Skip to main content

Made By A Fabricista: A Pair of Summery Dresses

How is everyone in the northern hemisphere faring in the depths of summer? I always think I'm mentally prepared for the heat, but nope, I'm never actually ready to face it. For my latest Fabric Mart project, I chose an unrelated pair of fabrics, one woven and one knit, to create two new dresses that are elegant for the season since feeling refined in the gnarly heat is a tough assignment. 

Both of my selected fabrics boast low-contrast prints, and really their similarities end there. I chose two contrasting and distinct styles to best flaunt these gorgeous fabrics. Both ITY and linen are great options to try and beat the heat, and wearing new frocks will certainly be a pick-me-up in the depths of August! 

This Pewter Gray/Black Floral Silhouette Print ITY really caught my eye. I'm already a stalwart fan of the bouncy and cool-to-the-touch ITY base, and this muted silvery background is a favorite color of mine to wear. I decided to sew a Love Notions Summer Basics Tank Dress with a few hacks. (I mostly followed the blog post on their site if you want further instructions.) 

Wearing a lengthy gathered dress always makes me feel so immeasurably regal. This skirt has a load of volume, and feels absolutely marvelous to move around in. ITY has so much fluid movement, and gathered at this magnitude, it's almost liquid swish. 

Rather than bindings for the neckline and armholes, I cut out two sets of the bodice to make a lined bodice. I used the burrito method to enclose the straps for a clean finish. Happy to report that I remembered to understitch the neckline beforehand since knits enjoy rolling out from their lining, I've found. 

I also stuck a darling woven label on the back lining because the front of the dress is pretty difficult to tell from the back of this style.  This one is from Kylie and the Machine

Adding a gathered skirt is as simple as adding width to the bodice at the fold (or center front and center back) and I added a lot for some intense gathering. 

I underestimated how much the heavy skirt would stretch the bodice, and I had to go back and unpick the straps at the outer edge near each side of the shoulder seam to remove 3" from each side, and then I just hand stitched them closed again. In a regrettable turn of events, I had actually sewed one side with a twist in the strap AND hand sewed it closed with ladder stitching before I noticed. UGH. More podcast listening, more unpicking, a final check this time to ensure the strap was straight, and then I was off and running. I mention this doozy of an error just as a reminder that even experienced sewists make ridiculous mistakes and we can normalize a lack of perfection. You’d never know looking at the dress!

For the charming Cool Jade/Forest Green Linen Dotted Diamond Print linen, I opted to sew the Ann Normandy Design Maxi Dress, a pattern that was released several years ago, but recently updated with additional sizing. I have sewn the extra small size here, which matches my measurements. 

How architecturally gorgeous is this neckline? I think the shape is incredible. I haven't come across anything similar in all my online seeking, and this is such a fantastic use of linen's structure. The dress actually calls for a midweight or heavy linen, so to make up for this lighter, more shirt-weight base I'm using, I ironed some fusible lightweight interfacing to the neckline and armhole facings as support. That worked out perfectly, if I do say so. 

This is drafted for someone MUCH taller than me, so I did make a few height adjustments before cutting. (I am 5'4" for reference.) I first lowered the side splits by 3" and shortened the hem by a whopping 7". Then to add some weight to the hemline, I hemmed at 2" instead of the listed 3/4". I suppose this ended up at more of a long midi than an actual maxi, but I have no regrets! I'd rather show off my ankles than worry about tripping. 

There is a wonderful amount of ease built in, and this is airy and boxy without being too oversized. Exactly what I want to wear in the heat of summer! 

Happy sewing, all! I sincerely hope you sew something breezy to keep yourself cool. 

KATIE  @kak513

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories ITY KNITS, KNITS, & LINEN.


  1. I love both dresses but particularly the linen dress! The neckline and armsyces are a fantastic shape. Well done!

  2. Thanks for showing off your beautiful dresses. Nothing is more comfortable in hot weather than a breezy dress.

  3. Both dresses are gorgeous and I love them.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Why Sew A Muslin

Here it is, my September blog post featuring Newlook N6692 and this pretty rayon challis from Fabric Mart! This pattern style is so in right now. The square neckline, cute puff sleeves and the tiered skirt are all exactly what I was looking for in a summer dress. As always I started with making a muslin first!  Let’s get into why it’s important to start with a muslin.  A muslin is basically a practice garment. It prevents you from cutting into your good fabric prematurely.  I usually use a muslin fabric (natural cotton) but you should also consider using a fabric that is the same weight as your fashion fabric. This will give you a truer gauge of how the garment is going to lay in the final fabric. Anytime I try out a new pattern company I make a muslin. This was my first time using a Newlook pattern so I need to know what the ease would be like for this pattern. Also I need to see how the bust would fit me and where I would need to make adjustments. Plus there were some new techniques

Made By A Fabricista: The Love of Sewing - Basic Pieces for a Beginner

Happy Friday All! It has been a while since I made myself a dress. I am excited to sew after not making anything since my last post (whew) and finally sharing some photos.  This past summer has been a roller coaster journey with plans to release a small collection and then deciding that right before the launch to postpone. Sewing has brought me joy over the past 8 years and the mere fact to sew daily for orders had me in a panic mode. I really don’t want to walk away from my craft due to burn out  and decided that if I do sew for others, it would be only for local clients. Moreover, If next year I decide to launch, it would be seasonal and not year round. I really want to share my talent and love for sewing with others but don’t want it to be a full time job and lose the passion in me.  After a bit of soul searching, teaching and sharing my talent with my community will always be my first love. For the past 2 summers, I was blessed to partner with two nonprofit organizations’ local sum

Made By A Fabricista: End of Summer

Summer is nearing to an end but here where I am in Texas the heat isn’t letting up any time soon!  I still have plenty of time to get a few more summer looks out of the way.  In this blog I will be sharing two separate projects. The first project is this denim set; I had the inspiration saved on my list of makes to make.  For this project I got this gorgeous denim and matching thread to start my project. Yes, Fabric Mart will match the thread to your fabric perfectly and with my favorite thread brand Gutermann.  The denim had a very great weight and wasn’t too stiff.  It was very starchy when it arrived, so I did a prewash before working with it.  I’m so glad I did because it had a lot of dye saturated in which would not have been great for the skin and other clothes. For the first part of the set, I drafted a corset with the scallop edge cups, such a cute detail!   To start I used my bodice sloper to make the corset, I was not worried about the design details and focused more on