When I was at the fabric store (ages ago!) they had a great pattern sale, and as I wanted to put together a few cute, super-simple summer sundresses, I grabbed one – McCalls 6085, a plus-size pattern that includes a simple t-shirt kind of top (or dress) a simple sundress (or top) and a pair of pants (or shorts). I also grabbed some fabric from the discount bin to mock the pattern up with – something inexpensive, but also cute enough that I’d wear it if the pattern worked out well with minimal alterations.
The fabric is a white base with a black abstract flower and a grey-purple abstract flower – it’s from R.E.D. International Textiles (#C68-30-708 if you’re curious) and is listed in the selvage as an “Original designs exclusive to Fabricland/Fabricville”, and is 100% cotton. I think the pattern was $0.99, and the fabric was probably $1.99-2.99/metre. Overall, a pretty inexpensive dress…
Of course, even a simple dress can be altered like mad… so here’s some of the alterations I made to the original pattern…
- I did a much wider seam allowance on the bodice, because I was concerned about the length of the top – it turned out to be fine, and I actually ended up taking it in further at the side seams.
- I didn’t line the bodice at all, instead I added a folded trim to finish the edge (along with serged seams). The fabric is white, but not terribly see-through, so for a simple sundress I’m ok with it.. I like the reduced bulk for sure, plus it allowed me to use a bit of the contrast colour I used for the yoke… (more on that in a moment)
- I opted not to have the bottom ruffle on the dress (I thought it would make it look too nightdress-like) and instead just extended the length of the dress to the finished length if the ruffle had been added. This also saved me a bit of fabric, plus a bit of time ruffling up the fabric…
- I didn’t add a side seam zipper. This was honestly a total oversight on my point – as I was making it, I thought to myself “hmm there isn’t a closure for this? Guess not…” Only when I actually went to read the instructions (you know.. around the time I was finishing the hem…) did I see that there was instructions for putting in a zip. Oh well. It’s fine, since the only fitted part of the dress is the bodice.
Once I made up most of the dress and put it on to test the bodice fit, I HATED how low the back was. I don’t mind seeing bra straps on the shoulders… but I don’t like seeing a back bra strap… and with this, the WHOLE THING was visible. I ended up eyeballing a contrast back yoke, and cutting it out with fingers crossed – turned out perfectly! It’s fully-faced with the dress fabric, because I had a lot more leftover dress fabric than the yoke fabric – the facing was a lot easier than binding the curved edges. I also installed the back ends of the straps with the facing.
The yoke fabric is actually a scrap of hand-dyed linen leftover from one of my Viking Apron Dresses, which just happens to be nearly the PERFECT colour to match the grey-purple in one of the flowers! There was about a 12×12″ square with about a 6″ tail leftover from my previous projects… just barely enough!
So… now that I have the pattern…
I can make up a few more of these super-casual summer sundresses!
I’m thinking medium grey linen with white trim… maybe a bold bright floral… a shorter version with a lace hem…?
How do you think this would look nice? Let me know in the comments below!