Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Summer of Dresses!

It's been miserably hot around here.  All of this hot weather has inspired me to sew (well mostly the inspiration comes from doing anything that involves A/C).  So between canning the garden goods and keeping things alive in this heat I have made a few summer dresses.  

I started with a mission to update my "at home" wardrobe with some dresses I could wear around the house and in the yard but also out to the grocery store and for quick errands.  I ended up only making one "house dress" and then ventured on to other more versatile dresses.  I discovered the technique of "shirring" with elastic thread and I have fallen in love!  It means I don't have to fool with zippers or too much with sizing.  I have 2 more dresses in mind and hope to finish them this week or next!  The best part about these dresses?  Between the material and the thread, each dress cost less than $8!

Here is what I like to call my House and Garden Dress.  It is made from Batik fabric.  I like the pattern on the material and it is dark and sturdy enough to hold up to the dirt I encounter on a daily basis but still pretty enough for the grocery store clerk :-)


This is me demonstrating the all important and nifty pocket for my pump.  I built a button-hole into the back of the pocket so I can run my pump tubing through.

This is my "I copied a dress I tried on at Khol's Dress"

This is a lightweight stretchy-ish denim fabric.  I put thicker straps so it's a little more modest and allows for undergarments.  Perfect for Spring and Summer and probably Fall with a sweater.  I can dress it up or down with belts and shoes to wear on most occasions!

And last but not least what I like to call my "Picnic Dress"...because honestly don't you think I look like I am heading to a picnic in Central Park?  The material is striped seersucker so it is lightweight and easy care.
This dress has a large twirly skirt and a side pockets.  I also did a button-hole in these pockets for my pump tubing

The belt/tie is removable so I can change it to a colored one or a real belt for a different look.  Again this dress could be dressed up or down with different accessories (you know this garden girl is SOOOO into accessories)....oh and for those of you who have never seen me in real life....that streak of gray hair is very much real!

I am quite proud of myself as I did not use any patterns for these dresses.  I did use some various tutorials on hoe to do the shirring process.  I am so happy to be learning some new skills.  I never thought I could make my own clothes!  What are the possibilities? 


  1. Wow!!!! I am sooooo jealous! They are beautiful! I want to learn to sew. I'll just put it on my list of things to do. :)

  2. Melissa - I used to make everything I wore!! Sewing can be so relaxing - I have just retired last week, so I may get back into sewing again. It looks like you are hooked now. I love the dresses!!!! The seersucker is my favorite - a great fabric for summer. Be sure and wear one to the lake this August! - Carol Doss

  3. OMG I love your dresses!!!! First I looked at the pictures and thought, "where did she buy those cute dresses?" Then I read your post and found you made them, what a fun surprise :) You have a very nice figure and they're tailor made, what could be better? I wish I could do that lol

  4. I love your dresses and am so impressed with your sewing! Well done!