Summer in a dress

The days are longer, the flower fields are in bloom, the temperatures are warmer… it’s spring! And summer is on its way! I apologize in advance, this post is picture-heavy. I experimented a bit with this dress, and a picture speaks a thousand words!

My new dress is not only summery, it is summer. Light yellow and white checkered fabric with a flower print.

Although I adore it, I think it’s a bit bland, despite the belt. So I added a brooch. And a string of pearls:

Much better! 🙂

I wish I could summarize this dress by saying I used 1 pattern, but it’s actually a mix & match of several patterns! Why make it simple when you can make it complicated? 😆

  • Skirt front & back are from Butterick 5315 view B: no major adjustment made, I just added about 4 cm at the back for my sway back (and large derriere).
  • Front bodice is from Simplicity 2247: view B with DD cups. I only added about 5 cm of length so the seam rests at my natural waistline, instead of the empire line.
  • Back bodice is from Simplicity 2648: I omitted the back zipper, so I cut the back on the fold. I made a minor adjustment by removing about 3 cm of length at the center back, grading back to the side seam. When I made my green dress, I realised that the back was slightly too long, with extra fabric bunching up at the lower back area. I brought the dress to my teacher a few months ago, and we concluded that I needed to make a sway back adjustment by taking out the excess, so I end up with a fish eye shape. It worked really well on this dress, the back fits nicely!
  • And the sleeves are a modified version of Simplicity 2404: view A, shot sleeves. I decided to try my luck at making tulip sleeves. More on this below.

It wasn’t a lie when I said it was a mix & match!

Tulip sleeves seem to be ‘in’. I came across a great tutorial last week, and shamelessly decided to jump on the bandwagon. I thought it would be the perfect extra touch for this dress. Here’s how I made mine:

  • As I said above, I used  the short sleeves from Simplicity 2404.
  • I traced the sleeves on pattern paper, and then traced the shape of the tulip sleeves.
  • I then re-traced the sleeves, but making separate pieces for the front and the back. And voilà, a tulip sleeve!
  • I serged the hem and then pressed a small hem (about 1 cm).
  • Here’s the hem, finished:
  • Then I basted the sleeve heads together.
  • Here’s the result:

Cute eh? (Sorry, I’m Canadian. I say ‘eh’. All the time.)

And because I really couldn’t make my dress any simpler anyway, I decided to add horsehair at the hemline, along with some pretty lace. The lace basically hides the horsehair. The finished skirt is so swishy and so twirly! If you never worked with horsehair, there are plenty of horsehair tutorials out there (Gertie wrote this one, among others. Go check out her blog – she’s amazing!), but here’s what I did with mine:

  • On the outside, baste lace in place, then stitch the horsehair. The edge (skirt + lace) was at 1 cm, but I stitched the horsehair at 0,5 cm.
  • Turn everything to the inside, press the hem (encasing the edges) and stitch the hem in place. I stitched at 1 cm.
  • And here’s the hidden horsehair:

There you have it! All the secrets of my summer dress have been revealed! I warned you there would be lots of pictures 🙂

Next up on the list of projects: a jacket. It’s already cut, I just need to cut the lining and get started. I hope I’ll finish it on time to enter the Lined Jacket contest on PR! Not because I have any chance at winning, but because the contest deadline is an extra motivation to get on with it, and get sewing! That and the warmer days, of course. My leather coat is getting a bit too warm now!

Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. That is soooo cute! I’d love to learn to make clothes and also wear more dresses but I have the whole big thigh issue. I couldn’t wear a dress without something under it and I haven’t found anything short enough that it’d be hidden by the dress. I soooo wish I had perfectly small thighs so I could wear sundresses without a care!

    • marieclaude says:

      I should introduce your thighs to mine. They are huge too 😉 But there are plus-size pantyhose out there (ulla Popken has the most comfortable ones for me – €10 for 3!), and in the summer I wear pettipants such as these: Or bike shorts. Or leggings (knee length mostly). Or those figure-correcting long underwear thingies, such as this: See? There are solutions. You just have to find what you are most comfortable wearing! When it’s hot, I prefer leggings, as it ‘breathes’ better. Otherwise, for the office I’m fine with pettipants…


  1. […] months, with 8 sewing projects completed: from a bellydancing outfit, to a jacket, to several vintage-inspired dresses. The dresses were showcased in a photo shoot, an invitation from my photographer […]

  2. […] the horsehair with a bit of black lace. (For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, see this post on my […]

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