This blog is cross posted on Fabric Mart Fabricista Blog. Check out rest of the Fabricista team and their creations here.
Today is the official start of summer! It has actually felt like summer here for a few weeks and I’m excited because this is my favorite time of year. An added bonus Fabric Mart is celebrating the first day of summer with 60% off the ENTIRE WEBSITE so head on over, but finish reading first!
What do you think of when you think of summer? I envision warm weather, road trips, ice cream and beaches. Fashion wise I think red, white and blue, linen, challis, gingham, floral, nautical, sundresses, maxi skirts, sunnies, floppy hats, espadrilles and sandals.
With all those thoughts I was having a hard time narrowing down what to make this month, but then it hit me…What screams summer more than a flirty, white sundress? Nothing!
Choosing fabric was a no-brainer because linen is basically the official fabric of summer. Besides I’d been trying to make up an excuse think of a reason to grab some of Fabric Mart’s designer linen for some time now. While I love Fabric Mart for their very detailed photos of each fabric but this time it was the description just grabbed my attention.
“A designer quality, 100% linen in a light-medium weight. With a plainweave, it has a natural look with thick and thin yarns typically found in linen fabrics. It has a crisp, yet soft hand and with a gentle wash, will get softer over time. It is semi-sheer when held up to the light, but does not require a lining. This is THE linen to have for all your linen garment projects.”
Now onto the pattern. I love dresses so I have more dress patterns than I care to admit (please don’t make me count). Though I feel I can never have enough, often times too much of a good thing makes it difficult for me to select my next project. Several dresses have been on my “must make” list for a over a year but this recent addition won out. A sewsista gifted me with Simplicity 8136, which is actually a sportswear pattern consisting of a peplum top and shorts/capris. The top is what I really love, but already have a few peplum tops so I decided the top would be great a dress with a simple modification!
Initially I wanted to sew up view A, the criss-cross back, but I didn’t want to deal with a potential bra strap issue so I went with view B. The top pattern features darts at the bust and the waist resulting in a close fit bodice. Though the description of the linen as “semi-sheer but does not require lining” is accurate, I decided to fully line the bodice for a couple of reasons. One because it was white (in a darker color this would be totally unnecessary) and two because the pattern calls for it. The bodice took a little time as there are 12 darts in total (including the lining). There was also some hand stitching the lining at the shoulders.
For the skirt I added 13″ to the peplum front and back piece to achieve a knee length skirt (total 23″), you could certainly add more or less based on your preference. I skipped the lining for the skirt and folded over about 1/2″ twice and hemmed. Circle skirts can be tricky to hem. My favorite way to tackle this challenge is to use bias tape for a clean edge. Unfortunately I didn’t have any white bias tape in my sewing room and I was to impatient to wait and buy some the next day.
Though I desire for the inside of my garments to be finished they do not have to be perfect. So for the sake of time I usually baste the bottom of a bodice (fabric and lining)and attach it to the skirt as one piece and then serge for a clean finish. For this dress I chose to hand sew the bodice to the waist seam for a very clean finish. This linen is so nice I felt it deserved this treatment. This was my first time inserting a side zipper which I had avoided though I’m not sure why. It was the same process as any other invisible zipper. I did like the fact that the side zipper allowed for a smooth back.
I absolutely love this linen! It is indeed high quality and flows beautifully. So much so that I couldn’t help but twirl. The only thing to note is be careful when pinning. If you have wonder clips that would be great, I don’t so I just use sharp pins to prevent snagging the natural fibers. The fabric sewed up great. It does fray but not uncontrollably, I simply serged my free edges and had no issues. I see more of this linen in my future, most likely the red and avocado. If you were thinking about this ordering this linen, DO IT! Take a look at all the color options here
Pattern: Simplicity 8136
Pattern Description: V neck peplum top with sash, and optional cross straps in the back, and cropped flare pants or knee length shorts, both with side zipper.
Sizing: 6-14, 16-24 I cut a 14.
Difficulty: 3/ Average
Fabric Used: White 100% linen from Fabric Mart Fabrics here
Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? No because I made a top into a dress.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes they were straight forward
Likes: I love a dress that has a twirly skirt and a V neck.
Dislikes: none really
Pattern alterations or any design changes made: I extended the peplum pieces 13″ to transform a peplum into a skirt.
Would I sew it again? Yes, next time I may make the top but I could make a dress in another color or maybe a print. It’s a classic silhouette.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes
Conclusion: I really like they way it turned out!