The days are shorter, the evenings are cooler, school has started and Saturdays are for football. Fall is definitely here. So what do I do? Sew my first sundress of the summer. What? Well, I’m glad I did. I love it. I wore it today, probably the last hot day of the year, and it has all the elements of something to wear everyday in the summer. It’s adjustable with the straps, has pockets, and is comfortable and cool. I just wish I had the pattern before I went on vacation – I would have made a bunch!
I picked up the Sewaholic Saltspring at a cute shop in Columbus, Sew to Speak. They’re my local source for Sewaholic patterns especially when I get an idea in my head and just have to start that day –no waiting for shipping from Canada.
This is my third Sewaholic pattern and like the others (Renfrew and Cambie) it didn’t disappoint. Pretty yet wearable style with good instructions. They posted a sewalong and I sewed with my ipad right next to my sewing machine. It was such a great way to go through the project.
The blousy bodice is not something you have to fiddle with all day. It is cleverly designed – the outer layer is longer than the lining so when you sew the edges together the blousiness (made up word, I know) doesn’t move or require a belt.
I’m not crazy about the split in the back. Even if I had put in a zipper and the sizing was good for me (more on that later) it looks unfinished. The picture above is just pinned together where the zipper should be but you can get the idea. The elastic at the waist would pull the sides closer and the top couple inches are stitched down but it would show your lining as you moved. I didn’t realize it was like that until construction.
It was at this stage I could finally try on the bodice. It was way too big. By this time, I couldn’t take it in on the sides without taking apart all my work; the only place I could adjust was the center back. So, I sewed the center back together but in order to catch both sides (the outer flappy parts) I had to take it in quite a bit –at least an inch. It fits fine but the back doesn’t lie well.
I also wish the pattern included directions for a skirt lining. This dress is perfect for light airy fabric. But, if the fabric is like my voile, it’s too sheer to wear in bright sunlight without a lining. Sewaholic was smart, though, and posted a work-around on their blog. The straps almost sent me over the edge. I ended up cutting new straps after some mishaps turning the first two right side out. With this fabric I needed more room when turning so I would recommend smaller seam allowances. In fact, I think I’ll try non-tie straps next time.
Sizing – I fell between sizes for the bodice so I cut the 10 thinking I could take it in later. I didn’t think through the order of construction – it doesn’t allow for that. It was huge! After taking in the back I ended up right about the size 8. Next time I’ll cut the smaller size. That way, rather than the dress only being reduced in back, it’ll be more proportional. I also don’t see the need for a zipper so I’ll just cut front and back on the fold. The dress is somewhat short. I wasn’t able to get the 1” hem. I just serged the bottom and folded it up.
Even with those tweaks, I really like the dress and will definitely make more for next summer. I would love to try the maxi version.