Hot! The ‘last day of summer’ dress.

The Facts

Fabric: blue and white synthetic knit, from ebay, £5.00 for a couple of yards.  As usual, no idea exactly what it is.
Pattern C dress by Masty – free pattern from Burdastyle, with quite a few tweaks
Year Contemporary
Notions thread
Time to complete a few hours, I did most of it on my serger.
First worn: Today, to Joss Bay with family and friends.
Wear again? Yes, but probably not until next summer now.
Total price: £5.00

According to the weather man, today was the last sunny day we can expect this year, so we decided to make the most of it.  We headed out to Joss Bay, a few miles along the coast from where I live.  The beach here is sandy, unlike the one in my town, and today it was virtually empty. It was sunny, they got that bit right.  However there was a strong breeze, as you can probably tell from my hair, and it did not feel particularly summery.  Despite that we were determined to enjoy what might be the last sun we see this year.  It was too cold to swim but the kids ran around and played rounders and we enjoyed a picnic. At least there was no chance of the beers getting warm. And it was the perfect opportunity to emotionally blackmail my husband into attempting to take some half flattering photos.

Anyway, the dress. I love maxi dresses.  I have two shop bought ones that I wear all the time in the summer.  However I have never made one, until now.  I have no idea why not. Maybe it is something to do with the fact that I get most of my fabric either in charity shops or on ebay, and there is rarely enough yardage to make one.  Anyway, the time was right to give it a go.

I adapted the C dress pattern that I used for my Tangerine Roses dress. I didn’t want the cut out in the back, so I ended up making the two back pieces into one, cutting it on the fold.   I also added some length to the skirt as the pattern is not for a maxi dress.  I didn’t bother with a muslin or anything sensible like that because I had already made this pattern up before, so I knew it would fit, right?  Wrong.  What I had failed to take into account was the fact that the fabric I used last time had a lot more stretch.  On my first attempt to pull this dress on it became apparent that there was no way the skirt was going to fit over my ample backside.  Unfortunately I only had one narrow strip of fabric left.  I removed the skirt from the bodice, cut the front piece down the middle, stitched the extra strip in and re-attached the skirt, putting in a pleat at the front.

I think I have just about got away with it.  You can see the extra bit I added because the print is facing the wrong way, but I have just about convinced myself that it is meant to look like that anyway. Overall it is a success – comfy, seems to look okay in the pics, and although the fit is not perfect I am hoping to lose a couple of pounds by next summer anyway so I can tackle that next year before I wear it again. And it is blue, and is completed and photographed on time!



Taracat is a beginning seamstress, scientist, teacher, mother, gin drinker, almost author, drama queen and a bit of a stroppy 'mare. She discovered The Sew Weekly in February 2011 while using the internet to teach herself to sew. She's getting there.


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  1. Ooo, that looks like it would super comfy! I love the design of the fabric,too!

  2. This is really pretty! I can’t see the piece that you added so maybe it’s just not so visible in the pictures? I think you look fabulous in it and I hope you get a lot of use out of it next summer.

    • Thanks Gina, you are very kind. You were one of the inspirations for me to try and get some better pictures, I think it was definitely worth the effort.

  3. Nice to see some British seaside up there for a change. Great dress too!

    • Thanks Diane! Glad to be promoting what we have here in the UK. I love the British seaside, couldn’t live anywhere else these days.

  4. Charming! I actually like the panel down the front, it adds a bit of interest to the geometric pattern. It makes it look more expensive too. Your selection of pattern and fabric is spot on! Plus, I’m envious of the great beach photos!

    • Thanks Barbara! The fabric selection was a bit of a fluke – I’m trying to avoid buying fabric ’til I’ve used some of my stash, and this was the blue-est I could find.

  5. Don’t worry about the panel “detail” down the centre front! It breaks the regularity of the busy print, which is very pretty.

    • Cheers Tiffany – I have just about convinced myself it is how it was meant to look from the beginning now :0)

  6. Lovely! the print is great and I love the neckline. Kudos to you on placing that extra panel in, it would be a real shame to not wear her especially up against that backdrop. Beautiful.

    • Thanks Kazz! Don’t worry, I will definitely wear her again. Maybe this is the excuse I need to book a holiday somewhere hot over the winter?

  7. Love the print on the fabric. Such a great dress for really anything. It looks comfortable, yet wearable anywhere.

  8. If you hadn’t said anything about the center front addition being an “oops” moment I never would have known! It’s VERY pretty : ) The beaches we have here in northern California are NOT warm most of the time so I feel your breezy goosebumps. For it to be 70 or more (21 celsisus I think) at the beach it has to be 100 or more inland, where I live. Thanks for showing us a little bit of your part of the world, that’s one of my favorite things at Sew Weekly.

  9. You are just having your last days of summer, we’re just having our first days of spring where it might be warm enough to wear a dress like this! It looks great on you, and I like the addition – it breaks up the print just a little.

  10. I like the panel down the front….definitely a thought out design feature ;) your secret. Is safe with us because it makes the dress more interesting. A beautiful pattern, looks great on you.