Summer is finally here on the West Coast!  In fact, we are enjoying unseasonably warmer weather which warranted adding a new dress to my wardrobe.  (Let’s be honest, who really needs a reason for a new dress?)

Not too long ago, I received a news letter that Sew House Seven has just released a new summer dress pattern that I thought fit the bill.  The Sauvie Dress is a loose, pull on dress with narrow straps (but wide enough to cover bra straps) and bust darts.  There is a sexy V neck feature in both the front and back neckline. It comes with two different skirt lengths including a pretty gathered hem option.  You can even add an elastic waistband if you want some waist shaping. What really sold me on this pattern was the cut out pocket detail.

My fabric choice was this jacquard double cloth.  Made with a blend of cotton, rayon and linen, it has a light, airy feel and drape but it is not so light as to need a lining.

Rocco double cloth in plum.

I cold water machine washed and machine dried (to still a little damp) the fabric.  While it became more textured, there was minimal (4%) shrinkage in both length and width. Suggested yardage is 2.4m however, I found I only needed 2m.  I am good at Tetris! Based on my bust measurement, I chose to make a size 12.

Sauvie Dress and body measurements.

Besides marking which fabric side was the wrong side (it’s easy to mix it up), the first thing I did was stabilize the front and back neck in the garment fabric. Previous experience with fabrics that have give (because of the puckered texture of the fabric) showed me that staystitching is not enough. Instead, I used the front and back neck interfacing pattern pieces provided and cut them out in a wash away stabilizer (or you could use a tear away) and basted them in. I also did this for the pocket openings.

I find staystitching is insufficient in stabilizing fabrics with give. Instead, I cut “facing pieces” out of wash away stabilizer.

Another suggestion is to reinforce the point of the V neck by shortening your stitch length once you get to about 1.5cm or 1/2″ before and after the point.  This way, when you clip into the point, the fabric won’t fray past the stitching. I used a light weight cotton lawn for my lining simply for ease of sewing.  The rest of the construction is pretty easy.

I used a light cotton lawn for the half lining that finishes the neckline and armholes.

I chose to do the pocket bag instead of the sewn in pocket.  Maybe it was because of the weight of the pocket or the personality of the fabric or some combination of the two, but I found the side seams dragged down.  There was a noticeable difference in the hem at the side seams versus the front or back. I had to ask for help in measuring a straight hemline.

Something happened that caused the side seams to drag down.

I also felt the weight of the pocket bags deformed the pocket opening.  Again, this could be because of the drapiness and weight of the fabric.

The weight of the pocket bag seemed to deform the pocket opening.

Body measurement guide for Sew House Seven.

While the bust darts lined up perfectly to my bust line, I found the pockets were positioned too low for me. The Sew House Seven website lists a size 12 back neck to waist measurement as 16.26″ or 42.25cm.  My back neck to waist measurement is 15.5″ or 39.37cm.  When I make this again, I will look at lifting the pocket opening at least 1″ if not 2″.

I think this is a very comfortable and versatile design. Bonus is that the neckline doesn’t gape when I bend over. Dress it up with wearing some make up and heels or go casual with a sun hat and flip flops. I see myself wearing this for all sorts of occasions. In fact, I have this navy jacquard already cut out (with my amendments) and ready to sew!


Want to see the dress “in the flesh”? It is on display at the store.