The Sunny Dress was a perfect pattern to kick off #SewMyStyle2018, and to ease us all into a brand new year of sewing. I am slowly becoming more comfortable with knits, and was excited that this pattern made our list this year. Aside from the obvious comfort factor, knit garments tend to sew up fairly easily and can be thrown on quickly. Wearing handmade is a big source of pride for me, but I spent most of my first year of sewing focused on party dresses. I have a really great wardrobe of dresses to wear to an array of events, from dinners to baby showers to weddings, but the more casual, everyday looks have seen a bit of a gap. Rounding out my wardrobe is the name of the game this year – though I will most certainly be making a few more party dresses, because that’s just who I am!
Back to the Sunny dress. I’ve been eyeing Friday Pattern Company for a little while, and was excited to work through one of their patterns. They are fairly new to the indie pattern designer scene, and their motto is “We believe in making good things and doing good things!” – true to their motto, a percentage of each pattern purchased goes towards a different charity handpicked by the designer. This particular pattern benefits the Against Malaria Foundation. About midway through the month, Friday Pattern Company posted an update that through SewMyStyle, we’d raised over $200 – that’s pretty cool!
The design of the Sunny Dress is simple and straightforward – a knit dress, with a little bit of shape to it. I have made a knit t-shirt dress in the past, but the shape of the Sunny dress, specifically in the lowered neckline and the curves in the hips, adds some detail and sets it apart. PDF patterns still intimidate me somewhat, but this one was easy enough to arrange. At only 20 pieces of paper and 3 total pattern pieces, it came together quite easily while I watched the Rose Bowl at the kitchen table. I was able to piece my PDF, cut it out, and cut my fabric pieces over about 2 hours. This could be done in quite a bit less time, though, as I was admittedly distracted by the football game!
This dress was pretty simple to put together, especially now that I have a SERGER! However, I must point out that there is a difference between an easy pattern and a beginner pattern. This pattern is easy – there are not many pieces, no intricate designs, and no difficult techniques. However, the instructions are written with an audience that has sewn before in mind. I’ve seen this sentiment echoed by many #SewMyStyle participants over the past month. Had I set out to sew this dress at this time last year, I may have felt a little bit like I couldn’t quite keep up – as a beginner, I thrive(d) on very detailed instructions, that remind you to do things like match a multitude of notches, finish edges, etc. Though the Sunny is lacking in these in-depth details, this shouldn’t put anyone off, and I do think that a beginner can easily whip up a Sunny dress of their own – being able to ask a friend or refer to different tutorials and sewalongs when it comes to certain techniques may be helpful, though!
I made a size medium, straight off the printer. I chose not to add any hacks to the dress, though there certainly is a LOT of possibility there. Instead, I opted to let the awesome fabric shine on the simple palette. I was a little nervous that the combination of fun and silly fabric on a knit t-shirt dress may look a bit like an overgrown toddler, but the curved hem and hips add enough sass to keep me looking like a stylish adult (I think!). I actually quite like how the fabric and pattern came together! I was on the borderline size-wise, so I sized up and made a medium. I do think I may size back down to the small next time around, as there is a little bit of extra fabric in some areas. This hasn’t detracted from the overall design though, and I think it looks quite nice on!
A quick note on construction – I do have some gaping in the back of the neck, which could easily be fixed by pinching out a bit of fabric in the back before hemming or adding a neck band. I simply hemmed my neckline with a twin needle here, because I like the simple finish that offers. Next time, I will probably do the same after pinching out about an inch total from the back! I also plan to hem the skirt of my front and back pieces individually next time, as I think this will preserve the curve better, and also just make it a bit less fiddly to hem up! Lastly, though I like the wider sleeve in this case, I would like to make a version with a more narrow long sleeve next time around.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the kick-off of the SewMyStyle 2018 project! I’ve ended up with a dress I’ll wear throughout the year, in a fabric I’ve been hoping to use, and I’ve loved seeing what everyone else has made along the way. I’d love to see your favorite Sunny dresses or tops – link those that have caught your eye below!! If you participated, I hope you had a great start – I’m looking forward to sewing outerwear with you guys next! It’s a hard decision, but I’m leaning towards the Estelle Ponte Jacket to start with… What about you?
dress: handmade by me
pattern: Friday Pattern Company – Sunny Dress
fabric: Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel – Dress Shop Mystery Food Knit in Smoke (purchased from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics!)
PS – Stonemountain and Daughter is the sponsor for the #SewMyStyle2018 prize! If you haven’t posted your Sunny dress or top yet, get it in by the end of the day to qualify for the prize drawing. And even if you don’t win, make sure to check them out – they carry so many great fabrics!!
Though the Sunny Dress pattern was provided to me as part of the #SewMyStyle2018 leader team, all opinions expressed are my own, as always!
- XX Elizabeth