This year I was lucky to be able to help Michelle, with Style Maker Fabrics, make a pattern sample to use in her booth at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo. I just got the sample back in the mail the other day, and I was so excited to wear it!
This dress is the Skipper Tunic by Papercut Patterns. I liked that the instructions and pattern were all included on a big sheet of brown paper. The paper was like regular paper weight, so I didn’t have to be really gentle with it like I do with tissue paper. You actually cut out and glue the instructions all together into a booklet, which I thought was clever.
I have gotten very used to my patterns being explained in lots of detail with helpful hints and things spread throughout (Indie patterns have spoiled me!), but this pattern was very short and to the point about each step. Sometimes I had to stop and think about what I was doing, or think about how everything was going to line up and come together. I had to make some small tweaks to get things to line up on the plackets, but other than that, it all came together pretty well. I don’t recommend this pattern for early beginners, because the plackets and instructions made it much more intermediate.
Sewing Tall Alterations: This is a very short dress — probably because it’s a tunic, not a dress. But for me it was even shorter, so I lengthened it by a total of 9 inches, spread throughout. I lowered the bust dart by 1″ which was really easy, because it’s straight down through the bust. So I just cut right above and lengthened. I could have lowered the dart another 1/2″, but it’s not bad the where it is. I lengthened at the waist by 2″, and then around the hip area by 6″. I’m 5’11, so that’s how much it took me to get it to hit just above my knee. For someone who is shorter, you wouldn’t have to lengthen quite so drastically. It was pretty easy to lengthen since it’s just a-line all the way down.
I really like the way it fits, and it’s a really cute style! Michelle had me make it with the longest sleeve length for the Expo, but when I got it in the mail the other day I decided I would like it much better with short sleeves. It was an easy fix and I had it done within 20 minutes.
The fabric is tencel denim shirting washed indigo, and it was SO easy to sew with. The fabric is completely stable with no stretch. It was pretty stiff when I got it in the mail, but it washed up nicely. I do recommend washing it alone or with similar colored things for the first 2-3 times because I washed it with Dallas’s khaki shorts and they are a liiiittle bit blue (oops!). I also recommend hang drying it because the fabric does fuzz a bit if you dry it.
The drawstring in front is cotton cording and it works really well. The grommets are ones that I purchased at JoAnn Fabrics, and I installed using one of those big clamps. Michelle also has grommets on the Style Maker Fabrics website, and they come with the little tool to insert them into your garment. And they come in three different colors!
While I was making the dress I was just dreaming about how the fabric would make the perfect Coram Top by Allie Olson with the wrong side turned out on the sleeves like this. It’s a really nice weight of fabric and it’s completely opaque.
I normally wouldn’t choose this type of dress for myself since it’s a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I have been wearing it all day and I really like it! Now that it’s short sleeved, it’s going to make a great summer dress for any day of the week. The one thing this dress definitely needs is pockets! One of these days I’m going to add pockets and this dress will be even better.
What do you think about the lace up front trend? What is your favorite summer dress pattern?