I’m excited to share my new favorite summer dress pattern with you!
I’ve been searching for my perfect casual summer dress pattern for several years now and after many, many attempts, I have finally found it! Where I live in California, it’s super hot in the summertime and I need to have a dress that’s comfortable and keeps me cool, while not looking like a sack. I also wanted a dress that I can wear a regular bra with, is not too fitted, and a bit modest. The elastic inserts and tie straps fit the bill and work well to give the impression of a dress that appears more fitted to my figure, but can withstand 100+ degrees and doesn’t make me feel like I need to rip it off when I come inside after spending time out in the heat.
I used some inexpensive cotton madras from Hancock’s Fabrics for this dress, as it takes quite a bit of yardage and I wanted to test this pattern out on some fabric that wouldn’t break the bank. This dress is unlined, and with this fabric it’s a bit see-through, so it’s basically a “house dress”. There seems to be a stereotype of “house dresses” being dowdy, but I am at home most days, so pretty much every casual dress I make is a “house dress”. Being a dress that I wear at home does not need to mean one that’s ugly and boring and ultra American casual — just one that’s suitable for the weather, comfortable, and makes me feel good. I also want to be presentable when someone comes to the door or if I need to run down to post office. That’s my kind of house dress.
Pattern Name: BurdaStyle Plus 5/2015 #132 Sundress with Pockets
Size Range: 44-52
What size did you make? 52/54
What are your….
- Measurements: 48-41-52
- Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
- Height: 5’8″
- Bra Size: 44D
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? The only fit adjustment I made was to grade the hip size up one size. It was fairly easy to resize.
The pattern has the option for a a hem band. I cut mine out on the bias, but failed to remember to also cut it on the fold, so I had to sew the pieces together. You can see where they meet on the back photo and although I centered that seam, it looks a little off.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? As much as I love wearing this dress, it really isn’t that fun to make. It’s a bit fiddly to cut out as there basically only two main pattern pieces (the other pieces being two facings and exterior pockets). The front and back pieces have the straps attached so they’re one piece and that makes it an extra long pattern piece to cut out that really isn’t fun. I’m not much of a fan of cutting patterns out anyway, and I really am not a fan of cutting out such large pieces. Sewing the elastic inserts at the neckline and waist are also a bit tedious, but when I was done, I put this dress on and didn’t want to take it off. So, yes, definitely worth it!
Burda Style instructions are always a bit vague, so I wouldn’t recommend this pattern for a beginner unless you’ve made something similar and want to tackle it. Once you figure it out and get it down, it’s pretty darn easy to sew and before you know it, you have your dress done!
How did you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think that the design works well for your body shape? The pattern fits to your body with the elastic, so you just need to get the elastic where you want it. The Burda pattern photo has the waist kind of low, but then again, the model isn’t really plus size and the dress may be a bit big for her. I wanted my dress to have a blouson effect, so moved the elastic waist inserts where I would achieve this. I think the pattern works well for me and I love wearing it, so whether it “flatters” me or not, I really don’t care.
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make? Yes, I will make this again! 10 times YES! 🙂 I wouldn’t change anything but my fabric. I’d rather use a lawn or double gauze that’s more opaque than this madras. The main reason why I wouldn’t wear this dress out and about is due to the fact that it’s kind of see-through in the sunlight. I’m not going to wear a slip in the summer, so I’ll just have to make another dress to wear out in public.
I skipped the exterior pockets on this dress as I was kind of lazy…. I wish I had pockets, so I will definitely add them with my next version, whether I put them in the side seams or on the front like the pattern suggests.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources or materials that helped you sew this piece up? There’s some extra room in the bodice, so with the elastic inserts and the adjustable straps it may not be a dress that a busty lady would have to do an FBA to. If you’re just outside the side range, there’s a little ease, so you might also fit into the largest size. Probably best to make a muslin first if you’re unsure.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
- Size range: 4
- Instructions: 2
- Construction process: 3
- Final fit: 5
- Overall rating: 3.5
I really like the blue floral Burda sample version and it makes me want to have one in my closet immediately. I’m trying to be a on a fabric fast and don’t currently have any floral lawn in my fabric stash, so I guess I’ll have to make do with the suitable fabrics that I do have until my stash gets whittled down.