Self-drafted Summer Dress. For the birds.

Spending a few weeks in Australia was a little escape to paradise. The sky is huge, the sun is amazing and the trees are so noisy! Jet lag had me up at 4/5am most mornings and it was beautiful to wake up to the dawn chorus of magpies, parrots, kookaburras and the rest. The light is different there too and it really made me think more about colour and how I need to expand my choices.

Self drafted dress

I bought this fabric a while ago in Brighton, it really appealed to my love of animals in print. I hadn’t realised but I have a lot of animals on fabric laying about. It’s not surprising really, I can’t remember a time I didn’t have pets around. Almost all of my childhood photos have a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a duck, a chicken or (for a brief period) a kangaroo in them. Not much has changed! What you can’t see is my sister’s dog, just out of shot, waiting to play the “I’m stealing your shoes” game.


Being a nice stable woven, this cloth was easy to work with. One of my favourite things about this is the neckline. I’m partial to a low cut top but the higher neckline works better to show off the print. Drafting this was a good exercise. I used the block I’d made based on Metric Pattern Cutting and went from there, adding darts as I needed.

Self-drafted Dress

Looking at this dress I can see that it might need a bit of taking in under the bust and a few other things I’d probably do differently. I have a tendency to over fit things then regret it later so the fit probably is fine as it is – it was nice to have a bit of extra space to breathe on such hot days.

I didn’t line it, which is a bit of a drag because I can’t wear it with tights. No regrets though as it’s a nice little bit of colour and perfect for sunny weather. If only I could have packed some of that Perth sunshine in my suitcase to take back to London.


About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------>
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9 Responses to Self-drafted Summer Dress. For the birds.

  1. Nicoletta says:

    You look lovely and the dress is so nice! Even if there are some flaws, in your opinion, you can always unstitch and redo It! PS I love Perth light!!

  2. sarah says:

    Gorgeously feminine. And suits the gorgeous sunshine too. You could always buy a slip to wear with tights. I bought one last year and instantly felt like a granny but I’m past worrying about that now!

  3. Your dress looks great and I really like the print. Your shoes are gorgeous too! 🙂

  4. SewDucky says:

    Can I just say you’re fabulous and I don’t know why I have missed your blog?

    I agree with the slip idea, they do a number of things and if you make your own, they also don’t have to be the type grandma wore.

    The color and print is great. It looks awesome on you, and I think I’m jealous that I am stuck in the middle of an ice storm.

  5. Zoe says:

    Cute print, I think you did a good job with the fit. Could you add a partial lining just for the skirt and attach it to the seam allowance at the waist? That might solve the tights issue 🙂

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