Hot! The ‘Pinwheels Holiday’ Dress

This challenge coincided perfectly with part of my summer vacation plans. I’m currently in Las Vegas enjoying the sweltering hot, 106 degree F weather. This called for packing a lot of summer dresses. Luckily I was finally able to get a decent amount of sewing time in over the last few days.

I purchased this pinwheel fabric as it fit my summer sewing palette and was a simple, whimsical print. One of my local independent sewing stores was having a massive sale in May and I was able to buy myself a few treats, this being one. However, when it came time to make it into something, I was so indecisive. My Simplicity pattern collection exploded recently due to their big sale, so I had a few new patterns to choose from. I spent about an hour going through all of my patterns – new, old, and already made – trying to find the right pattern for the fabric. In the end, my decision was made when I realized that I had two buttons that would be perfect with this fabric, and thus, this pattern was selected.

The Facts

Fabric: ~3 yards cotton fabric with pinwheel print $15, on sale
Pattern: Simplicity 1873, Version C, $1, on sale
Notions: Blue invisible zipper, $3, 2 pink buttons from stash
Time to make: 4 hours
First worn: This week, June, 2012
Wear it again? Probably
Total cost: $20

Last summer, I lived in my sleeveless dresses and realized that I wanted to add a few more to my collection this year. I didn’t make any changes to this pattern, though I did debate lining it fully – the pattern only calls for a lined bodice. The only thing that stopped me was the pleats in the skirt. They were actually very easy to put together, but I did have to consult one of my sewing books for a reminder in how to do them. But I was wary of having to repeat the process with the lining, and if it would create unnecessary bulk. Ultimately, I’m happy with the unlined dress, though for as hot as it was in Vegas, it was also incredibly windy so there were some moments that could have been construed as scandalous… though maybe not by much in Vegas standards.

Oh, and I went with the longer skirt length from version A & B, but it was the same pattern piece so I don’t consider that a modification.

Overall, I’m happy with the dress. I don’t know if it’s the most flattering shape on me, but the dress is so comfortable. I might try some one of the other variations or even just adding sleeves… and I love the little cape jacket.  But, accessorized with a hat and some large sunglasses, I was ready to cool off pool-side.



Christine started sewing in late 2010, inspired by the many crafty bloggers and their gorgeous, self-made outfits. When she's not sewing, she's doing Irish and Scottish dancing, needlework or other various crafts, and hanging out with her hubby and fur babies (1 dog and 3 cats).


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  1. Hi ChRistine, love the fabRic and the dress detail of the button strap on the waist band is great enjoy your vacation.,

  2. I think it’s adorable on you and it looks comfortable but stylish at the same time.

  3. Cute sundress! It looks comfortable and fashionable. Have fun in Las Vegas. Going out to Hoover Dam is also a lot of fun.

  4. Its a very pretty dress. Hope you enjoy your vacation.

  5. I love everything you make!!!!

  6. I love it with the hat and sunglasses – very summer chic! You look smashing, and I love that pinwheel fabric so very much!

  7. Hey, it looks like we were in Caesar’s Palace (well at least by their fountains) only a few days apart. That dress looks perfect for Vegas’s heat…light, airy, stylish and love the hat too.

  8. Cool! Your vacation photos are always a delight, Christine. That Simplicity dress looks oh-so comfy and perfect for hot day of tourism. I have the same pattern and plan to borrow that pleated skirt for a dress idea…it’s nice to see it all made up – your pinwheel version is quite cute.