If I could only choose one pattern for the rest of my life/closet, I would choose this pattern, hands down. This is my 7th (but who’s counting? I’m going to loose track soon.) Panama Tee Dress by Alina Design Co, including the ones that I’ve made for the girls in my family (since we all struggle with finding clothes that are long enough).
I haven’t been able to get this idea out of my head for months now, so when I didn’t have anything to do the other day, I whipped this awesomeness up in a couple of hours. I have some pretty darn thick ribbed knit from Britex, but I was nervous about it fitting right and if it would be too heavy. So instead I decided to go with this knit fabric from Micheal Levine’s, The Loft. I have already made a swing dress with this fabric and LOVE it because it’s so easy to sew with, it washed and dries well, and it’s lighweight but not sheer at all. It’s the perfect fabric, basically.
What I REALLY wanted to do was make a maxi dress with the side slits that go up to your knees. You know, like this? But I didn’t have enough fabric and decided to make a midi using as much of the fabric as I could. You can sort of tell, but I accidentally cut the back an inch longer than the front, but decided to just go with it instead of evening it out.
HOW: My pattern pieces already had the height adjustments I needed, so I just cut the pattern like normal, and cut the bodice pieces as long as I could. I probably could have skipped finishing all of the edges, but I thought it would bug me, so I serged the sides of the bodice and sleeves pieces all separately. Then I sewed them together like the pattern says using a zigzag stitch, and when I got down to the place where I wanted my slits to start, I back stitched really well.
After that, I ironed my seam allowance open all the way down to the hemline of the dress. Then I folded and ironed the bottom hemline up. I used Wonder tape to hold it all in place, but pins would have worked just fine too.
Starting at one of the corners, I sewed with a straight stitch all the way around, pivoting at the tops of the slits and at the corners. Since the bottom won’t stretch at all I figured a straight stitch was fine.
That was it! (not including hemming the sleeves and neckline) I love how many different ways I’ve been able to switch up this pattern and I WILL make a maxi version with those awesome tall side slits. Eventually. I’ll just have this dress on repeat weekly until then! Also, typical that my baby would steal the show. He makes the dress look better anyways. 😉
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