Hot! The Little Dress That Could

The Facts
Fabric: Floral Rayon Linen – $5.85 for 3 yards from

Pattern: Simplicity 2591 – $.99

Year: c. 2009

Time to complete: About 4 hours

First worn: June 2010

Wear again? Yes.

Total Cost: ~$6.85 

For me, the most wonderful thing about sewing is the potential that exists when starting a project. Even as overwhelming my stash can be at times, it's quite fun to step into my sewing room and know that in a couple hours time something will exist that's completely unique and previously unimagined. 

This is one of those sort of dresses that I had no clue I was going to create until the moment I sat down at my machine. 

I had read about this one-hour dress last week and wanted to give it a try using some material that I wouldn't mind trashing if the one-hour thing ended up looking like a one-hour thing. Enter this rayon-linen blend that I bought in January. The fabric was from a $1.95 a yard pattern sale from I thought it was sort of cute when I saw it online but when it came, I really didn't like it at all. It was delegated to the bottom of my stash and I pretty much forgot about it until this weekend. The funny thing was that when I pulled out this fabric I suddenly thought it was way too cute to waste on a potential disaster.

Simplicity 2591 just happened to be on my sewing table for another project I hadn't yet started. And as Max from Hart to Hart used to say "… when they met it was murder." Maybe not murder, but a potentially cute Summer dress.

That-could-mena This pattern was much harder to work with than it should have been because I couldn't find the instructions. I had to go from the pattern pieces and general rules of construction — everything was straightforward until it came to the pockets. Even so, I was still able to make the dress without any real headaches or tears. Because of the stretch of the fabric and because I wanted a less-fitted, more relaxy summer dress, I omitted the zipper and simply stitched up the back. I love when I can do that.

Like the batik fabric from this dress, I'm seeing a trend of meh fabric turning into fabulous dresses. I've already received a ton of compliments about this little dress that could.


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. Love it! It turned out so pretty and perfect for summer! Sometimes I have the opposite problem, I absolutely love a piece of fabric, but once it’s made up into a dress it’s not so hot. So glad this one turned out better than you imagined!

  2. I love that pattern. It’s what I used for the first dress I made (and only I’ve finished honestly) and it is one of my favourite dresses now. Very cute :)

  3. I rarely wear patterns but I would wear this!

  4. I now regret not having bought this pattern, this is the second time I’ve seen it made up and loved it.

  5. OMG!!!! LOVE THIS!!!!! I want one too!!!!! :( I love dresses in the summer, so easy and can go to the playground with the baby but still look put together.

  6. So cute! and don’t you just love dresses with pockets?!!!!

  7. I love this dress so much!!

  8. The fabric is really cute and summery and a great dress!

  9. Loving the dress, especially the pockets and the simple, clean bodice lines. But how can you call this a “meh” fabric?? You’ve obviously been spoiled by the fabric offerings in your neck of the woods. That print would easily fetch £12 a yard in London.
    Still boggled by the speed with which you whip up your dresses!

  10. its loverly, wish fabric was as cheap here!

  11. What an inspiring blog post! Such a great description of the moment when you start a new project. I love that dress – particularly the neckline – and have just ordered the pattern to make a version of my own. Thank you!

  12. OMGOSH!!! I just made this dress as my very first never sewn anything dress!! I love it….I love the fit! I was quite excited to see that you included it in your stash….I can’t believe it only took you 4 hours with NO INSTRUCTIONS!! It took me 15 hours and my 2nd is coming in at 8. I just did a whole blog post on it…. I have been inspired by your blog, thanks so much!!

  13. Very inspiring.
    Love the dress and the fabric. Don’t you just love pulling fabric out of your stash that you forgot about or thought you didnt like and now its “WOW!”

  14. Oh, I am so happy seeing this dress in that fabric! This pattern is my next project and I’m making it in a very similar ( fabric. Good to know that it has the potential to look as cute as yours!

  15. I’ve made this dress twice and I love it. It’s the perfect summer day dress.

  16. And you didn’t like the fabric print at first? I’ll have to keep that in mind as I work away on projects. This dress is one of my favorites from your blog. I have to admit I don’t think I would have looked at the fabric and said “Dress, yep, that’s what I’ll make”.

  17. This is great. It looks comfy and pretty at the same time. I love it when that happens. I agree about the fabric not being your fave when you got it. I run into that sometimes. The fabric looks so-so on the bolt but great in garment form. Very pretty.

  18. I have just been out and bought this pattern and some red spotty fabric. I’m going to wear it to my friends daughters 21st birthday party. Minnie mouse here I come! Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. yes dear i’m looking forward to seeing it at work tomorrow!

  20. I’ve had this pattern on my to do list for 4 months and keep doing other things as it seems like a lot of work. Maybe I need to bump it to the top though as your’s is really cute!