As I’m writing this the wind is howling around the yurt, the rain pattering on the roof. I was thinking it wasn’t too late for one last summer dress, but you never know what the weather will do. The Southport Dress from True Bias is probably no new sight to you, it seems to have been a very popular pattern this summer. And I can see why: it’s easy to sew and easy to wear. However, if you’re not a fan of sewing buttonholes I’ve got just the thing for you. For Sewing Indie Month I’ve created a tutorial on how to change the front closure into buttons and loops. Check Kelli’s blog to see the tutorial!
I had this lovely rayon in my stash, perfect for a throw on summer dress. I got it at the local market, which has turned out to be a real treasure trove. I’ve gotten many gorgeous rayons and other fabrics from there already, and super cheap as well. This one was 1€ per metre! I’ve been making regular trips to stock up on lightweight fabrics, as I’ll be working on summer patterns this winter. While this fabric is pretty, it doesn’t really go with other things in my wardrobe. But that’s just another good excuse to make a dress, it doesn’t have to be paired with anything else.
The pattern was a breeze to sew. It’s drafted for a C-cup but most of the dart is rotated towards the waist. This leaves only a small dart, so I left it that way and just took out some width at the side seam. I also tried to lengthen the skirt to knee length, but that didn’t work out very well. The skirt is straight from the hips down and it just looked off, lengthened. So even though I’m not sure this shorter length looks the best on me, I chopped off 5″ again. The drapey rayon isn’t the best option for the pockets. The bunch up at my hips , so I might take them out or tack them down to the front. All this aside, I love the ease of this dress and it’s perfect for a warm summer day.
The biggest change was the front closure. I created a button and loop closure instead of the button and buttonhole closure that comes with the pattern. My sewing machine was acting up with buttonholes lately anyway so this was perfect. I added 2 buttons because I lengthened the bodice as per usual and these closures have a tendency to gape. I made bias tape for the loops and fabric covered buttons. Unfortunately this fabric doesn’t show the buttons and loops very well… If you want to know how to adapt the Southport Dress pattern yourself, check out the tutorial on Kelli’s blog!