Striped Summer Sundress – for me!

When one has a toddler who is 1) easy to sew for and 2) constantly in need of new clothing, it is very easy to devote all of your sewing time to little creations for her. And needless to say, it is WAY easier to fit a straight-line toddler body than… well… mine! But the coming of summer leads me to craving cute sundresses. Since I’m too picky to wear most of the (cheaply made, way too short) commercially available dresses, I’m either out of luck, or sewing for myself.

Guess which one won 😀

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Super simple stripe summer sundress!

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Let me break it down for you, because it’s kind of a pattern mess. The only actual pattern piece is the waistband, taken from McCalls 6503. Not that you can really tell! It’s wider at the front with a slight curve. I love the wide waist, especially with this stripe fabric – it’s a perfect foundation and control for the gathered chaos I created on either side of it. The bodice started from Simplicity 1611. I cut it off at the waistline, then rotated the darts to the waist and converted them to gathers. I also raised the front neckline 1.5″. I also moved the zipper from center back to under my left arm, which required trimming some fullness from the back. The skirt is 2 simple rectangles ~ 28″ long x34″ wide before hemming.

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The dress is made from a blue and white stripped shirting fabric from Joanns, a 50/50 poly cotton blend. I fully lined it with a light weight white poly cotton to add a little body and keep it from being see through. Except the waistband – for fun, I lined that with the blue stripe 🙂

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I have a couple changes if I use my pattern again. Mainly, the boat neck is really wide for my narrow shoulders so I need to narrow that. It also gapes under the arms. I can solve both issues by trimming a triangle from the center fold, keeping the waist measurement the same while narrowing everything above that. I may redraft the strap angle a little as well. And I would LOVE to get pockets in the skirt! Can you tell I’m already planning to make it again? Probably soon.

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In the mean time, this is perfect for our quickly warming weather. I prefer skirts in the summer because shorts are my enemy, and I prefer dresses even more because there is just one piece to throw on and go. Oh, and did you know stripes are “on trend” right now? LOL – I’m even sort of cool! That’s got to be a first! It looks like something I could have bought from Modcloth… except long enough to cover everything 😀

Details Summary

  • Pattern: Highly modified from McCalls 6503 and Simplicity 1611
  • Fabric: Poly/Cotton shirting
  • Techniques: Sleeveless lining with a side zipper from here; vintage lapped side zipper from here