Monday, 19 June 2017

True Bias Southport Dresses for Summer

I'm writing this on one of the hottest days of the year, possibly one of the hottest for a few years. I've had my feet in the kids paddling pool trying to keep cool and I'm hoping the temperature begins to dip soon, because heat + Amy = melting! 

I'm also on tenterhooks waiting to hear news from my sister who is due to give birth to her first baby any day now! Eekk!!

I have been rather busy making lots of things in the months that have passed by since I last blogged anything. Creating always takes up much more time than I think it will. But I love this bit the best! And then I never have time to blog anything I have made - my particular stumbling block with documenting is the taking the photos... I'm trying to find more suitable locations and more time to take them; but then I also have to be in the mood.  Last week the photos finally happened! So today's first dress is one that I made last summer. It's a sweet pattern from True Bias - the Southport dress. I wore it a lot last year and I've already had it on quite a lot this summer too! 

My second version of this dress is in a red-pink chambray and it's my offering for the instagram challenge #sewtogetherforsummer hosted by Sarah (SewSarahSmith), Suzy (Sewing In Spain) and Monika (Rocco.Sienna). You can find out more about this shirt dress challenge on Sarah's blog. I think it just about scrapes in as a shirt dress because it has a button front. I had initially thought about the Alex shirt dress from the Sew Over It City Break ebook, but with limited time I opted for a pattern I'd made before & would get worn through out summer.

The True Bias Southport dress is:

"a tank style dress designed to be worn as a coverup at the beach or a dress for around town. It has a button opening at centre front and a drawstring waist with inseam pockets. View A hits 20” from the waist. View B is maxi length and hits 42” from the waist and includes a centre front slit."

I really do love this style of dress and have a few similar RTW versions in my wardrobe. They are loose fitting and comfortable to wear on warm summer days, or can be worn with leggings on a cooler day - perfect!

Fabric and notions

Dress one - Beautiful Atelier Brunette Blossom Night viscose rayon. Lovely to work with and wear. It presses very well and doesn't crease too easily. The buttons are little wooden, natural coloured ones.

Dress two - Chambray in (an iridescent) red-pink colour. It was lovely to work with too. (It took a while to match thread to fabric and in the end it was a pink gutterman thread that did). It does crease when I wear it though. The buttons are a natural shell.

All fabric and notions were purchased from The Sewing Cafe.

Pattern Alterations and Fit

Dress one - I cut a size 6 and as the bodice is loose fitting I didn't make any adjustments except to lower the dart by 1.3cm. 

I made a 1cm tuck in the neckline for my hollow chest - this prevents a gaping neckline and is an adjustment that I often make. I made a bodice toile and then decided to lengthen the bodice by 2.5cm.

Dress two - As dress one, with the addition of reshaping the armscye and lowering it by 1cm to give me a little more room.


This pattern is very straight forward to make. Dress one had pockets, and I made dress two without them (which I'm still unsure about, but didn't want to add bulk).

I interfaced the ends of the drawstring casing on the second version of the dress. The instructions don't call for this, but on my first version the openings have started to fray a bit. Whilst this could be to do with a slightly looser weave of fabric, I didn't want to take a chance on my second version.

What I love

EVERYTHING! I'm going to be making more of these for sure. The pattern drafting is great, so if you match it up with a lovely fabric you are on to a winner. I really love the Atelier Brunette fabric - it's so comfortable to wear and I love the print so much. These dresses are so easy to make and to wear. 

What I'd change

Looking at the photos I would want to raise up the waist of the back a little. It's difficult to see on the first dress, but on the red-pink chambray one it's easier to see that it need to go up a bit.

I would possibly sew in a full elastic waist or, maybe just the back - I have a RTW dress with this and the drawstring and it means that the gathers don't automatically move to the front of the dress, which I can see has happened from some of the photos.
In the future I may also cut the front bodice on the fold omitting the button placket completely for a really speedy make.

Final Comments

I'm thoroughly pleased with these particular makes on many levels - pattern and fabric choice, but also my sewing of them too. It's a pattern I will definitely make more of.

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