A Dreamy Blue Sundress
April 21, 2024
by Max Donos

When we think “spring”, we image sunshine, blue skies, warmth and renewal. We long to breath fresh air, bask in the sun and shed the layers that were our comfort during months of deep freeze. We want to step out of the sheltering cocoon, spread our wings and soar. Some of us have been preparing for the first warm spring days in the depth of winter by looking through fashion trends, sewing patterns and new fabric arrivals at fabricville.com. I am honored to present the dreamy blue sundress, a plan that came to fruition in just a few days.

Blue Sundress

Sincerely, this sundress was one of the quickest projects I took on. The invitation from Fabricville for collaboration came while I was just a few days into my month-long trip to Ghana. I did my fabric selection remotely, ordered the materials and picked them up from the store upon my return. I only had a few days to whip up a stunning sundress and report the results. In fact, this project was heavily influenced by fashion encounters on my African trip.

Material choice

For this dreamy blue sundress I chose a fantastic Printed Rayon Poplin – Tiffany – 014  in light blue color with large-scale floral print. The complementary thread is Gutermann 227 (Copen Blue) and Coats overlock thread in Light Blue. The pattern is Pauline Alice IBI Dress, with instructions in English, French and Spanish. The pattern includes 1.5cm seam allowance, which is rare for print-at-home ones.

Blue rayon poplin and thread

Sundress pattern

This sundress came from a pattern that I was using for the first time. I decided to follow the instructions “to the dot”. I chose the size according to the chest measurements, printed the bodice pattern pieces and cut them from the fabric. As for the skirt tiers, I decided to cut them without the paper pattern, since it was an option in the instructions.

pattern pieces

Laying out pattern pieces

I assembled the bodice, collar and sleeves and then measured one of the floor-length dresses already in the closet. Based on that measurements, and going back to the pattern instructions, I realized that if I follow the instructions, the sundress will be a midi-length. Therefore, I changed up the measurements for the skirt tiers a bit. I left the top tier without changes and added 7cm to the bottom tier. Adding length to the pattern is a first in my sewing practice. However, me doing that brought the hem of the skirt almost to the floor and fulfilled the project brief.

Assembling the sundress

I enjoyed working with the pattern for this sundress. All the notches were in the right place. Front placket result impressed me especially. Every fold and stitch line produce a clean and thought-through result. The same is true for collar, sleeves, cuffs and pocket. Yes, this dress has side seam pockets! The only pattern piece I missed is the back facing, to have a place for my label. Chuckle. 

overlocking dress pattern pieces

sleeve plackets

Narrow sleeve plackets

attaching cuffs

top stitching cuffs

Top stitching cuffs

attaching pocket bags

Attaching pocket bags

ironing pocket bags

Pressing seem allowance on pocket bags

When the time came for the skirt tiers to be sewn, I was faced with a mountain of fabric. It was a true exercise in patience. Sewing the rings of fabric, gathering them and then meticulously attaching them to the bodice tested not necessarily my sewing skills, but how slow I could be sewing! I have a newfound appreciation for voluminous skirts and the skill it takes to produce them.

model walking down the street

The hem of the skirt is a very narrow (4mm) rolled hem.

model standing in front of a house

Adjustments to the dreamy blue sundress

Once the sundress was complete, we tried it. The style of the dress resembles a tent, without a waist definition. I suggested to bring in the waist a bit, and we agreed to put in an 7mm elastic at the waist. I think it improves the silhouette by defining the mid-section. At this point we also realized that the sundress has a higher waist in the front and lower one in the back, resulting in a high-low hemline. It was a surprise, but the styling works.

I believe that this dreamy blue sundress is the quintessential symbol of spring renewal, encouraging the shedding of winter gloom and embracing of life-giving season ahead. Sew on!

Photography courtesy of @a.d_produces