So this week I asked on Instagram if people minded seeing out-of-season makes. The answer on instagram was a resounding NO, people don’t mind seeing makes that aren’t seasonal, people want to see the sewing regardless of season! AND it just so happens to be perfect timing for all my southern hemisphere followers so I present to you… my summer dress! I sewed up this linen dress in August to wear for my birthday and the last few weeks of summer then totally forgot to take pictures of it – doh!
I must admit I do wear most of my clothes all year round, including my linen makes, but there is something about the lighter colour palette and deckchair vibes that I am getting from this dress that probably means I won’t be reaching for it until spring. I LOVE autumn and winter and have plenty of wool jumpers, thick leggings and wool/denim makes that mean I just know this isn’t going to get worn. But I put so much effort into this dress, particularly in regards to the stripe play, that I really wanted to show it off to you!
The pattern is the Pattern Scout Fern Top hacked into a dress, I shared the toile with you in last week’s post. The fabric is some stripey linen that I bought from Seasalt Cornwall in the sale last summer. I had saved the fabric until I could pick a pattern that allowed me to play with stripe direction, something I have enjoyed doing before. When I saw the way the bodice is panelled in the Fern Top Pattern I knew it would be perfect.
The toile went well and I had no issues to fix so I went straight in with cutting out. This was a slow process as I was being so particular with not only the stripe direction but also colour. See how the stripes on the pockets are identical? Not an accident. See how the stripes fade from blue to green radiating away from either side of the bodice? Not an accident. Same at the back. Everything was carefully considered and cut out on a single layer. Time consuming but SO worth it.
Most of the inside is french-seamed, the linen was a bit bulky so I french seamed where I could and finished the seams with an overlocker in places where a lot of seams intersect. Whilst I don’t consider this fabric to be sustainable in any way (I did email Seasalt to ask if the fabric they sell is overstock leftover from their manufacturing and was told no, the fabric is produced specifically for sale) I think we can try to make our clothes sustainable by making them to a high quality that means they will last for a long time through a lot of wears.
Another way in which I try to future-proof my wardrobe is by trying to make my clothes non-fitted. If I gain or lose some weight this dress should fit me through a variety of sizes and body shapes. I recognise that it is a privilege to be able to choose a style like this and feel happy wearing it. I know many people are boxed in to restrictive size ranges and societal pressures that impact which styles each person feels comfortable wearing. I am very privileged to feel comfortable wearing styles that aren’t particularly ‘flattering’ (I hate that word but can’t think of a better one) and I can wear them through a range of weight and shape fluctuations, hopefully meaning such garments will be in my wardrobe for many years.
There are no zips or closures, the neckline has a facing (my favourite way of finishing) and the sleeves have cuffs so it is a pretty quick and easy sew. I used the skirt and pocket pieces from my beloved Merchant and Mills Ellis Dress to turn it into a dress.
I was sent this Clover Hot Hemmer as a PR Product to try just before I started making this dress so used it to turn up the hem. The hemming tools I usually use are a metal ruler (which gets hot) and a plastic seam gauge which would obviously melt if I ironed it. I don’t say yes to everything I get offered, I only agree to try something I think I will actually use. As the Hot Hemmer can be ironed (the clue is in the name), I thought this would fill a gap in my toolkit and had been looking for something like it. I used it to turn the hem up all the way around. I liked it and have used it for (almost) every hemming job since. It was perfect for this linen project, but is a couple of mm thick (it feels like felt but is 100% polyester) so I probably won’t be using it on extremely fine fabrics such as silk where I don’t want to add a couple of mm loft to the hem. (For more information you can head over to the Clover website https://www.clover-mfg.com/ and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I think I have created a timeless linen summer dress which I hope will serve me well for a long time. Who knows, maybe I will even get pictures by the beach next year! But until then, I will bask in this October sun for just a little bit longer…
Disclaimer: ⭐️Clover Hot Hemmer was provided free of charge with no obligation for me to post about it.