Friends, meet my first favourite make of the summer!
It’s got all my favourite summer features: blouson bodice, maxi skirt with room to walk, slight racerback that still covers bra straps. Easy to wear, polished, but also dramatic enough to be fun!
Here’s the lowdown:
- Bodice: Jalie 3245, which includes the raglan tee that I’ve sewn a million times, but also this racerback tank that I’m trying out in my search for a TNT tank pattern.
- Skirt: Closet Case Files Sallie. This pattern is famous for the jumpsuit view, but the skirt is a great summer workhorse that can be paired with any knit bodice!
- Fabric: ITY from CaliFabrics, ordered before I started blogging for them last year. Sonja from GingerMakes was kind enough to drive this fabric north to me when we met up in Montreal a couple of summers ago!
This dress is actually inspired by one of Jalie’s new pattern releases, the Rova Blouson Tank Dress and Tunic.
I mean, they had me with this adorable model, who is actually a Montreal piano teacher who teaches Jeanne, the mom-half of the mother-daughter duo that is Jalie. Canadian product, with sizes ranging from child to plus, AND they have a model with a body-type I can identify with, who looks happy and awesome? I WANT IT! Except the Rova is for wovens, and while I did seriously consider that route, we all know I prefer sewing and wearing knits!
So, I turned to another Jalie pattern I already owned! I wear a CC in Jalie, which is almost the largest size… but I’ve also sewn this pattern for my little nieces, and the drafting is perfect at both ends of the spectrum, in all the patterns I’ve tried. Pretty impressive!
For this version, I wanted a lined bodice, so that the blouson effect (the vertical ease that puffs over at the bodice waist) is supported by the shorter inner lining, not just elastic or a drawstring. I cut two identical bodices, with the outer layer 1.5″ longer.
A double layer bodice can be finished in a few ways: with bands, or clean-finished by sewing the inner and outer layers together. I did a bit of both!
I chose to clean-finished the armscyes, so I added 3/8″ seam allowance when cutting out, and sewed the inner and outer layer right-sides together. I chose a band for the neckline to make sure the weight of the dress didn’t stretch it out. I’m really pleased with how nicely this pattern fits under the arm – no gaping, sagging, or showing bra band!
And finally, the Sallie Maxi skirt! It’s basically a maxi-length version of my TNT Comino Cap Skirt, with the addition of side-slits from the knee down. I used this skirt last year in my Paint Daub Maxi, which quickly became a favourite too! I skipped the pockets because, well, I’m lazy!
I’ve got plans to make a knee-length version next, with a curved hemline… and well, get ready for lots of similar summer dresses!
I mentioned that I’ve been looking for a summer tank TNT pattern – this pattern is my front-runner, but I’m always interested in new patterns! Do you have any suggestions with an inclusive size range and good bust shaping? (I once bought a tank pattern only to realise the front and back were identical, and surprise! That didn’t work out on me!) Thanks for your ideas!