The spring dress!

I’ll start by saying that I love this dress. The fabric is gorgeous, lightweight not see-through and the shape is timeless (at least for me). If you read last week’s post this was in my plans for this month, and I decided to start with the dress because the weather seemed perfect for it. Seemed…because right now there are something like 45 F (7C) outside!

Anyway…spring and summer will be long here in Atlanta, so I’ll have plenty of occasions to wear it.

The inspiration

I pinned a few pictures of floral blue dresses, but my favorite one was the Gabin dress from Rouje (on the right above). The blue version is not sold anymore, but I was determined to try to sew something similar. I liked the wrap detail, the short sleeves and the buttons on the side, but I prefer A line skirts like the ones on other dresses that inspired me.

The pattern

Last year during one of those $1.99 sales at Joann, I bought the McCalls pattern M8036 (SashaMcCalls). The pattern has some details in common with the Gabin dress, namely the wrap style and buttoned front. So I decided to start with this pattern and I made a toile (see pictures below) in a size 14. The sleeve on the right is the original one (that I didn’t like at all), while the one on the left is the one that I drafted. After this first toile I made these edits:

  • the seam that connect the body to the skirt has a seam allowance of 1/2″
  • I raised the armscye by 3/8”
  • I lowered the V neckline by 3/4”
  • I changed the sleeve

I drafted a new sleeve starting with the sleeve of the Zenith dress by Maison Fauve, which is an elbow length, with gathers on the top of the sleeve. To do it, I draw the stitch line on the sleeve pattern (the Zenith sleeve has a 1 cm seam allowance) and draw the new cut line at 5/8” from there (McCalls has 5/8” seam allowance). Also since Zenith is a french pattern, the front of the sleeve is market with 2 notches, the opposite of what happens for McCalls. Then I measured the new sleeve patterns, and copied the notches on the McCalls front and back bodice (pink line on the right picture below). The green line is the edit that I made afterwards, when I raised the armscye by 1cm.

The Zenith sleeve is meant to be quite wide at the bottom, so I took in 1 3/4” from each side (folded on the left picture) and lengthened it by 2″.

The fit of the bodice worked well for me (I made a size 14 based on the finished garment measures). I followed the instructions, but used french seams to have a nicer finish. I changed the buttons position to have them more similar to the inspiration picture, and I added an invisible button on the inside of the neckline. I also sew two small buttons on the waist seam to keep in place the part of the dress that goes under (left side when worn).

The fabric is a gorgeous Liberty linen cotton mix purchased from Minerva, and I ended up using 2 1/3 yard (210 cm) for this version.


Here’s a cost breakdown for this project:

  • Fabric: $70 available here 
  • Pattern: $1.99
  • Notions: buttons from my grandma’s stash, thread ($2)

2 thoughts on “The spring dress!

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