Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pattern Testing: True Bias Southport Dress

Hey y'all! I'm back after a week of not sewing... good news is, although I was not sewing, I was having a pretty amazing time scuba diving in Koh Tao, an island in southern Thailand. While diving, we saw a whale shark in the wild!! It swam right up to us and I just about died of excitement.

But I didn't actually die, so I'm back to tell you that in between dives, I was wearing and loving this little number, my tester version of the True Bias Southport Dress:

Kelli was lovely enough to invite me back again as a tester (I also tested her Hudson pattern back in the day) and I was pretty pumped when I saw the pattern I would be testing. Southport is the perfect summer dress! It's a drawstring waist tank dress with buttons up the front bodice. Simple to sew and simple to wear. Throw it over your bathing suit or make a fancier version for a nice dinner out.

My Southport is made with the fun fabric I scooped up at a local fabric shop. It's a cotton crepe-y, gauze-y material covered in all sorts of tropical fruit: dragonfruit, avocado, watermelon, papaya, starfruit, passionfruit... it has some pineapple, too, so I got the official ok for it to count towards #pineapplesaresohotrightnow. The fabric makes me a feel a bit like Carmen Miranda. The little fruits on the fabric look like fruit emojis, according to Katie, and I tend to agree. Love it.

This is the test version of the Southport Dress pattern, size 14 on top, graded to 18 at the hips. I really wanted to make the long version with the slit, but couldn't eek it out of my fabric, so I made View A and lengthened 6 inches to be knee length. Note: here have been slight changes to the fit since testing, including lowering the hemline for view A by 1" and altering the fit at the armholes.

The instructions were quite easy to follow, with lots of good illustrations. Kelli bumped up the level of difficulty to "intermediate," but I still think a confident beginner could totally handle the Southport dress, particularly if you opt not to make true buttonholes. Since the dress can be pulled over your head, you could just sew the buttons right through both layers of the placket without making any buttonholes.

I think my next Southport will be the lovely long version. Kelli's rayon challis Southport maxi is pretty awesome and I've got some rayon in the stash that would be perfect for this. Are you planning to make the Southport dress? What fabric will you use?

Update: Here's a screen shot from some video my husband took of the whaleshark I saw while scuba diving... so amazing: