Hello, Melly Sews readers! I’m Suzannah, and I blog about sewing, home dec, and the general DIY spirit over on my blog Adventures in Dressmaking.
I’m so excited to be posting as part of Melissa’s Summer Sundress Series because dresses are my fave thing to make, and how I first got into sewing. I spent one great summer home from college using my mom’s tools and making myself cute, trendy summer dresses–and I was hooked! I now make lots of things but dresses are my first love, and I can make them in my sleep. 😉 I use the same four or five patterns and modify them, and can sometimes put them together in less than 3 hours!
So anyway. I’ve got a new fave sundress to share with you today, that features several of my fave trends for spring and summer! Namely, colorblock + bustier + flounced skirt + MINT! + linen… Who doesn’t love colorblock and mint, right!? (One of my fave things about sewing yourself is you can get the trends right away without spending much money–and you can be so proud of yourself when you show them off!)
So, while I leave you hanging for a minute, let me give you the back story. I of course love dresses from Anthro, ModCloth, and the like that feature a bodice of one color and a skirt of another. I had a little bit of mint linen left over from this project (can’t you tell I like the look?) and wanted to use it something fun and different.
t was just enough for a strappy dress bodice, but with the sturdy linen, I wanted something special. I feel like I’ve been on the unending search for the perfect bustier dress pattern since I made this one and realized it was not what I wanted, but I just never saw the right thing!
Then, happily, I was at JoAnn one day with my cousin’s charming 3-year-old, picking out McCall’s when they were $1 each, and she literally grabbed this one out of the blue. Pulled it right out of the bottom drawer; I hadn’t even paid attention when I’d seen it in the book. (Although, after the fact I remembered that I’d seen it once online and realized it was the perfect bustier dress pattern, but didn’t buy it.) Annnnnyway…. the answer: McCall’s M6331.
The reason I didn’t pay attention before was, uh, it doesn’t really look like much of a bustier on the cover in the check, and it fits the model terribly, as they always do with the big pattern companies. But check out the detail drawings: View C, just what I needed! And, it came with funky skirt and shorts patterns (that I’m not sure I’ll ever use).
Also: it includes multiple cup size options. This is extra important for a dress that a) is meant to fit snuggly and in the same proportions and shape as your body, and b) is complicated and has lots of little pieces, so is harder to adjust yourself.
Oh! I should note, too: I topstitched on either side of the vertical seams in the front, and inserted short pieces of steel boning. Thought it would help give it structure and keep it from getting soft and wrinkly, as linen can.
(Pattern-wise: this newer McCall’s, M6561, also has a lot of fun seams around the bust, but I liked the round cups better, plus the one I got had some other styles in it!)
Almost to the end result of this story, I swear. So, that’s the bit about the mint linen bodice, but for the skirt I scrounged around my fabric stash and found a biiiiiiiig cut of ligthweight (probably poly/cotton) sort of shirting-ish stuff that I got at Goodwill ages ago because I figured it would be useful for something generic, maybe just linings. It’s sort of a weird not-quite-blue-not-quite-grey-or-periwinkle confused twill weave, very lightweight though.
Too sheer for a one-layer skirt, but hey, I had YARDS of it, and figured–why not a double-layer, flounced skirt?
So I played with the lengths and hemmed both skirts with hems of the same width. And gathered them as one skirt, and attached to the bodice. Ta-da!
Summery and fresh, and I looooove the minty color. What do you think?? 😉 Where should I wear it first?
Thanks again, Melissa, for sharing my Summer Sundress post! It’s been fun to see all the other projects and tutorials, and I hope everyone’s getting lots of inspiration and ideas.
Readers, if you did the sundress vibe, head over to my blog for LOTS more summery goodness.Get access to my free pattern gallery - sign up for my newsletter!