Thursday, March 11, 2021

Verano in Denim

I love big, flowing, long dresses for summer and at home.  Since I'm home a lot these days (I wonder what this will look like to re-read in 5 years!) I thought a denim version of this pattern would be excellent to swan about in. When we're allowed to go back to work in an office (I have hope that it will happen in 2021) I will be able to swan about the streets of NYC in it.

Last year I purchased several patterns with this silhouette. My goal is to try them all out this year and then remake the heck out of the ones I love wearing! This is a style and silhouette that I really enjoy wearing. In changing up my home and work wardrobe, I'm going with the flowy and loose fitting especially for spring/summer wear.

As I said in a previous post, I'm sewing more indie patterns now. I've always wanted to make a Christine Haynes pattern but her designs didn't really fit my vision of my lifestyle. This one is absolutely perfect for who I am now AND it came in a paper pattern. Woo hoo for paper patterns! *LOL*

(photo credit: Fancy Tiger Craft Fabrics)

Supplies ~

Indigo blue denim purchased from Stylemaker Fabrics last month - it's available here

4 - 1" buttons from #deepstash in the button collection

blue/white floral bias binding from Bessie Pearl - previously used on the Simplicity denim jacket

Construction ~

I resisted my tendency to change the pattern prior to sewing it. Learning from the challenges of my jumpsuit pattern, I took my measurements and cut out a size 3x.  However, as originally designed, the bottom tier grazes the ankles and I wanted long, flowy and sweeping so I added 5 inches to the bottom tier.

Otherwise this was easy to sew. I did however, make a change to my darts.  They were a little low when I tried the top on. It was an easy fix, I just angled them differently.  Will make the change to my paper pattern.

Also, the armholes are very low. Way too low for me to wear without a top underneath it. Thankfully that was the plan for this version. Again I will make a change to the paper pattern to rectify this for my next version.

I cut the pockets out and went back and forth about adding them.  Finally putting  them in at the last minute probably because they were so easy to add to the second tier.

Now this dress is all about the gathered tiers. I know some sewists hate the gathering process but it doesn't bother me. I find it kind of meditative usually doing it while I watch a TV show. 

Gathering Tips ~

Here are a few tips I use when gathering huge swaths of fabric.

1. I don't use the gathering foot for large amounts of gathering because I can't control the gathering.

2. For really long pieces of gathering I don't use the two row method. I use the zig zag over dental floss method.  The dental floss is coated, glides through easier and is thicker than thread.  So there's no breakage.

3. I use a lot of pins and take the time to walk through the gathered tier to insure the gathers are equal all the way around.

4. After it's gathered, I stitch it down. Sometimes removing the pins and readjusting the gathers at the machine.

5. I take my time. I want the gathers to look even all the way around.

6. The gathered seams are pressed flat.  

7. Then I serge the seam close to the seamline and press again.

A Few Pictures ~

I LOVE this dress! It is everything I want in a dress. Comfortable, full and flowing. I wore it all day and will probably make only one more change. I think I'm going to shorten the middle tier 2 inches so that last tier's seam hits a little higher on my leg.  Otherwise this is how I feel about it...

I will definitely be making another one and I highly recommend that if you're looking for an easy to sew, easy to wear spring/summer dress that you get this pattern too! always more later!


  1. Love this pattern Carolyn, it really suits you :)

  2. I like this dress a lot! It is cute and modern, and I love that it fits so beautifully, due to your clever self. I recently began something similar, and it all went pear-shaped. Currently in the abandoned pile. Thank you for the tips about gathering, very helpful. I am going to try the dental floss. Happy sewing.

  3. This is so gorgeous! I absolutely LOVE it! The idea for using dental floss for gathering is genius! I will definitely have to try that. Thank you so much for your helpful tips!

  4. This is a great silhouette on you Carolyn! I've been looking at this pattern, and I am also a bit concerned about the armholes being too low. (To wear without a top when it's warmer.) How do you plan to raise them?
    I'd love to see a photo of your dental floss and zig-zag stitch. Do you do this one zig-zag row at the 5/8" seam line?

  5. Lodi - I use one zig-zag row set at the widest width over dental floss sewing at the 3/8" line. I will share the pattern alterations for the front and back bodice pattern pieces on the next version of this dress.

  6. You look so happy! It is good to see you with a happy smile. Very nice dress and an excellent make as always.

  7. So great to see you looking so happy. Your posts have brightened my lockdown and I always look forward to the next one.

  8. It looks great on you. I'd love to make it in a lawn, with a self-lined top, for hot summer days.

  9. I love this post
    It reminds us all that even if we have been sewing a long time, we should take the time to step back and say to ourselves...maybe I will follow the pattern this time

    1. Pal K - RIGHT! I have to remind myself that I don't know everything! LOL!

  10. It’s perfect for now and when you go back to working in person. It’s fun.

  11. I love the dress! Thanks for sharing gathering tips--I am not a fan of gathering, and yours looks so nice and evenly spaced.

  12. I really love reading your blog and seeing how wonderful a sewist you are. You seem to just jump in with both feet when altering and adjusting a pattern, something that never has come easily to me. I used to do a lot of clothing sewing, but have gotten into the quilting side of fabric sewing for the last several years. I still have a huge stash of fabric intended for clothing though, so maybe one of these days I'll get back to it.

  13. So glad you are thrilled with this dress it looks very wearable. It does take a definite thought process to leave a pattern alone for its first sew, as I have found some of the patterns already take into account my usual adjustments.

  14. I use the same method for gathers...your flowy dress is nice...looks good on you & you are definitely happy w that big definitely got your sewing groove back on...its good to see. There for a while I was getting a little worried because you inspire me to sew, you & debacles. Thank you.

  15. Another home run on the dress front! What a great dress and you look fabulous in it! Thanks for the tips on gathering. g

  16. Great job. I love this dress in denim so much.
    I am currently making this in linen for my very tall and very pregnant daughter.
    I am making the button up D so she can breast feed and get a bit more wear. Jen


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