I LOVE the look of swing dresses*. They just look so drapey and comfortable and pretty and easy. So I decided to make one for myself. I started with the free Laundry Day Tee pattern. It seemed like the exact shape I was going for. I cut out a size small and added 16″ to the length of the tunic and made it slightly hi-lo. Instead of making it swing even wider, I used the width of the tunic hem at the dress hem and cut straight up to the armpit from there. I sewed everything but the hems and tried it on.
Unfortunately, I really didn’t like it on me. It was really unflattering. This could be that my fabric was extremely drapey and stretchy so it stretched out. Maybe if I would have gone down a size it would have fit better. Or maybe that style just doesn’t work with my body type (I’m an hourglass bordering on rectangle. All my shape below my waist is in my behind so from the front I look like a rectangle.) But I couldn’t recut it and I don’t think taking it in would have made that much of a difference. So how could I save this dress? I added some rows of shirring with elastic thread to bring it in at the waist, and now I love it. It’s the perfect summer dress.
This fabric is a bamboo rayon spandex jersey blend. It’s amazing. It’s super soft and super drapey but really durable. It’s really breathable, so it’s perfect when it’s really hot and I want to be comfortable and cute. It’s much easier to sew with than cotton rayon spandex jersey. I got it from fabric.com. It’s not available anymore, but this light blue bamboo rayon jersey* is similar.
This fabric is so stretchy with such great recovery that I’m able to pull the neckline down to nurse and it just bounces back afterwards. It’s really nice to be able to wear a regular dress, but still have nursing access. It’s just nice to wear one piece sometimes!
I’m sad that my original idea and style didn’t work out, but I’m really glad I could salvage the dress. I do love wearing it, and I love the color. I would have been really sad to have wasted all the fabric, so at least the shirring saved the day!
dress: made by me, necklace, similar earrings, sandals (affiliate link)
What’s your perfect summer dress? Do you wear skirts or dresses in the summer?