Summer Dress, in the Dead of Winter


What I really want to do is hibernate until the days get warmer and longer, but that would set a poor example for my kids. So, I’m dreaming up my summer wardrobe. I’ve been seeing a few dresses like this one around, with a gathered skirt, high front neckline, midi length, and thick straps. It seems like a great summer silhouette for a midweight fabric.
Originally, I was thinking of ordering or otherwise procuring some Dutch wax prints for this dress, and I may still do that to make a few more. Since I’m too lazy at the moment to make any purchasing decisions, and I had this textured fabric in my stash, and it seemed perfect for the style. I drafted the pattern myself. It’s almost exactly what I originally envisioned.

I may even be able to wear it in spring with a cardigan over it.

back view

back view

side zipper

side zipper



black silk lining on the bodice.  The skirt is unlined.

black silk lining on the bodice. The skirt is unlined.

textured fabric.

textured fabric.

grosgrain straps

grosgrain straps



  1. Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    I think it’s always a good idea to work a season ahead when sewing, so by the time summer rolls around you’ll actually have an appropriate wardrobe (but I often find it so hard to resist the immediate gratification of making something I can wear immediately!). It’s so cool that you drafted that yourself. It’s beautiful!

  2. Anke
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 2:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Dreaming of summer dresses, I can fully understand that. I have made Marfy 3453 twice which is quite similar, I love this style. I hope you can wear your beautiful dress soon with a cardigan. Anke

  3. Posted January 24, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    A really beautiful dress, love how the length of the bodice gives the waist such a smooth definition. Hopefully it won’t be too long until Spring!

  4. Posted January 24, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s lovely, Claudine. I have been having linen fantasies lately and now I won’t feel so off tilt if I sew a linen summer top soon. You need to do something like that when your daytime high is is in the single digits on a good day.

    I’m sure you will get lots of wear from this classic beautifully made dress.

  5. Posted January 24, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    That’s lovely- that side seam with the pockets- mmmmm. I have a fluttery sleeve blouse going now- sometimes the season must be ignored if the muse is upon you!

  6. Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful drafted and sewn, Claudine! And I love the grosgrain ribbons as straps. In fact, I’m now planning on stealing that design element.

    • Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      Please do! I always like to see others’ ideas about the things I’ve been thinking about.

  7. Shams
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    A beautiful dress, Claudine! You know, I usually hate sewing, wearing, or thinking about summer clothing, but I’ve decided to visit a warm destination this summer and I’ve been thinking so much about it! I’m forcing myself to wait to sew, though, because my weight hasn’t been stable.

  8. Beth (SunnyGal Studio)
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    you and I are on the same wavelength as just last night I was about to start a coat yet thinking is it too early to make a summer dress? why not… an it is 72 F here today in N. Calif. That is very pretty and will look great on you.

  9. Posted January 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The first real snow of the season and I understand what you’re saying! I would be be happiest if I could just stay home, sew, sleep and watch TV until April 1st. That said I love the new summer dress. It gives you something to look forward because even though it’s snowy and cold outside now, the one thing we do know is that spring and summer are coming. Definitely wear it this spring with a cardigan!

  10. Posted January 25, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh so cute! I love it!

  11. Posted January 25, 2015 at 3:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Put a cardigan on it! Wear it now, it’s so pretty!

  12. Posted January 26, 2015 at 4:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a lovely silhouette; you’ve done an amazing job to draft this and I’m sure you’ll be delighted to have the dress ready to go when the warm weather comes your way! The grosgrain ribbon looks great – and reminds me, there was a designer collection a few seasons back where they used grosgrain straps as you’ve done, I think (was it Louis Vuitton? Not sure now!). I put grosgrain ribbon as a top layer on the straps of a Vogue dress a couple of years ago -now I’m wishing I’d used grosgrain by itself; it w
    looks so cool!!!

  13. Ann_B
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love your new dress We have WAY different silhouettes yet I have been sketching just that dress for spring. In a watercolor print. I keep thinking I have a life where I need garden party dresses. The navy looks great and much more useful for me at least. Enjoy!

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