A spontaneous sew, this linen sundress project took form after a series of hot days that left me feeling bold. To create it, I paired the Named Clothing Elizabeth gown pattern with a coral linen from my stash.
My summer sewing extravaganza is still going strong. Over the last few especially challenging months of finishing a long term professional project, I’d been waiting and planning for this sewing break. The opportunity to spend most of my time sewing has upped my creativity and allowed me to take on projects that I’d normally doubt dedicating my time to.
Lately, I’ve only maintained a vague idea of what to sew “next.” My Elizabeth dress is an outcome of this moment.
Instead, I’m taking each project on a whim, which means sometimes sewing outside of the season or enjoying a moment of experimentation. I’m trying to see which of my materials and patterns call out to me.
Since the saturated summer styles by The Reformation have always caught my eye, I tried to see what I could come up with. I’ll admit, for as ridiculous as I find Reformation’s fantasy marketing to be, something about it works. I love the look of their romantic dresses. My sundress was heavily influenced by their signature look:
The Elizabeth gown pattern has a similar shape and style. My version includes thin (purchased, not made!) straps that I found locally in the *exact* coral color. It is partially lined and closes with an invisible zipper. I changed the maxi length to midi length.
The construction of this dress was tricky. There are multiple places where the skirt and bodice seams need to be lined up. This required precision in cutting and sewing. I’m glad I worked out some kinks and got to know the pattern through the muslins I made–cause there were multiple before I took the plunge. I ended up making the dress in a size 44.
The style of this dress made me do some thinking about fit “rules”–or specifically the obligation to wear bras above a certain cup size. For the most part, I can create a good fit with a handful of techniques I’ve learned over time. However, this backless dress required letting go of some fit ideals. I’m pleased with the silhouette of this dress, but the bodice and darts don’t sit where they “should” (at the bust apex) because this dress is, very obviously, one that I don’t wear a bra with. Although this dress doesn’t seem to be thought up with the need to wear a bra underneath in mind, the pattern pieces are drafted in a such a way as to consider the lift of an underwire–or at least an impressive perk.
When testing this dress, I wondered how to best fit the dress without a bra, and I soon realized I didn’t know how to fit this style bodice because so often braless dresses seem reserved for those with smaller cup sizes–but I insisted! A big part of making this dress was to have something for warm weather when I defiantly do not want to wear a bra. Plus, it can be so enjoyable to leave wires and straps aside and say “fuck it”! So, I decided to ignore some fit rules and accept this part of the dress as is. And you know what, it turned out as I wanted it to be.
Keeping in line with my current efforts to make coordinates, I also made the DP Studio Cropped Trench jack to pair with my sundress. My hope is that, with the jacket, I’ll be able to wear my warm weather dresses well into the fall. A post on my jacket will be up shortly–it was a great project!