linen. Rayon linen has such nice drape because of the rayon content, but is a little heavier because of the linen. The drape was perfect for this dress but the waist was a little bulky with all the skirt layers. I pulled my elastic tighter chopping off a good few inches to reduce some of the waist bulk and also to prevent the skirt from pulling down the bodice. Shortening the elastic made such a huge difference! That being said, I recommend sticking with rayon and other super lightweight fabrics for the layered dress. Or if you really want to use something heavier, consider making the scalloped hem facings from a lighter fabric so the skirt doesn’t end up too heavy.

One of the things that the testers loved most about this pattern is the neckline. Square necklines can be too wide or gapey sometimes. During testing, Tami made sure to adjust the neckline to avoid any gaping and I just love the final result. You can definitely bend down without feeling exposed and your shoulders are fully covered so that there’s no need to worry about bra straps peeking out. The bodice is a slightly shorter bodice. It is meant to hit the natural waist and there should only be slight blousing. The peplum top is meant to hit mid hip, and the dress just above the knee.

Here’s an earlier sample sewn up in rayon voile so you can see the difference in flow and drape.

The scallops are really soft scallops as opposed to the deeper scallops that we usually see on ready to wear garments. Tami and I really wanted the scallops to be easy enough for an adventurous beginner to sew. I find that softer scallops also just look more delicate and elegant. If you’d like a little extra help sewing the scallops, a video link is included in the tutorial for this step as well! So that is the gist of the Saltwhistle pattern. I’m so anxious to hear your thoughts!

As with all of Love Notions patterns, there is a release sale for one week. Saltwhistle is reduced to $9.50, which is $3 off the regular price, until July 25th. So now is the perfect time to grab it while it’s on sale! Let me know in the comments if you plan on sewing up this pattern and which view you’d try first!





  1. SD

    This is so beautiful! Ruffle sleeves plus scallops plus square neckline?? Perfection for summer.

    • Keira Wood

      Thanks so much! So happy you like it!

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