It’s a scorcher out there, my friends! And, there’s only one thing to wear at a time like this. A summer dress. A person can’t have too many summer dresses, right? They’re so easy to throw on.
Personally, when it’s hot, I live by the rule, less is more. I do not want heavy fabrics. I do not want my clothes to touch me. In fact, if naked was an option, I’d (probably?) go with that. My less-is-more attitude extends to pattern choices as well. I want a pattern that has style without structure. (Yes, that’s asking a lot.) And if it’s ‘fast and easy’, that’s even better! Who wants to be inside, bent over a sewing machine, when it’s beautiful outside?
This summer shift dress meets my very loose requirements. It’s a basic a-line with some soft tucks at the waist to give it a slight fit n’ flare shape. It’s made from a simple light-weight cotton, (purchased at Fabric Depot). I love this fabric because I can tell it will get softer with every wash. And it’s cotton. Sewing with cotton is always a breeze. I am such a fan…
For this dress, I used one of my ‘tried and true’ patterns, Butterick 5890, a top with tuck variations, sleeve variations and collar variations.
I lengthened the tunic (view D), to make it a dress by adding 8″ to the length.
Then, to add a bit of interest, I decided to try a v-neck version. This modification was made by drawing a straight line from the edge of the inside shoulder seam to the center front seam (view D has one, which makes this pretty straightforward). Then, I added a 5/8 seam allowance so that I could add a facing to that edge. Using my straight edge, I cut a matching front facing with seams allowances as well.
For the sleeves, I used view A, an option with armhole bands that are squared off. The arm bands are one of the reasons I love this pattern. They’re easy to sew, and they give the dress a bit of a vintage vibe.
To be honest, this dress was so easy to sew, I almost feel guilty about not challenging myself. My excuse? It’s summer! Challenges are for when it’s dark and dreary outside, right? All told, this dress took only about 3 hours from start to finish. When Butterick says, Fast and Easy, they aren’t kidding. Gotta love that! I chose a print for this dress, but I think a solid would work too (maybe some yummy linen or silk).
Do you prefer ‘fast and easy’ patterns in the summer? Or does the sunshine elevate your mood, giving you the energy for a challenge?