The official start of Summer was yesterday… is it too early for me to say that I’ve sewn my favorite Summer item? I have been thinking about this dress for months and sewed it up a couple of weeks ago to wear to my older son’s kindergarten graduation. (Apparently graduation from kindergarten is a much bigger deal these days than it was in the late 70s! It was completely adorable and clearly I needed a new dress for the occasion.)
Have you seen the lovely linen dresses from Pyne & Smith Clothiers? I came upon them a while back when I fell down an Instagram rabbit hole. This amazing midi length windowpane plaid linen dress has haunted me since that day. I love that these dresses are handmade in California and I believe that the owner of the company is a woman who started sewing these dresses herself. I would love to support her business and buy one of these dresses but since I am a person who sews, and who has a lot of fabric hanging around waiting to become wearable garments, I went the route of sewing my own version of the dress.
I think that it would be possible to make a dress like this using the bodice from various sewing patterns that are available. I chose to use the Named Patterns Inari Tee Dress, because the fit of the bodice and the shape of the sleeve on my inspiration dress looks so similar to the Inari. The Pyne & Smith dress bodice is undarted and so is the Inari. I had also made an Inari dress very recently and I knew I really liked the fit through the shoulders/sleeves (after many adjustments which you can read about here.)
Making the dress was incredibly simple. I chopped off the Inari pattern at my high waist, tapered it in a bit since the pattern is a cocoon shape, and added a long gathered skirt. I opted not to finish the sleeves with cuffs; instead I lengthened them a bit and did a regular hem. I also added pockets, because obviously I needed pockets!
Since I made this dress 3 weeks ago I’ve worn it approximately every third day (or whenever it’s clean and ironed.) It is so comfortable and I adore this ikat fabric. It’s soft, lightweight, and flowy. It is the perfect alternative to shorts and a t-shirt in hot weather. After making this dress and my Tea House dress, I want to make every dress in this midi length. I’m not tripping over the hem like I sometimes do in my maxi dresses and I can easily bend over or go down the slide at the park without worrying that I’m flashing people, which is always my concern with knee length dresses.
I would love to find some soft linen for another version of this dress. I’ve also got some rayon in my stash that I think would be great for this style, too. I would really love to make about 6 more of these and have one for every day of the week.
I hope your Summer is off to a great start! What are you sewing?