Monday, August 3, 2020

Versatile Summer Dress

Over the last few month I have been going though my fabric shelves and closet and reorganizing them. I felt like my problem before the pandemic was that I buy fabrics faster than I could turn them into something, but I bet I am not the only one with this problem! I decided that I need to put a stop to that and actually start sewing more. I bought a couple fabrics you see in picture above and below about 3 years ago at a local quilt store but they were lost in a pile and forgotten. I was originally planning to sew a skirt, using a bold Kaffe Fassett fabric as an accent somewhere.

After looking at them for a few days, I really wanted to turn them into a dress instead.

I am a big fan of fabrics designed by Kaffe Fassett. His design consists of bold gorgeous colors and the quilts made with his fabrics are all so stunning. I thought using such large scale fabric for a clothes might be a bit too much, but I really like the combinations and wanted to showcase the fabric rather than cutting it up small. Wearing bold prints under the Summer sun seems desirable, right?

I only had a 1/2 yard of bold print to work with for the top portion of the dress, so I knew I didn't have many options design wise. I looked though all my books and commercial patterns and didn't find any that jumped out at me. Then, I remembered that I designed a simple top several years ago, that would be perfect for this project. I made bias tape with solid fabric I had and used that to finish up around the neck.

I didn't have a solid plan of how this dress was going to look like when I first started. But for the bottom portion, I was going to use a skirt pattern (See & Sew 5840) and modify it. Then an idea popped in my head and I changed course on the design. I added fabric on the wrong side of the fabric to put a fabric string through. So, now I have the option to wear this dress as a drop waist dress, or pull the draw string to make the waist more defined.

I love how it turned out!

I love the drop waist style when I am just lounging at home, doing house chores or reading. The dress feels very comfy and flowy, perfect for a summer day. It is also fun to transform the dress with draw strings to define the waist line. I am thinking about making the same dress with solid fabric, if I use thicker fabric, it will be nice to wear during the fall with a cardigan.

Remember I said I am going to do more sewing from my stash earlier in the post? Well, I am so excited; I am working on a blouse right now with Anna Bond's fabric. I will see you at the next post.


  1. It is great to see you sewing for yourself. As always, a beautiful job.

  2. Hi. I just love how your dress turned out. The pull-ties on the sides are useful as well as decorative. You did a fantastic job. By the way, I wanted to thank you for posting your patterns of masks a while back. I've made quite a few using your pattern. Everyone in my family loves them---as do I. Maxine Reisenleiter

  3. What a cute summer dress. i love the clever drawstrings. I used to make a summer "housedress" each year to wear to stay cool. I need a new one! This certainly fits the bill.

  4. Did you post a tutorial about how to make our own pattern for a top like the one you used for this dress? I looked back at the original and I'd love to use it as a basic top design for my daughter but I'm not a designer.


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