Raileigh’s New Summer Dress

Have you ever visited a wonderful site called MADE? This is one of my few daily reads (see blog roll below). Dana comes up with the most fabulous projects. Most are geared towards sewing, with the occasional recipe or room makeover thrown in.

One of her most recent patterns is the Summer Vacation Dress. I was in love with this pattern the moment I saw it- before I had even purchased it. Every dress within the pattern requires you to shirr- my absolute most favorite sewing technique of all. Though, it is so easy I am not sure if it’s an actual technique or not…

Anyhow, I bought this pattern before we moved so it would be waiting on me once the unpacking was done. Of course, it took me longer to get back into the groove of things than I anticipated, which always seems to be the case. Finally, though, I settled down and started on my very first summer vacation dress.

The Wal-Mart near my house is no longer going to carry fabric. This is sad because my cheap source of fabric is gone, but great because they had some amazing deals going on while they were trying to get rid of all of it. In fact, I got a whole yard of this red plaid for around $1. I like these homespun type fabrics, so I was pretty excited with my find. I had a particular dress in mind when I bought it. Dana had made her daughter a Summer Vacation Dress in a similar fabric, and I love the dress that she made. So, I decided to whip up a version of my own.

The dress wasn’t complicated. I do think Shirring can be a bit time consuming, though. Perhaps it’s because I am a stickler to get every line I sew as straight as I possibly can. I love the end results so much, though!

What I love about Dana’s Summer Vacation Dress pattern is that it made me take shirring to the next level. No more of one simple section of evenly spaced shirred rows for the dress bodice. The bodice had a few section of shirring, with some gaps in between. Plus, I shirred a section of the straps and the pockets. I sure wish I had thought of this sooner because the results are spectacular!

Close-up view of the pockets
Close-up view of the bodice without bow attached

Close-up view of the straps

I pretty much stuck to Dana’s pattern, other than the bow. She has a fabulous little tutorial within the pattern that teaches you how to make some great satin ribbon. She uses a serger, however, and I don’t have one. So, I improvised and made a simple brown bow from some cotton broadcloth. Additionally, My bow is not permanently attached to the dress. I didn’t attach it so I could remove it for washing… mostly so I wouldn’t have to iron it when it came out of the wash!

All in all, I am pretty certain this is my favorite dress I have ever made. I think it’s Raileigh’s favorite, too. We gave the dress a good, long test run in the yard today. Raileigh walked around with her hands in her pockets almost the entire time we were outside. She has a thing for pockets, and the ones of this dress are stretchy and fun. I’m thinking she is going to want these pockets on every dress I make from now on!

You can rest assured that you will be seeing more dresses from this pattern, so stay tuned! And– go to MADE check out the pattern for yourself. Dana did an incredible job with it and I am sure you will love it just as much as I do!


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