My Favourite All-Rounder This Last Summer: The Doris Dress
Summer now has finally ended this last week here in the south of Germany after a gloriously hot September and October. I’m quite behind in posting my summer and early autumn makes so you’ll have to endure some off-season posts this year! I want to introduce you to my absolute favourite garment of this whole summer. I’ve worn this dress to death. It’s seen so many washing cycles that I’m very much surprised it’s still holding up really well.
So, who are we talking about? Doris!
She’s the perfect summer party companion, gets you lots of compliments on family get-togethers, squeezes into your vacation suitcases in no time and is your best friend on the hottest of hot summer days. She even did well as a wedding guest, but she doesn’t know where to stop with the free drinks, so beware. She could pull herself together when needed at work and depending on her mood didn’t even need a press before being worn. She does that nice trick with the back ties when you’ve eaten more than you probably should have and gets all her Marilyn vibes in the faintest breezes. To sum it up, Doris is your perfect wing-woman.
pattern: The Doris Dress (Sew Over It), Version 1 (size 10 graded to 12 below hips)
fabric: lightweight cotton viscose from a local sewing shop
amount: 2,45 m (end of roll, I just paid for 2 metres, 18€/m), directional print
cost: 36€ (+ zip from my stash & handmade self-covered buttons)
duration: ~5 hr
Pattern & Fabric: Oh, and you can get her – guess what – as a PDF or printed pattern at Sew Over It. (Disclaimer: I’m REALLY not being paid by them I just have a massive style crush on their patterns!) This pattern has been sitting in my stash for quite a while. It didn’t really inspire me until I saw some made-up version of it and Lisa Comfort showing it on her YouTube channel. I noticed that perfect silhouette and had the perfect fabric for it: a gorgeous blush-pink stag print viscose my husband got me for our wedding anniversary. I did a crazy thing where I just cut into the very expensive fabric without having sewn this pattern before and I was super lucky that it fit straight out of the envelope. I do not have a lot of fitting issues with Sew Over It patterns, which is one of the reasons I’m drawn to them. I usually make them without trying a muslin or cheaper fabric first. Doris is a little fabric eater, especially if you use a directional print as I did. I used the whole 2,45 metres I had and couldn’t have cut it out with less fabric. (I made a second version with just a bit over 2 metres of fabric – non-directional – but it’s a lot easier if you have a little extra fabric to handle.) I’ve attached a picture below for you to see the layout for my size (UK 10 at the top graded to a 12 from hips down). It took quite a while until I had this layout figured out. I don’t often have more than 2 metres of fabric length in my stash, so I was super lucky that the lady cut me some extra as it was end of roll fabric.
The construction part was fairly easy. The most time-consuming bit is certainly overlocking and sewing together the seven skirt panels and inserting an invisible side zip. Apart from this, the dress came together very quickly. I chose a faux button-up front, which means I did not sew real button holes and just put on the self-covered buttons stitching through all layers. The dress isn’t fully lined and comes with a very uncomplicated facing instead, which is much more convenient for hot summer days. Fitting is not much of an issue, as the skirt is super wide and the top is shaped by tying a bow in the back. It might certainly be a challenging project for beginners but just a half-a-day project for the intermediate sewer.
My favourite place I wore this dress in – a very close second place goes to my mum and dad’s legendary summer party is all I say – was at the childhood home of Astrid Lindgren in Vimmerby, Sweden. We had such a blast on our summer vacation in Sweden and visiting this amazing place where one of my absolute favourite authors grew up was such an amazing, inspiring experience. Aslan also did pretty well posing for pictures!
Will I make it again? This is easy to answer. I already sewed a second one that’s just missing the zip and some buttons. I made it in a more autumnal fabric and hope to wear it with tights this winter!
I really need to get started with my winter wardrobe now, though… Any suggestions?
Stay in touch!