I have a special treat to share with you today! My friend Melissa from Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns hosts a 30 Days of Sundresses series each summer (last year I shared the free Suncadia Dress Pattern), and this year she is also celebrating the release of her new book, which, you guessed it, is all about sundresses! Today I’m sharing my review of the book a hack of one of the dress patterns!
Sundressing: Sew 21 Easy, Breezy Dresses for Women and Girls will have your attention right from the front cover.
Inside, it’s filled with gorgeous sundresses for both women and girls, and basic bodice patterns printed on tissue paper. Each dress works from the basic patterns, with Melissa teaching detailed instructions to alter the bodices to create each unique look.
I really love that a person can follow the directions exactly, or use their creativity to alter the designs even further, like I did with the Littlefield Dress for Hattie! I literally changed my mind about 6 times about which dress I wanted to make, but I just kept coming back to the Littlefield, and in the end it won out :).
I pulled some chambray and pink with metallic hearts cotton out of my stash that I had used for Lola’s recent scalloped bodice dress and extended the bodice provided in the book to create the a-line shape rather than a bodice and skirt.
I also adjusted the armholes slightly to allow for sleeves, and added a self-drafted short sleeve. I love making things that can transition from one season to another (sometimes I wish I wasn’t so practical!), and can see this dress with cute boots and tights in the fall!
Because of the a-line shape, I decided to omit the lower buttons and tabs, and kept the top details – although in hindsight I think it still would have been cute with the waist tabs as well.
For the back, I inserted a regular zipper, because I somehow ran out of invisible zippers. Not sure how I let that happen, but I can assure you it will be remedied ;).
It was so fun to follow Melissa’s instructions and combine them with my own style, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing lots of Littlefields around the sewing community very soon!
This book is a really great teaching tool for someone who wants to learn more about how to alter a basic pattern to create new designs. Melissa always knows best, and she shares a lot of really great tips and methods to keep up your sleeve for other projects!
Sundressing is one of those books that I can see myself turning to over and over again for patterns and inspiration, and you can get your own copy here!