fun in the sun dress Falling Petals

Have you enjoyed seeing everyone’s sundresses as much as I have?
It was like opening a present every time one of our lovely guests sent in their posts.
Sad to see our fun series come to an end.
As for my contribution to the series,
I have had this dress mulling around in my brain for weeks and weeks.
I tried to make a little girls version of it for 4th of July
(after it failed, I instead went with a totally different dress)
I originally bought this fabric (downtown LA) to use for a skirt.  I pulled it out about a month ago, and realized that it was a border print, plenty wide enough for a dress.
When I saw The Sew Convert’s Sunny Resort Blouse on Grosgrain,
my brainchild was born.
I knew that if I could somehow make it into a dress,
it would be perfect for my floral border print cotton fabric.
 I had some trouble figuring it all out, but after dreaming about it, drawing it out, mulling over the details, and one failed trial, it finally came together.


 I have a piecemeal tutorial for you, as I used Adey’s tutorial for the top, with a few minor changes, and then added a skirt, then used another tutorial for faux-shirring the waist.  So I will link those tutorials and insert my two cents in between.

2 1/2 – 4 yards fabric (depending on the width)

1. Measure from your shoulder to your waist. Add 2″  This will be the length of the top part of the dress
2. Follow this tutorial: Sunny Resort Blouse. Make it waist length, with the sleeves tapering to the waist, instead of the hips.


3. I made facings out of scrap material, using Adey’s other Kaftan tutorial instead of using bias tape. I also did 3 rows of topstitching around the neckline, to finish it off.  Both facings and bias tape work equally well.
4. I folded and hemmed the sleeves instead of using bias tape.  You can do either.

5.Now since I cannot get my machine to shirr, I made multiple casings for faux-shirring, using this technique.
I measured the bottom of the top, and cut a 3″ish strip of fabric for the casing. Finish the top edge, and sew to the inside of your top, at the bottom edge.

Follow that technique I mentioned, but don’t insert the elastic yet. You will do that after you attach the skirt.  If you prefer to shirr, just skip this step.

6. Once you finish your top, time to make your skirt.
Depending on your fabric, cut a rectagle 2-3 times your hip measurement. (The thinner/drapier your fabric, the more you want)  Sew the side seam and hem the bottom.  Sew two basting stitches across the top, about 1/4″ apart. Pull the strings to gather.

7. Using the bottom seam of your casing as a guide, stitch your skirt to your top, right sides together.  Make sure to spread out your gathers evenly.

8. Insert your elastic into the casings, and finish the casing seams. I did 5 rows.  Or you can shirr.
Whatever you prefer.