I’m back and this time I’ve made a dress using the Simple Sew Colour Block Tunic sewing pattern. This pattern is a simple shift dress or top designed for woven fabrics. It closes with an invisible zip in the centre back and there are options for either ¾ length or short sleeves.
The beauty of this pattern is that it is so versatile. The top is split into two sections and the dress is split into three sections. This allows you to mix and match fabrics to create contrasts between different colours or prints. You can really make this pattern your own!
I chose to make the dress version with ¾ sleeves and I made it in these beautiful fabrics kindly gifted to me by Doughty’s. The plain one is a Makower Linen Textured Cotton in Burgundy and the floral one is a Lady McElroy Cotton Lawn. I love the poppy print!
I used the plain fabric for the sleeves and top two sections of the dress. I omitted the bottom hem band section of the dress and instead used two layers of the floral cotton lawn (one slightly longer than the other) to create a gathered ruffle. I love the effect!
I made the dress in a size 10 as per the measurements on the pattern and didn’t make any adjustments other than my ruffle hack. I did use the belt pattern piece from my New Look 6446 pattern to make a tie belt as I prefer to be synched in at the waist. If this dress was made in a weightier, more drapey fabric I don’t think it would need it but I felt like I needed to give the cotton a bit more structure.
I wanted to make the dress in a cotton so that it would be breathable in the summer (I have my 2019 hot weather honeymoon in mind again!). However, the floral print has quite a bit of black in it, which means it can be paired really nicely with black tights and boots. I think this is BRILLIANT as it turns what would otherwise be a summer dress into a dress I can wear all year around. Getting the most wear out of my clothes, especially my hand made ones, is so important to me so this is such a bonus. We work so hard to make our own clothes so they deserve to be worn and loved as often as possible!
I do get a few drag lines across the front of my shoulders so if I make this pattern again I’ll make sure I add a little more room across the chest. The majority of this dress is super simple to sew. The only bit that was a bit tricky was getting the v in the neckline really neat. I’m a fan of the slit in the cuff – this is a really nice detail and something I hadn’t done before. It’s great when a pattern teaches you something new!
Here’s a close up of my ruffle. Don’t look too closely as I realised I forgot to unpick my gather stitches, a few of which are poking through. Woops!!
Overall, I’m really pleased with this dress and would recommend giving this pattern a try. You could really get creative with your fabric choices. I’m also going to continue to try to sew garments that are seasonally transferable so that I can wear my makes all year round!