I’m getting so I have a lot of sundresses. This is mostly OK, since I wear them quite a lot when the weather cooperates (although a lot of them are white, which is less good). But one can never have too many of a Useful Wardrobe Item, especially something distinctive like a sundress.
I bought this fabric more than a year ago, because I fell totally in love with the stylized floral print. Totally, completely in love. It’s a fabric I have sat and patted many a time in the months since, a stretch cotton sateen, which has to be one of my favourite fabrics of all time, by the way. I knew I wanted it to be a flared-skirt sundress; I bought three metres, figuring that would be enough for most anything I could decide to make with it. Then a few weeks later, I found the last metre folded up in the remnant bin. A week or more after that, it was still there. It came home with me. Butterick XXXX was a real possibility, except after I made the Picnic Dress I didn’t really think my wardrobe needed two. Vogue 2429, in the simple flared skirt version, became the new plan. And then it sat. And sat.
Back on Canada Day (July 1st), I checked my schedule and realized that, between my two jobs, I had no days off before July 20th. Faced with the grim reality, I managed to wrangle a personal day (so, one day off!) and committed to self-care in the meantime. Which, for me, means mostly sewing. So I was determined to make something satisfying, simple, and self-indulgent. This sundress fit the bill.
I usually make a size twelve, but knowing that my fabric was a stretch, and wanting the option to wear it sans-bra, I made the size ten at the bust, grading up to twelve at the waist. I shortened the bodice a wee bit (though the darts are a bit high so perhaps I could have shortened more), and did my usual sway-back adjustment. I keep resolving to skip this on a full-skirt pattern and see what I can get away with, but the skirt for this one, which looks flared on the envelope, is really not much more than a gentle A-line. .
It’s actually the only thing I wasn’t super-thrilled with about the dress—I didn’t want a full circle skirt, but a half-circle at least might have been nice. Anyway, I didn’t fuss around with pattern-matching or any of that, so I got this wee little dress out of 1.5m of fabric—meaning I have enough left to try again if I should feel the need. It actually looks really good from the side, but I feel like the skirt looks a bit narrow and flat from straight on.
The only fun detail I added was a touch of self-piping just along the top of the bodice; since it’s a straight seam I didn’t even bother cutting a strip on the bias, just on the stretchy cross-grain.
The bodice is lined with white stretch poplin (left over from the flower jeans), and I used some wide flat-fold bias-tape for a narrow faced hem since I may have cut the skirt a bit on the short side, and I like facing curved hems.
The skirt isn’t lined, but I often wear it with my half-slip as it seems to sit over the hips just a bit better with something slippery underneath.
I love how invisible the hem is.
Good dress. I intend to wear the snot out of it, for the few more weeks that the weather allows…
22 responses to “The Ultimate Sundress”
I have hem-envy right now. Seriously. And maybe just a little bit of fabric envy too – so pretty! It’s a pity the skirt isn’t fuller than you’d hoped for though… could you investigate adding some godets to give it some swish?
Godets in this fabric worry me—I feel like they would stick out oddly. I’ll probably let this one be as it is, and if I need a full-skirted version, well, I still have 2.5m of fabric! 🙂
I have a wedding to go to, can I steal one of your sundresses? lol This one is great, I love the piping and the hem!
Just let me know which one! 😉
It’s a very nice dress but I agree that it might have been even better with a slightly fuller skirt.
I hope you’ll get the chance to wear it a few times before the end of summer.
Thank you! Me, too… looking at the forecast today may well be the Last Hot Day… >_<
I guess the nice thing about the narrow skirt is it's very every-day… nice but not over-the-top. (I do love over-the-top though…)
Love the sun dress, it is so adorable and I love the colors.
Thank you! 🙂 This is one of my favourite prints ever. 🙂
Very cute dress !
I really love this. And like you, I think that stretch cotton sateen is a dream to sew and wear.
I just made a floral dress to wear to a wedding and it’s so nice I’m ready to make two more!!
Hee! I’m not much of a prints person, but the right floral (especially in blue, for some reason) just gets me. 😉
Lovely. You are right in the photo the skirt is a bit nowhere land from the front i.e. not fitted not full, but it might be that when you are actually moving the fullness is more apparent. A wonderful use of the fabric anyway, and you still have more to play with!
That’s exactly it! No Man’s Land! Ah, well… I still love this dress. 🙂
Great dress! Bias hem- always a good choice! Nicely done!
Yes, especially on curved hems! 🙂
A bit of an after thought – but a crinoline slip might be just the ticket to give a little extra swish and a dash of darling.
I did actually try it with my day-wear crinoline—it fills it out nicely but the skirt actually looks a bit “stuffed”—too much crinoline! Maybe a petticoat with just a little more fullness than my slip would be the way to go….
Love the dress. That’s a great floral print, I can see why it caught your eye – not too girly or fussy, that is not common in floral prints.
Thank you! I think you hit the nail on the head about the print. It’s one of my all-time faves. 🙂
If you can spare some of the remaining fabric and insert a inverted box pleat in the CF & CB seams you may create the desired fullness.
It’s so pretty!!!