An Emergency Summer Dress

A couple weeks ago in California, Hades happened. It hovered around a hundred degrees for at least a whole week. Top that off with a ton of smoke from the wildfires everywhere, and no air movement. Not cute. Basically, all we could do was lay on the floor in our underwear under an ice pack, drink a cool beer and complain. I am excellent at all of those things.

We had a family BBQ to go to, and I could not bear the thought of wearing anything with sleeves, or past my knees. I also wanted the lightest fabric possible and something that might work for my grown-up work wardrobe. (Sidebar, if I’m almost 30, do I have to stop labeling things in my life as “grown up” because I presumably am one?). I had been wanting to try the Colette wren dress for a while (I love me a faux wrap) and had already bought it with my Seamwork subscription credits. And I finished this dress about an hour before the BBQ.

I found this fabric in the designer section at Joanns. It’s a rayon spandex jersey with a nice drape and good recovery. It’s pretty thin, but not see through. My cover stitch machine has a tough time with thin knits (as in, I don’t know how to make it like those yet) so the hems are good, but ugly. Luckily the busy print hides all manner of sins.

I sewed an XS and made no adjustments other than to shorten the hem a little (I’m 5’3). The skirt panels in this version mean this pattern uses up very little fabric. I think I got the whole thing out of 1 yd of 58″ wide fabric. It’s a great stash buster.

I love the delicate gathering at the shoulder and where crossover attaches. I think it will look even more stunning in a solid fabric. I’ve worn this to work, out for cocktails and running errands so far. I think I’ll even pair it with tights and a black turtleneck in the winter. I love how surprisingly versatile this piece is in my wardrobe!

Have you had a last minute, desperate need for a garment?

3 Replies to “An Emergency Summer Dress”

  1. Beautiful dress, and your latest one too. I’ve been tempted by the Wren, not from the pictures on the pattern styling which I don’t think show it to be anything special, but by versions like yours and some of the others made for Sew Together for the Summer. I think I may have to get it!

    1. Thank you! And yeah, the styling on the pattern isn’t great. I love the bodice fit though, and I’m finding it’s a pretty good base pattern for me. That said, I have a coverstitch machine, which makes the neckline hemming much neater/easier. I’m not sure how I would feel about this pattern if I had to twin needle or zig zag stitch it. I have thought about using a hem tape for a really clean finish though, so that might work!

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