Monday, August 13, 2018

Solid Colored & Sleeveless Katie

I think of projects in this is my third Katie Dress.  

The difference this time is that I sewed them one right after the other! I am done with this pattern for awhile because I have three amazing dresses/tunics in a sleeveless, short sleeve and sleeved version.  That's not to say another shirt probably won't make it into my wardrobe come fall. I still haven't made the shirting version of this pattern which started this journey...but for right now I am done.

Each version has presented a sewing challenge but in a good way.  Each one has allowed me to use a technique or to change a detail. They've given me design, pattern alterations, and construction challenges which I love. All of which makes a great sew for me.

I chose a solid color with colorful accents for this version because after working with the other very bright & colorful prints, I needed something a little toned why did I choose a bright sky blue linen...*LOL*

Supply List ~
- Linen from Fabric Mart's couture line 
This has been in the collection for a couple of years. They put it on sale one year and I bought all the colors...don't judge! *LOL* However, there is still couture linen on sale at FM so I've linked to one that's similar in color to mine.
- printed cotton fabric from Zooks Fabric in Intercourse, PA
- shell buttons from the button stash
- Fusible Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoller

Pattern Alterations ~
- I added three inches to lengthen both the front and back pieces. My original dress was just a tad too short showing my knees and I wanted a dress that fell in a spot that I liked.

- I also raised the underarm seam a 1/2" on both the front and back pieces. More on this further down in the blog post.

- The front facing also had 3" added to it to lengthen it.

That was all of the pattern alterations for this version.

Construction ~
There were no changes to the construction process...just omitting the sleeves and adding a bias binding to finish the armholes. However, I stretched the armholes out when I was applying the binding and they were too long, exposing my bra under my arm.

*Sigh* I also didn't take into account the linen's qualities when I was changing the underarm. I added a crescent piece of the cotton print to the underarm seams to cover the extra space.

When I first put the crescent in (made by taking the dress, putting a piece of tracing paper in the armhole and tracing the opening, then adding seam allowances all the way around) it didn't fit. It was wobbly and stuck out away from my body. My solution was to take a tuck in the center of the crescent and stitch it down. Now it works and I love that it's made from the accent fabric.

If I were to make another one (maybe next summer) I would make the armhole snugger so that it fit closer to my chest. I like the full shoulder coverage though others might make it a little more cut-in. 

Design Changes ~
I had fun adding details to this dress to make it mine. Of course the inner collar stand is cut from the printed fabric...

as is one of the front button well as the crescent underarm inserts.

The front and back hem facings were also cut from the printed fabric and where I started this journey. I had it in my head to add coordinating facings to a solid color fabric.

I used shell buttons for the front of the dress. I also left a small sliver of the printed fabric band by sewing the buttons over a 1/4" which exposed the print and added a slimming effect down the front of the dress.

The final addition to the dress front is a small breast pocket with a square of the printed fabric. I wanted to cut down on the wide expanses of blue fabric and all of these details assist with that.

A few pictures ~

Conclusion ~
This is my favorite of the three Katies. I love the flow of the dress. I love the pockets - who is dis woman?! *LOL* Cause I'm so not a pocket person. I love the length and the drama of it...and it was perfect when I wore it on a 90+ degree, hot and humid summer day. I was cool, comfortable and it was so humid that quite a few of the wrinkles fell out as I walked to the bus station to go home.

As I said earlier I'm retiring the pattern for a minute. Though I will admit that I almost went back and added short sleeves because of the underarm issues. I just love that I improvised all of those details. They weren't in my original plan for the dress but they made it perfect...adding drama and interest and elevating the look of it.

Next up on the blog is my denim chambray version of the Myosotis dress. Indie month continues. always more later!


  1. Carolyn, I love all the unique touches you've made to this dress especially the exposed print on the front band - so cute! Karen

  2. your button band is gorgeous. I thought the dress was a denim until I read your description. really pretty.

  3. I love this so much! All the lovely details with the printed fabric bring this dress out in a nice way. I can see why it is your favorite!

  4. That is a wonderful dress! And your embellishments really make it - so smart and so summery. It's a adorable look.

  5. It's fantastic! The accents are really nice and even though the underarm contrast was done on the fly, it looks completely intentional/part of the design.

  6. I like this one the most even more so with all the extra touches. It truly says summer and I am staying cool!

  7. Carolyn, Thank you for such a well written journey through the thought process of customizing your dress. I avoid solids and your dress has given me inspiration to work with solid fabric for a dress. Thank you so much for your blog,
    Lorrie Graham, Albany, NY

  8. Your subtle emnellishments to this solid dress are so clever. Thanks for some fun ideas to use myself. Love all three dresses, but this is the "coolest" one yet.

  9. You are such an inspiration!

  10. Love it, the small details are divine.

  11. As always I love the little details you often add - I really love the print hem facing here!


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