Hot! The “Dexter Night” Dress | Sarah Gabbart


The Facts 
Fabric: Liberty of London Tana Lawn – 3 yards of pink floral (from stash – ~$14 a yard)
Pattern: Colette Parfait pattern
Year: c. 2009
Notions: Zipper and two cover buttons – $10
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: April 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: $~52

America's favorite serial killer gives me a reason to look forward to Sunday nights each week. No it's not the dark justice he doles out or the tense, scary twists that leave my jaw on the floor – it's the fact that each Sunday night I get to listen to Michael C. Hall's sardonic narration with my favorite people on Earth. Dexter night is friendship night. 

It all started at a party last summer, where one of us mentioned the new season of Dexter (the one that followed the most epic season finale I have ever seen *spoiler alert*) was premiering the next week and we should all go over to the Novos (our best friends) house to watch it on their giant TV. Laughter happened after there was talk of eating all their food and drinking their booze. Somehow this turned into "seriously guys – come over every Sunday and bring food to share. We'll provide the aforementioned gigantic TV!" 

Eight months later, we have mowed through season five of Dexter as well as season one and most of season two of Breaking Bad. Through these seasons, we've shared all kinds of meals – home cooked baked ziti, delivered pizza and a metric ton of cupcakes (including the awesome Dexter ones I made) – cracked all kinds of jokes, and enjoyed the heck out of each other's company. Thanks to this wonderful arrangement, we have a guaranteed date with our best friends each week!

As an homage to the show that started it all, I based my dress on one of my favorite characters on TV – Dexter's long-suffering wife, Rita. She is the epitome of sweetness and light, the perfect antithesis to Dexter's dark, brooding secrets. 

Rita is always in some sort of sundress, usually floral, and I thought the Colette Parfait would be perfect for this sort of casually girly character study. After LOVING making this pattern last week for the childhood outfit challenge, I was ready to take it on again. Honestly, I would make this pattern hundreds of more times – it's adorable and very straightforward. The only issue I encountered was matching the yoke to the bust, but that is because I am yoke challenged in general. 


The Tana Lawn fabric from Liberty of London has been waiting for a project like this for a long time. Houston and Miami (where the show is set) are both climates that ask for – NAY beg for – lightweight garments to ward off heat exhaustion, so this was the perfect fit for my wardrobe! Thankfully, I had exactly 3 yards of it left and it was plenty for this pattern – I usually end up short by a half yard!

Conclusion: like Dexter night, this Rita dress is going to be a big part of my life – I can see myself wearing it weekly and enjoying the heck out of it each time!

(BONUS: the whole gang dressed as the cast of Dexter – Brittany as Lila, Ryan (my hubby) as Dexter,  Me as Rita, Erin as Deb, Scott as Angel Batista and Alla as Maria LaGuerta. Gotta love it when your friends care enough to agree to playing dress up for the internet to see – love you guys. See you Sunday!)

The gang


Sarah Gabbart


Comments are closed.

  1. Love it!

  2. Love the picture of your friends as the cast! Tell them thank you for indulging us!

  3. Oh this is so fantastic, especially your friends dressing up! And HOW GOOD is Dexter? And your cupcakes? Incredible! I might even steal the idea… ! RL x

  4. That is a great group of friends if they’ll dress up for this :-) Lovely dress – such a flattering shape and I’m loving the fabric used.

  5. I have not seen Dexter but I LOVE the dress and the fabric so much! You look stunning in it and the fit is wonderful! You are really tempting me to buy this pattern. Your friends are just SUPER! Mine doesn’t even know how often I sew LOL!

  6. Cute dress and I love the group dress up, what fun. I have see the show for one season and it was odd but interesting.

  7. margueritedesigns

    That’s really pretty and suits you!

  8. This is so much fun! Love the fabric and the photo of all your friends! Super fab!!

  9. I love that your friends dressed up for you! Plus your dress is very lovely. I’m not familiar in any way with the show…

  10. oh my god. the gang is amazing. dexter spreads so much love, doesn’t he?
    your dress is perfectly rita, i would lose track of what was going on because i’d be staring at her pretty, pretty clothes :)

  11. Your dress is lovely, and that pattern is perfect! Also – I’m really impressed with the group! Everyone looks so accurate!

