As soon as I saw this fabric, it reminded me of a dress I had in college that I loved. I don’t quite remember what happened to that dress, nor could I really find any photos of it aside from this one from my cousin’s graduation in 2013, but I think you can certainly see the similarities in the fabric!
If memory serves, that dress was a bustier-inspired bodice with a straight skirt, sewn in a sateen fabric. It had some cute details on the strap trim, which I’m realizing now I channeled into the trim I chose for this dress without even realizing it! This dress is a total departure in shape from the one I was reminded of, but it perfectly suits my current style and I am so happy with how it turned out!
This is the Tammy Handmade Rhea Dress, sewn up in yet another of the lovely new Minerva Exclusive print viscose challis prints. I’ve waxed poetic on this line of fabrics already, but if you’ve forgotten, let me jog your memory. This is a really nice quality viscose challis – it has a nice, somewhat heavy drape and is breezy and comfortable to wear. The fabric allows for beautiful, saturated colors and the line of print options seems never-ending. I’ve had the opportunity to sew up four very different but equally lovely florals (see my recent Romy Top here, a top to be posted here very soon, and a quick scrunchie can be seen over on my Instagram!) and I’ve thought each one was the bee’s knees! They’ve got a little something for everyone (not just florals, by any means!) and I’m VERY excited that I still have 3 more on their way to me soon! (only two of them are florals!)
This particular print is called Brushstroke Blooms. I actually have another of their new exclusive line that I received a few days earlier than this one, but I prioritized this one because I knew it needed to be a breezy, strappy sundress and I know summer will be seeing itself out before too long. I chose the Rhea Dress from my pattern collection, and it was a great match for what I had in mind. The Rhea Dress is meant to be a slightly oversized dress, or at least it seems so to me, and I know that the only other Tammy Handmade pattern I’ve sewn ran slightly large on me when going by the size chart. I should’ve put 2 and 2 together there and sized down, but I sewed the recommended size per the size chart, and it is indeed a little larger than I wish it were.
I’ll size down next time, but I’d already noticed that I’d been most drawn to versions of this pattern with added waist ties when scrolling through Instagram, so I’d been planning on including ties with mine no matter the fit. This fabric has so many fun color options to play with, and instead of sewing ties out of the fabric itself, I decided I’d play up one of the colors by adding a trim or ribbon of some sort, which could double as a tie. I never play around with trims, but I really love the detail it can add when done well! Megan over at @DiniGooseandBird could host an entire dang workshop on perfect trim additions!! I decided to try my hand at choosing a trim, and ended up with this fun flower chain. I used it to highlight the waist line across the front, leaving it loose past the side seams in order to use the length as ties!
I found this daisy flower crown in my sewing room closet right as I finished this dress, so I took it as a sign and threw it in the stroller the next time we went for a walk. Of course, I first wore the whole look around the house for an hour or so after finishing my dress, just because! My husband offered some sweet compliments on this dress right away, so I felt like I’d definitely hit the jackpot. I’m so happy with how this dress turned out, and I’m ready to close out the summer in style.
Top: handmade by me
Pattern: Tammy Handmade – Rhea Dress
Fabric: Minerva Exclusive – Brushstroke Blooms Viscose Challis
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Prym Sewing Machine Needles
Gutermann Sew All Polyester Sewing Thread
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used for this post was provided to me by Minerva in exchange for photos of my finished garments and a review of my experience with the fabric, to be posted on their website. The trim and pattern were purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth