Tag Archives: pink

Favourite Summer Sundress

Everyone has one. Even if you aren’t ready to admit it, yet. You’ve had it forever. Every time you fabric shop, you have it in mind. You know just by looking at the bolt of fabric if there is enough to make it. You even know how much you can short yourself and still have it work out. It is your favourite dress pattern. It might be a sundress (like mine). Or a shirt dress. Maybe it’s a shift dress. Maybe you have a basic pattern that you alter with different skirts or different bodices. Whatever pattern it is, it’s always there ready for you to assist when you find yet another perfect fabric.

My favourite dress pattern is a simple sun dress. McCall’s 8786 to be exact. It’s three pieces (5 if you count the facing, which I don’t). Or four if I want a seam down the front. Usually, I don’t. I currently have three versions hanging in my closet. I should have a dozen since it’s super simple to make. It’s light and airy. It’s playful enough to wear on a picnic, but can also dress up for a day at the office particularly when made from linen-look fabric.

Beyond the simplicity of making the dress, what really won me over is the fit. It’s an a-line dress. It is quite literally a triangle. It does feature front darts. There is also a bit of a curve through the waist into the hips, just enough to give you some shape, but not nearly enough to feel any constriction. The shape of the dress does amazing things for those of us with a pear shape.

The neckline is also fun. A little unusual for an adult dress even. It is very similar to a pillow case dress for girls. The neckline sits a bit higher in the front. The straps thread through a casing made with the back of the dress and then tie. I usually only tie a knot rather than a bow.

This version is the first long one I’ve made. I love it! I think I may make a couple more. The fabric is a woven linen-look cotton with pink stripes on a cream background. The fabric is maybe a bit heavier that I would have liked. It’s a bit warm to wear, though if I am in air conditioning all day, it will be perfect.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have been pondering making these dresses to sell. What do you think?

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For Work and Play

Often when choosing patterns, I have two goals in mind. First, to create something I (or someone) will wear many times. The second goal is to challenge my sewing skills. I am finding this is harder to do and still create something I can wear in everyday life. I may have to start costuming for the local theater to give myself an excuse to make corsets and hoop skirts!

I love linen! Well, linen look fabrics anyway. I haven’t been able to convince myself to spend the money to buy actual linen. I found this wonderful pink linen-look leaf print on one of my first trips back to JoAnn Fabrics when the summer started. Despite my goal to not buy fabric for new projects, I picked up a few yards.

I found the pattern a few days later, when Simplicity went on sale. The outlined seams are what caught my eye. I like the added detail it gives an otherwise simple summer dress. Let me tell you, it adds time to the sewing process. The pattern calls for bias tape to be sewn over the seams, but I felt that with the linen fabric, I needed something a little more subtle. After pondering for a couple of days, I decided to use piping to line the seams.

Using piping was new to me. I’ve seen it used, but hadn’t attempted it myself. My first attempts needed to be redone a couple of times. I soon found a system that worked for me. First I would sew the piping to one piece. Then, using a zipper foot to ensure I stitched nearly on top of the piping, I would sew the two pattern pieces together. To finish off the seam, I would top-stitch along the side the piping fabric was ironed to. By the time I finished the bodice, I decided not to add another seam to add piping to the skirt. I may do so when I use this pattern again.

Despite this being a sun dress pattern, I think the fabric I chose gives it a bit of a professional-ish look. I can’t speak for people who work in proper offices, but I fully intend to wear this during the first couple weeks of school. I just need to find a little sweater to go with it. Or make the jacket that comes with the pattern.

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