Hot! The “Summer Luvin'” Dress | Sarah Gabbart

Top photo 1

The Facts 

2250 Fabric: Floral polyester from Jo Ann's ($4 a yard plus 40% off with coupon – yess!)
Pattern: Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2250
Year: c. 2010
Notions: 12" invisible zipper (from stash)
Time to complete: 4
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$7

There is just something about floral prints that I'm drawn to this year – especially ones with a pretty watercolor effect! So it's no surprise that I did one of these when I saw this pretty fabric from across the room. Upon closer inspection, it was made of polyester. After a bit of mental back and forth about the horrors of this material, I decided to go for it! 

Dress full
Things I have learned about polyester: 1) it's slippery and 2) it's hot to wear outside. Sewing with it was a bit of a challenge because it slips and slides all over the place when you're trying to cut it. When you're done with it, riding your bike down the street to take a photo is a sweating situation. That said, this might be a perfect vacation date-night dress – I can see it fitting in perfectly in breezy Mexico for an after-hours walk on the beach (Hint hint husband person).

Front detail
Yep. It's a cheeseburger bell. 

Simplicity's Cynthia Rowley dress pattern, however, performed like a champ! The sizing was dead on, the construction (even the crazy darts) was easy and the pattern has enough variation to make again later. 

Back detail
In conclusion – I like this dress a lot. It's bright, fun and fits nicely! Would I wear this dress again? Absolutely! Will I ride my bike in 90 degree weather in it? No. But I would in a linen version. 

Bike blur


Sarah Gabbart


Comments are closed.

  1. judy roberson

    Love your dress. The fabric is beautiful.. [sorry it was so hard to sew]].But the end results are wonderful.. Love the pretty.The bow in the back is pretty too..Just love it. .Definitely a pretty summer dress..

  2. Woah, holy awesomeness! Those dart & the back details are totally killer. Love it. And it looks totally fab on you. :)

  3. Gah!!!! Firstly, I have ‘Summer Lovin’ from Grease in my head now – LOL! Secondly, wowza!! I love this dress!! It’s so fantastic and looks marvellous on you. I really love the print, too.
    Thirdly – YOUR CHEESBURGER BIKE BELL!!! Holy Hannah I MUST have one for my bike! Where or where did you find it??

  4. those gorgeous watercolours are beyond fabulous! What a great pattern too. You are definitely mad to be riding in that heat but you look amazing.

  5. Love all the colors – you look so adorable!
    I made this pattern recently – it’s a fun one, with all the darts on the bodice. Yours looks great. :)

  6. margueritedesigns

    Gorgeous colours – perfect for summer, polyester or not!

  7. The colors are gorgeous and love all the details on the dress! Despite how slippery the poly was, you only took 4 hours to complete this marvelous dress. Great job!

  8. I’m with you on the bright colours and florals for a summer dress – and yours looks fantastic …. and will look even better in the twilight of Mexico!! Start sweet-talking that husband of yours!!

  9. I like your version so much more than the one on the cover! Maybe that is why I never end up buying her patterns. Cool bike, by the way!

  10. It is the perfect summer dress, everything about it sings summer! Okay, and love your bike and hamburger bell, perfect too.

  11. The dress is so pretty and I love your bike-riding photos–so happy and fun! I know what you mean about polyester though. I avoid it because like you, I live in a hot climate and poly is just miserable in the heat. Bleh!

  12. I was just coveting this pattern yesterday! And yours is gorgeous!

  13. Very cute! I know what you mean about Polyester- that monster has pretty much been banished from my closet.
    I want your bike.

  14. How adorable is that dress? Very! I bet you can rock it with some great tights in the fall.

  15. Love the fabric and love the style! I would not have been able to resist the fabric either – the colors are delightful! Fabulous work!

  16. Wow. I need to get my hands on that pattern!

  17. Very pretty and so flattering!

  18. Very nice…the fabric is so pretty.

  19. I have this pattern, but haven’t figured out what fabric to use with it. I love your choice!

  20. Cute dress! I can definitely relate about JoAnn’s. Their polyester always seems to have the best prints. What’s that all about!?