  12. I love that you and all of your friends dressed up as the whole Dexter gang – hilarious!! Fabulous work on the Rita dress – I could totally see her wearing something like that!

  13. I LOVE THAT LAST PICTURE!!! You are all capturing your chosen character quite well! Especially Deb and Lila ;o)
    Your dress is lovely and your Dexter party is a great idea for friends!

  14. What an ingenious idea! Our best friends used to come over every Sunday for Sex and the City and Sopranos. We’d cook up awesome food, mix cocktails and settle in for a night of excellent dramedy. Reading your post brought back excellent memories and put “sundress” on my brain. You look fab!

  15. You guys pretty much nailed the cast of Dexter – that picture is perfect! And I am completely with you on the Parfait love – such a perfect pattern. Your version is adorable!

  16. I love that you and your friends get to enjoy this together- and the photo of you all as the cast is great :)
    Beautiful dress too- roll on summer!

  17. What a beautiful dress. Looks great on you.. and the fact that your friends and husband agreed to dress up for the photo very nice… Looks great.

  18. Extremely pretty. Nice fit, but the fabric makes the dress. I think that print is called “Wiltshire.”
    Where were you able to buy Liberty of London fabric at $14 a yard? Is that U.S. dollars?
    I don’t have a Showtime subscription, but I’ve watched entire seasons of “Dexter” during trial periods. Great show.

  19. Hi Sewer, I bought it while in London and it was the end of the bolt (the sales girl hooked it up by remnant-ing part of it!)- it’s an approximate cost because I suck at converting and was buying so much fabric at the time (can’t resist those prints!)
    Thanks for the kind words – I love the dress and the print!

  20. Thanks Rachel! I am spoiled with an incredible group of friends!

  21. Thank you! When I showed up at the house everyone was in their costumes and I was blown away – they really brought it!

  22. Thanks lady!! I love that these shows are a great excuse for hanging out and enjoying food/booze – you just can’t beat a night with friends!

  23. Thank you Wanett!! Deb even had a badge on, which was hand drawn because we couldn’t find a fake badge!

  24. Thanks Katie! I was seriously floored by their amazing costumes!

  25. I do the same thing! I always have to say “What did she say?” because I’m staring at her dress!

  26. Thank you Lisette! And oh my gosh, if you like “thriller” type shows Dexter is a great one to watch – it’s got a weird premise (good guy serial killer who works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Metro PD) but it’s super entertaining!

  27. Thanks lady! Can’t wait to see your creation this week!

  28. Thank you Sue! It is definitely an odd show, but it has me hooked!

  29. Thank you so much Adey!! I have the world’s best friends – I can’t believe I talked them into this with minimal effort! They were like “OK!”

  30. Thank you Reana!
    And please – steal away! I think I found the info on the internet somewhere on how to make them, but here’s the short version: buy a box of cupcake mix (white cake), cherry pie filling, white frosting and red food coloring. Make the cupcakes, let them cook and cut out cones from the center of each (keep the tops!). Fill with cherry pie filling. Replace top. Cover in frosting and drip some food coloring on the top – voila! Dexter cupcakes!

  31. I will! Thank you so much!

  32. Best ever Sarah! The dress is just smashing but your friends are all THE best!
    Gosh Dexter is so scary! I do love it though!

  33. What a gorgeous dress!

  34. This pattern is so good! love this version as well.

  35. That’s fantastic.

  36. Your dress looks gorgeous – so very Rita! Your friends are awesome for dressing up with you – if only there were Pug sized Vince Masuka outfits…

  37. Thanks lady! OMG it is kinda scary sometimes – the pilot episode freaked me out!

  38. BWHAHAHAHA! That would be AMAZING! Thank you so much – and thank you for the great idea for a dog Halloween costume this year!

  39. Thanks Sarah. Its great. My hubby is a Dexter fan and I can’t wait to tell your story and show hime the pic when he gets home from work tonight. Great job. Meagan

  40. Oh genius, and gorgeous. I might just have to have a Dexter night now! If I must tee hee