Summer Dresses


Many people who sew clothes have what are called TNT (tried'n'true) patterns. They are patterns that you know well, can be adjusted easily and that you like to make and wear. Thy tend to be comfortable, easy-to-make in a variety of fabrics and easy-to-love. Ever since I found this pattern from Sonya Philip of 100 Acts of Sewing, her Dress No.2 has been my TNT. I make one of them when I need some instant gratification.

I had purchased two yards of a lovely batiste-like cotton fabric from Stevie Saint Fabrics a year or more ago. It's a bit odd that I ordered so little of it but I had probably planned to make a simple shirt originally. These days I usually buy 3.5 yards or more of fabrics that I like so that, when I decide to use it, I have more pattern choices. I loved the flowers on this cloth, but also though that the fabric looked a bit "curtain-ish" or "50's housedress-ish", plus the pale green is not a great color on me but oh! I love those rich flowers! It seemed to be very high quality and a little gold thread on the beautifully made selvedge edge.(photo below)

I like to challenge myself to match the fabric's pattern when I add a pocket to this dress pattern, but I did not have quite enough extra fabric to to do it in one piece, so I decided to piece the pocket fabric together and see how close I could get . Perhaps not perfect, but good enough to use. Can you see the near half of the pocket that I pieced together? (See photo below)

It was overcast outside hen I took the pictures of the finished dress- so the colors looked best in the photo that I took inside.

My next project was Grainline Studios Farrow Dress which I have wanted to make since last year. The pattern features some quirky looking pattern pieces - so I took the time to sew a muslin to make sure that I understood how it all went together. This is a very slick, fairly easy pattern that I enjoy wearing and will make many more times I think. The only tiny thing that I did not love about this pattern is that the pattern calls for an opening on the top of the back that is closed with a small button. I lowered the neckline and adjusted the back neckline to make this into a perfect "pull over the head" version, eliminating to need for a back closure. I should note that this is the first time that I wanted/needed to lower a neckline...I almost always want/need to raise them!

About two years ago, I bought two yards of this lovely, medium-weight, linen from It is their IL 019 (5.3 ounce) softened linen in Crown Blue (not sure if it is a current color). I could not remember why I bought only two yards, but I might have planned to make pants at the time. The Farrow Dress pattern calls for considerably more fabric, so I was very careful when I cut out the pattern pieces; making the sleeves as long as I had fabric far. I like the length that they turned out to be though...especially for summertime. The amount of fabric that I had left over after cutting fit in my hand! Phew!

It's been either too rainy or too sunny lately for outdoor photos, but at least you can get the idea.

Below...topstitching detail on top of the front pockets.

The pattern includes pattern pieces that, at first glance, made no sense to me. They become two very useable front pockets that form slightly diagonal lines that are mirrored on the back. I am still considering adding some decorative hand embroidery to this dress, but have not yet found any ideas that I think would work. Do you have any suggestions?!

It was the first time that I used my new Babylock Imagine serger for sewing non-knits. Although I wanted to use French seams, which is almost always my preference, I felt that they might make the seams a bit too bulky. I am not sure if I was right about it or not, but the serger worked well and I enjoyed using it

I have a feeling that the Farrow Dress will become another TNT pattern for me, and am looking forward to making it for Fall and Winter wear next.

So now I am onto making the back for my 1876 Quilt that will be sent out for it's quilting adventure soon. I am working on finishing my applique and "potato-chip" I have two dresses that are calling to me.. one will be made of cotton lawn and another of cotton double gauze.

Do you have any summer plans?

What's on your summer sewing list?,



  1. Exploring Montana before we leave next year is the main goal for the summer. And I am doing a BOW through my LQS. Of course, being the idiot I am, I have to duplicate the block in Batman fabric, so actually 2 quilts. And a friend has a Sweet 16 Quilter which I can use, so learning to work with that.


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