Hot! The “I’m so not 5 foot 4” dress

I’ve had this fabric and pattern sitting around waiting to become a dress since this summer.  Something about our hot humid lovely NC summers draws me towards loose dresses.  When I’m hot I just don’t like for my clothes to well touch me and the Serendipity Studios Claire dress looked like it would fit the bill.

Thankfully, I read the directions before cutting my fabric.  Upon reading them I discovered that the pattern was drafted for women who are 5 ft 4in tall.  They go on to suggest that taller women may need to add length to the hem line.  Ummm?  What?  I’m 5 foot 9 so I was pretty sure I would need to add length to more then just the bottom hem.  I cut a quick muslin of the top and discovered that the draw string was going to hit at the largest part of my chest.  Lovely don’t you think?  I ended up adding an inch to the strap area and then another 2 inches to the bottom of the boddice.  I also cut the skirt to be mid calf length but ended up with just below the knee.  I’m fine with all of this but it did cause a simple dress to take a lot more time then it otherwise would have.

Once I got the sizing figured all was simple and fast.  The hardest thing I had to do was sew two button holes.  I’m also pretty pleased with the results.  Its not a form fitting dress but it is just the type of thing I’ll enjoy wearing this summer.  Probably without the boots and sweater though.

The Facts

Fabric:  2 yards bird print quilters cotton, 1 yard brown broad cloth, 1/4 yard light brown fabric

PatternSerendipity Studios Claire Dress $10.00

Year: I think 2010 but regardless its still available

Time to Make: 6 hours including fitting

Total Cost:  I really don’t know I did get it all for 15% off though

First Worn: Friday for a date with my husband.  We’re having a mild winter here.

Wear Again:  yes but make again no



Stephanie mother tried to teach her how to sew growing up but she didn't really get serious about it until her 4 year old daughter was born and she wanted to put her in fancy smocked dresses. Since then, she has learned to smock and sew. Her blog and screen name come from the initials of her two children Elijah who is 8 and Emily who is 4.


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  1. What a comfortably cute summer dress! Nice to see someone else having to do length adjustments. Mine are mandatory on every pattern, except I’m reducing length instead of adding it.

  2. I had to do adjustments on the one pattern I had from them as well. It was a pain, but a good learning experience (that’s what I keep telling myself). I love your final dress!

  3. Love the color combination and it looks like it would be great to wear when it’s hot and humid (not touching) like you said. I’ve never tried those patterns before. I’ll have to look them up.

  4. Wow! That seems like quite a petite pattern size to start with. Great work adjusting everything to your height :D

  5. I do like this dress – I have not tried a plain colour with a pattern in the single garment. Very glad you read the instructions before cutting into your good fabric.

  6. Cute dress! At least your alterations paid off :-). And now I know to avoid their patterns – I tend to forget to read the instructions first and at 5’10”, that would be tragic.