Hot! “My Holiday Starts Tomorrow” Tube Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Thrifted ’90s rayon (can you call ’90s vintage yet?) =$2.50
Pattern: none
Notions: Reused elastic, curtain rings = $0
Time to make: 2 hours
First worn: To work today Not yet; see below for explanation
Wear it again? Certainly on holiday
Total cost: $2.50

As Najah said last week, I feel as if making a tube dress is kind of phoning it in for this challenge.  On the other hand, I’ve been planning for a long while to make a simple dress like this that I can wear over a bathing suit or out on a hot evening.

The fabric is a ’90s rayon with a micro-floral print.  Now, I lived the ’90s fashions as an adult the first time around, so I’m not quite yet ready for the revisitation I’ve been seeing.  The streetfest on rue Mont Royal last weekend was all high hair buns, babydoll dresses made from mini-floral prints and cross-body purses; it was like looking at myself 20 years ago.  But I can’t deny how this rayon was destined to be a maxi dress.  It drapes so well, it’s breezier than synthetics and it feels good against bare skin.

I made a couple of long linguini straps (what I’m calling my thick spaghetti straps) with my tube turner and started trying to figure out the best placement, when I had a brain wave.  It’s rare, but it happens.  If I wanted lots of options for tying the straps, I could sew a series of small rings inside the top edge and use them to thread the straps in various ways.  I had some 10mm rings left over from making roman blinds way back when (probably in the ’90s), and I hand sewed two in the back and three in the front.  Here’s a few variations that I managed to do this morning while my photographer was having breakfast:

And yes, although I am a founding member of the IBTC, I do need straps.  I live with two little kids who although weaned, still consider my body public property and sometimes idly put their hand down my top.  Hopefully these straps will be enough to prevent a public wardrobe malfunction.

The little photo assistant / wardrobe malfunctioner in question

We’re in the middle of a heatwave here in Montreal, and although 40C with the humidex is usually manageable for a few days, I’m reaching my limit with the insufficient AC in my lab and decided to wear this to work today.  I had made a slight miscalculation in the needed hem width though, and there wasn’t quite enough room for me to stride comfortably.  I’ll have to open up the seam and make a slit.

And thanks to a negotiated perk in lieu of a pay raise several years ago, I get summer Fridays off!  Woohoo, my first summer holiday is tomorrow!  I’ve got some sewing planned….or perhaps I’ll tidy up this weedy back garden.








Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


Comments are closed.

  1. Simple is definitely best…bet you get to wear that lots.

  2. Awesome! A maxi tube sequel!! I love it much.

    And, you’re so right about the return of 90’s fashion. I saw a teenage girl in rolled up jeans, penny loafers & blazer and thought I was watching myself walk down the halls of my high school. As long as exaggerated shoulder pads don’t resurface (I have PTSD from trying to keep those things in place..I eventually developed a cut and toss approach to my 90’s ready-to-wear wardrobe), I’ll continue to tolerate the fashion flashback.

    • I think that 90% of my clothes in the ’90s were made of rayon, then it went a bit out of fashion (at least from my point of view), and now it seems to be reappearing more and more. I never much thought about fiber content as having fashion cycles, but I guess it’s the same as colours and prints.

      • Can you lot stop going on about the 90s as if they were a long time ago? ;) They were clearly only yesterday. (Sorry I’m having decade issues as my daughter is nearing the month she can learn to drive snd its making me realise how fast time flies). The 90s….were but a few moments ago right? ;) good, glad we cleared that one up :)

  3. Very nice! I love your idea with the rings for the shoulder straps – brilliant. :-)

  4. That strap configuration is brilliant!! Isn’t it great to realize that having babies hasn’t killed off all of your brain waves?? Lol
    I think you showed that you’ve still got it with your negotiated summer Fridays. That was a stroke of genius. The weeds will be there next week, sewing has got my vote!

    • Unfortunately, I ended up doing neither today. I had to go into work for a meeting after all, then Life (with a capital L) had gotten completely out of control, and I spent the whole day getting it back in order. Paperwork, bills, housecleaning, changing out the seasonal clothes in the closets, open house at my son’s summer camp, etc. It had to be done, and I feel much better now. I guess I’ll be late with next week’s post!

  5. Sewing has my vote to, it’s to dam hot to garden. It so hot in NYC. Love the dress and it’s perfect for the hot weather. So many ways to wear it, stroke of genius.

    • We had such an incredibly cold and wet May, then I was working in cold and wet Cape Town, that I actually am enjoying the oppressive Montreal summer heat for the first time. With the right clothes and the occassional AC break.
      At first I was thinking about sewing several straps and just tucking the unused ones inside, but then I thought about all those straps dangling down inside and tickling me while I walked, so the ring idea seemed better!

  6. Pretty dress.. and your photo assistant is adorable.

    • She is, isn’t she? She’s a really sweetie. If she had been my first-born, I probably would have had another child right away. As it was, my first born was (and still is) a real handful, so I held off for a few years before she came along.

  7. Love it too bits Vicki. You know I like a simple cut, she looks smashing on you. I admire your eye for fabric prints too, I can see now if I were to go fabric shopping with you what would be a ‘Vicki fabric pick’ Oh that’s a definite Vicki bolt hehe. The multiple strap placements is of course brilliant. Side slits and you could run a marathon in her but not in that heat. Stuff the weeds, sew I say.

    • I would LOVE to play the “spot that Vicki fabric” game with you sometime. If I ever make it to Melbourne, you’re on!

  8. Vicki that changing strap configuration is genius! And I love that you call them linguini! Love the drape of this dress and the whole shape of the blouson top….as I said withy Najah last week, genius planning to make the simple look so stylish is NOT phoning it in! Gorgeous!

    • Ah, thanks tempest. I like simple shapes best, so it’s the kind of pattern I usually gravitate towards. This one is SO simple though that anyone could do it, as long as they remember to make the hem nice and wide so they can walk!

  9. I think you and I had the same idea for this week. With my kids home I’m lucky if I get a few hours to sew. My first is also quite handful. So much so that I’m not I will survive parenthood.

    I like the return of 90’s like fashion though I still don’t feel right in pair of leggings.

    • School is out, but summer camp starts next week, so my schedule doesn’t change much throughout the year: it’s always hectic! That’s why I cherish my summer Fridays and wouldn’t trade them for a pay raise now.

      I’ve been toying with the idea of getting myself a pair of Doc Marten’s again (so comfy), but I’m sure I won’t wear them with baby doll dresses this time around.

  10. Great summer dress. I love rayon – it may be one of my favorite materials for summer clothes (well, silk is great but who can afford silk all the time?). The idea with the straps is genious (I know this has been said already but it can’t be said often enough). Oh, and your daughter is really cute. Love her cute little “I’m so harmless”-pose.

    • I actually find silk difficult to wear in the summer because it sticks to my skin and any sweat show right through. I have a few light silk blouses, but I always end up looking a mess in them.

      Don’t let my daughter’s looks fool you: she gives her brother a run for his money and then some, but she is usually so happy and even tempered that she is a delight.

  11. Love the simple little dress. Great idea with the straps. And it’s so nice to see your smile!

    • Here’s another one for you :) Yeah, I realized I’d been pulling too many serious / crabby faces in the last few posts, so I made a point of trying to smile in every single one this week. It wasn’t difficult when your picture is being taken by a 3-year-old who keeps holding the camera upside down!

  12. Multiple rings for tying the straps–such a great idea! I was liking it with the straight straps in the first two pictures, and then wow, all the different ways…

    I also think this looks really quite elegant. Simple is good.