  21. Beautiful print, adorable pattern, and it looks great on you.

  22. YAY FOR POLYESTER! yeah, that stuff’ll keep you warm. your dress is beautiful and i love your action shots :)

  23. Thanks lady! I am so all about this dress when it gets a touch cooler – so like November? Houston is hot until like November. Then it’s cold from November to March. Then hot again!

  24. Right?!? Every print I find that I’m totally excited about is always polyester! It’s like a game of roulette – “Come on cotton!” and bam – poly!

  25. Thanks Melissa! I just found a heavier weight chambray at JoAnn’s (from the Lisette fabric collection) and might try it out for this – it seems like a cool summer option!

  26. Thank you so much Stacie! I was shocked how cute the fit actually ways!

  27. Girl – go get one! It includes a jacket/wrap thing pattern too!

  28. Thank you so much Meg! This print makes my day – it’s so bright!

  29. You = genius! I could totally do this – tights and a cardigan! This gives me hope of not sweltering in this dress!

  30. Thanks Amber! I have two things poly in my closet – this and a vintage dress I wore to a 1970s party. That’s it! I love the prints, hate the hotness!
    Also, thank you! I love my bike!

  31. Thank you so much Stacy! Today it’s 100 degrees in Houston – it’s barely June! Why is it being so hot right now?

  32. Thanks Cathe! I love summer!

  33. Thanks lady! The cover images always throw me – the model looks so much like a ballerina that I thought “Surely this will look terrible. Let’s try it!” and BAM – surprised by the cuteness on real people!

  34. Definitely Debbie – totally laying the groundwork this week! Had tacos last night (“MMmm – remember when we had those awesome tacos in Tulum? We should totally go back!”). I’m planning a full-on tequila assault this weekend (“Margaritas are so much better in Cancun – doncha think?!”
    Also, thank you!

  35. Thanks Adey! I only had one night to sew this week and forced myself to push through any spots where I wanted to stop!

  36. Thank you so much Marguerite!

  37. Thank you Maren! Those darts scared me at first – especially the big crazy one!

  38. Thanks Jen! I have more of this fabric and might have to make a top – it’s just such a cool print!

  39. Bwhahaha! My evil plan to get Grease stuck in your head has worked! Thank you so much – I love this dress too!
    Also – POW!
    I love this bell – I ring it when kids ride by and they think it’s hilarious!

  40. Thank you so much Amanda! I’m honestly surprised how cool this pattern turned out – after seeing the ballerina on the cover I was a bit worried!

  41. Thank you so much Judy!

  42. I’ve been pondering this pattern for a while, now I’m feeling all inspired, it looks fab :D

  43. I love the dress. I have this pattern and you have inspired me to go for it! I love the floral. I am sorry it gave you such fits. I saw this pattern at Joann’s and wished they had it in cotton also

  44. I absolutely LOVE this dress! This makes me really want this pattern AND the fabric AND the bike ;-)

  45. Wonderful dress! It looks so fun!!! I’ve tried to buy this pattern 3 times at my local store – every time they’ve run out. Must be popular :)

  46. Such a gorgeous dress! And you made polyester ruffles! I bow down to your superior sewing skill-ality – I have enough issues with ruffles in cotton. And well done you for such a beautiful dress with so many details in a complicated fabric! Here’s to Mexico in the near future! I see you as the pioneer woman of bringing about holidays/dates for the purpose of specific garment wearing. It is an honourable cause (especially as success=alcohol) and I wish you luck!
    PS. I love your bike. It is so damn cute that if I owned one like it I just *might* be tempted to try this thing I’ve heard of called “exercise”.

  47. Polyester has never looked so good! Nice work choosing a more ‘strappy’ style so your skin can breathe a little! So cute!

  48. Thank you Rae! I wish they had it in cotton too :O(

  49. Thanks Sarah! I know what you mean – mine is sold out of ’em now!

  50. HAHAHA! Yes ma’am – I am totally championing the cause of travel for the purpose of wearing cute things in exotic locales!
    I love my bike so much! If you get one, it’s like exercise but with more fun and less crying and swearing!

  51. Thanke Veronica! LOVE Your dress this week – it’s so cute!