Sewing the Avid Seamstress Sun Dress

I was so excited to be chosen to be part of the blogger team for Lush Cloth and firstly need to apologise that my blog is slightly later than planned! 

There’s such an amazing selection of fabric on the website that I found it difficult to choose a fabric. Oyin has such a gorgeous selection that I was tempted by several pieces but eventually, I settled on the beautiful wild flowers dark linen and viscose mix. I usually choose my pattern, then select an appropriate fabric but on this occasion I opted for the fabric first as I just fell in love with it. 

We have recently had a heatwave here in the UK and wanted to make something weather appropriate. Having had a baby almost a year ago, my body shape has changed and I don’t have a lot of summer clothes that fit me any more. I considered making a jumpsuit but decided to go for the Sun Dress by The Avid Seamstress. 

I have had this pattern in my stash for a while and hadn’t got round to making it. I decided to give it a go as it was perfect for the weather we’ve been having and it has quite a few techniques that would up my skill level. It is aimed at intermediate sewers as it has an invisible zip, buttons & button holes and pleats amongst other features.

The fabric was a dream to cut out and sew with as the linen content gives it stability. The fabric looks and feels more like a linen than a viscose but still has a lovely drape. I had 2.5m of fabric and this should have been enough for the size I made. The pattern says you need 2.4m of fabric for the size 7 (which is what I made) but I didn’t quite have enough. I think it’s because the print is directional so I had to turn a few pieces around. I managed to get most pieces out of the main fabric, I just used a navy based fat quarter for the facings around the top of the dress. I also only made one pocket as I have hemiplegia in the right side of my body so hardly ever use my right hand!

I measured myself before making the dress as my measurements are ever changing. I now often measure myself before making a new project, especially if it something that is a bit more fitted and I haven’t made before. My bust measurement put me in a size 7 but my waist was closer to a size 8. I looked at the finished garment measurements and decided to just make the size 7. I didn’t worry about the hip measurement due to the style of the dress. I’m glad I made the 7 rather than grade to an 8 at the waist as there is plenty of ease in there. I was really pleased with the fit of the dress.

The dress was a more involved make than I initially realised but I really enjoyed sewing it up. The instructions were really detailed and gave lots of tips along the way. Even though I have been sewing for around 8 years, I still learnt a few things!

It has been a long time since I inserted an invisible zip and I have to admit, it’s not the greatest! I could only find a white zip in the length I needed and as it’s not as invisible as it should be, you can see it! I need to invest in an invisible zip foot for the future!

I also had a tricky time with the button holes. There are 4 buttonholes on the front of the bodice. My machine sewed two of them beautifully but not the last two! However, as there is a zip at the back, the buttons aren’t needed to fasten the dress. As my buttonholes didn’t work as planned, I just hand sewed the buttons through the layers of the dress so they are decorative rather than functional. The buttons I used were some I had in my stash from Tabitha Sewer.

I really enjoyed sewing up this dress. There are lots of techniques to practise which keeps it interesting and the instructions were excellent. Also, the fabric was perfect for this pattern and the fit was really good. Despite the zip and buttonholes not being perfect, I love this dress and it has been a life saver in the heat.