Hot! The ‘Boardwalk’ Dress

I was so excited to receive Christine Haynes new pattern in the mail this past week! I signed up for her Sassy Librarian Craftsy class and was pretty into her style, so I instantly preordered one of her two new patterns when she announced them.  It arrived early last week, bundled up in the cutest retro designed tissue paper, calling to me to make it up.  I just happened to have picked up this red, white and blue floral print fabric for this week’s Sew Weekly challenge… in 3 1/2 yards, just under what the pattern called for. But with my creative pattern placement, I actually had just enough fabric.  I think her yardage allowances were pretty generous and I can be pretty frugal with my pattern placements – making sure to get every last inch of fabric covered so that I 1) have leftovers, and 2) can use 3 1/2 yards of fabric when almost 4 are called for.  Genius. (Or cheap… whatever).

The Facts
Fabric: 3.5 yards floral printed cotton, $22, on sale
Pattern: Christine Haynes Derby Dress pattern, $18
Year: Contemporary
Notions: None!
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: This last Friday, to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Wear again? Yup
Total cost: $40

When it actually came time to cut out the fabric, I almost got cold feet.  I started to worry that the dress shape just wouldn’t be flattering on me.  Ultimately, I bit the bullet.  I had spent the money on the pattern, the dress looked really cute… I should just do it.

The pattern was a breeze to assemble.  While there were quite a few pieces, the pattern was no-fuss, no zippers, no notions… just me, my machine, and my serger.  I didn’t make the belt that comes with the dress… yet.  I will, I just wanted to be done and I was happy with the look with my own little brown belt.  The only aspect that I wasn’t a fan of was the way the notches were done on the pattern.  Instead of being inside the pattern lines, they were out… which would seem easy enough to fix but I was too lazy to draw the notches into the patterns.  I know some people prefer to notch their patterns on the outside but I figure that with a standard 5/8″ seam allowance, there’s no real need.  Anyways, not a deal breaker by any means but just something I had on my mind.

We’ve had some out of town family members staying with us so we’re showing them the California sites.  This past weekend we took them to Santa Cruz, Big Sur, and Napa. Santa Cruz is a somewhat nearby coastal town famous for it’s hippie vibe, surfer culture, and Boardwalk (which you may recognize from the movie Lost Boys).  It was actually a gorgeous summer early-evening when we went.  We rode a few rides, enjoyed some funnel cake, took pictures on the beach and had Marianne’s ice cream.  The dress held up really well, though keeping the front slouchy can be a challenge when you constantly stuff your hands in your pockets.

I’m pleased with the design over all, and noticed this dress shape was all around the Boardwalk.  But how many could say they made it themselves?



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. Cute! I actually like your version better than the versions on Christine’s website – its so lovely and fresh and summery in the floral.

  2. Darling floral fabric. I didn’t realize Christine Haynes had a pattern line…I’d only noticed that Craftsy class of hers. Your Derby dress sewed up nice and looks perfect for a day at the Boardwalk. As a native of Northern California now living on the East Coast, your photos make me nolstagic for my youth spent hanging out at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk….I think I rode their rickety wooden roller coaster 4 times one visit!

  3. I love that dress! It looks great on you and you chose the perfect fabric too. Thanks for all the hot links to the sewing classes and the pattern. My favorite detail are the neck ruffle and the thin arm straps– very summery. I bet your dress was the cutest on the boardwalk! I’d buy that pattern if it weren’t so expensive. I’m more of a $3.00 a pattern girl.

  4. That floral is so pretty, and I love the neckline ruffle on the dress against the spagetti straps. I say clever pattern placement to get the best out of your yardage is genius not cheap! Impressed.

  5. It’s a great dress and looks really pretty on you! Well done. :)