Ashley over at Film in The Fridge has cranked out yet another revision of the Summer Blouse pattern from Weekend Sewing, this time in the form a super cute dress. This is exactly what I had hoped for when planning the projects for Weekend Sewing: that basic silhouettes would inspire loads of personalized versions and unique variations. I loved this one so much that I asked Ashley to write it up for us, so that we could all make one... Thanks Ashley! Her words follow.
The Summer Blouse pattern might just be my favorite pattern in your book. I've made two blouses so far, and I knew that I'd want to modify it just a bit more to make a cute little bathing suit cover up. For the fabrics, I picked this great larger-scale print from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line, and found a coordinating mustard colored Kona cotton.
I traced the pattern pieces, but extended the length to just above the knee. The finished measurement is 34" from the top of the shoulder - you can adjust this measurement for your desired length. I used the pattern piece for the sleeve, but cut it to 3/4 length, and I also grabbed the pocket pattern piece from the Trapeze dress (follow the dress instructions for attaching the pockets).
I modified the neckline, creating a wider v-neck. After cutting out the front pattern piece, I cut my desired neckline. To create a placket for the v-neck, I flipped the front dress piece face down on top of a blank piece of paper. I traced the neckline, then used a ruler to add about 2" in width along this "v". I used this new pattern piece to cut a piece out of my dress fabric and I followed the Summer Blouse instructions to sew the placket to the v-neck.
The hem on this particular dress was created out of a necessity to make the dress long enough to be acceptable to wear in public (I was a bit shy on fabric!). If you have enough fabric, you could simply hem the dress following the instructions for the blouse.
For my variation of the hem, I cut a 1" strip of the solid yellow fabric long enough to attach to the bottom edge of the dress. I ironed this in half, wrong sides together, then sewed this to the bottom edge of the dress, aligning the raw edges of the fabrics and using a 1/4" seam allowance. Then I cut a 2.5" wide strip of the dress fabric, again long enough to go around the base of the dress. I ironed this in half wrong sides together and then ironed the raw edges in 1/4", resulting in a 1" wide strip. I top stitched this to the yellow fabric, leaving about a 1/4" of the yellow showing as trim.
I love the resulting casual and comfy dress, and I already have a second one in the works - perhaps with short sleeves this time!