This is the Grainline Farrow Dress pattern that I sewed a sample for my new class at the Cloth Pocket.
I wanted a dress pattern that would be simple enough for true beginner garment sewists. Beginners often have a difficult time with bias binding around curved edges like armholes. This dress uses facings for the neck and armholes which are much easier to sew if you’re a newbie.
The dress went together quickly. Instructions were good as usual. The only major changes I did were grading between sizes at the hip which was probably unnecessary considering the dress is so A-shaped.
The fabric is from the Cloth Pocket. It’s a thin chambray with lovely drape a woven texture that forms a subtle stripe. I only thought about playing with the angle of the stripes after I cut out all four back pieces so only the bottom front panels go at an angle.
It was pretty windy today so you can see how well this fabric moves.
I did a blind hem by hand and finished all the seams with a serger.
On dresses like this without a defined waist shape I like to cut the hem a little extra high. I think the shorter length helps offset the lack of curves. I like that this dress has a subtle hi-low hem which makes shortening the hem a little safer if you know what I mean…
My favorite part about this dress are the pockets. They’re built into the two front pieces so they lay nice and flat and are tucked into the side and center front seams so they don’t flop around at all.
One thing I’d like to change about this pattern: it needs an all-in-one facing. This isn’t an issue if you make the sleeved version of the dress but for the sleeveless I’d rather have one complete facing than separate ones for the two armholes and the neckline.
Even if you tack down all the facings at the shoulder and side seams the armhole facings still like to flip out when you put the dress on. They don’t flop out while wearing the dress but still, it would be a cleaner finish.
If you’re in Austin and you want to learn to sew this dress, sign up for the class!
Summer is in full swing here in Texas. Time for some sun dresses!
This is the Southport Dress by True Bias Patterns. I’m a little late on the Southport bandwagon but I’m so glad I hopped on. This is a great little dress!
I made the short version without any major changes.
This cotton stripe chambray came from a swap and was leftover from my Oceanside shorts.
I liked the stripe so much that I chose to do bias binding on the arms and neckline rather than using the bias as a facing as the pattern calls for.
The white buttons are vintage. I believe they’re some kind of carved stone. They’re too heavy to be shells, I think.
The drawstring is just some cotton cording and I added two silver-colored metal stoppers from my stash to the ends.
I blinded hemmed the dress by hand and finished the seams with a zig zag stitch.
My favorite little features are the stitched tacks at the top and bottom of each pocket along the side seams. They help keep the pockets sitting forward rather than being pushed toward the back of the dress or getting bunched up along on your sides. It’s a nice touch that adds some value to the pattern design.
Fair warning, you’re probably gonna see this hat around a lot on the blog this summer. I am a convert to Church of Hat. It’s great for keeping the hot Texas sun off your face. Hats are highly underrated and I intend to get as much use out my hats as I can. Yay hats!
I don’t know why it took me so long to make this pattern – it’s a fantastic pattern, as I would expect from Grainline. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t often wear sleeveless tops/dresses? Although, this dress may be the one that breaks that habit.
This’ll be a short and sweet post. Not much to say about this dress other than praise. It’s not very fitted at the waist so I like the scooped side hem. The shorter length in the front and sides helps balance out the looseness, I think.
The pattern is Grainline’s Alder dress and I made no significant changes to fit or design other than slightly adjusting the pocket placement.
Jen at Grainline is a genius when it comes to armholes – she drafts them perfect every time. No gaping, no pulling, not too low or too high. And the armscye works for everyone – even if you need to do an FBA/SBA on her patterns, you don’t have to mess with those armholes. It’s like the Goldilocks armhole.
This cute print is from Stitch Lab here in Austin. It’s a quilting cotton but it works well for this pattern. The little round kitties on this print are so much fun – it’s like wearing Neko Atsume on your body.
The simple plastic buttons are from my stash.
I always get compliments on it when I wear it because of the print. People love cats!
The photos of this dress were taken at the launch party for my friend Melissa’s brand new sewing book, Sundressing. Check it out – the book features designs for both women and girls and shows you how to alter a simple bodice block into all sorts of fun summery dress designs.
I finished this dress at the last minute, the day of the party. The details can be difficult to see with this fabrc so here’s the line drawing:
This rayon came from… I’m actually not sure where but I’ve had it for years. I at one time cut out some sleeves from it. I don’t know where the rest of the shirt/dress those sleeves were to be attached to are now however…
The pattern is McCall’s 7381 version C. I liked the front ties and back elastic waist. I sewed a size 12 but I think this pattern has too much ease. I’ll go down a size next time. I helped combat the ease by tightening that elastic in back but the dress is still a tag big in the shoulders and bust.
The only bit I messed up: I gathered the sleeves. I misinterpreted the “ease-between-dots” dots as “gather-between-dots” dots. But since the cap gathered so well it makes me wonder just how much extra ease was built into that sleeve cap? Oh, well. It doesn’t really affect the dress at all.
Maybe it’s the rayon or the stitched down pleats at the skirt and shoulders, but this dress has a vaguely 1940s vibe.
Justin says I look like a candy cane, and I say “why you gotta hate?”
Anyway, I love this dress. It works perfectly in a drapey rayon. The method of construction seemed more sophisticated than other Big 4 patterns I’ve used in the past, specifically regarding the bodice. I would have expected them to pull some unnecessary hand sewing nonsense in the lining attachment but they didn’t.
The way the front bodice piece attaches to the lining to create the ties is rather clever and the cross-over panel in center front closes with snaps. The slightly upcurved waistline in front is a nice detail as well. The overlap in front is held together by 3 snaps. All in all, this is a great little frock perfect for everyday wear and for parties!