Seaside Dress – Freshwater Approved! My Woven and Knit Creations with the Seamingly Smitten Pattern

Seaside Dress Collage

When Seamingly Smitten invited me to do a summer guest blog, my eyes gravitated immediately to the Seaside Dress. The combination of blouse-looking top with the gathered, pocketed skirt is exactly the style I’ve been oogling this summer. I’m pretty sure I printed the pattern and sewed my first version the same day–and that included making a fabric run for the perfect chambray. I was headed to the lake on vacation, and I needed this dress with me at the beach. 😍

This pattern is suitable for both woven and knits, so let’s get on with it. I’ll share a few tips and what I did to create the best fit for each fabric type. [p.s. if you’re grabbing the pattern now, use code SUMMER20 to save 20%, valid for 48 hours]

Version 1: Woven

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 1

For this style, I chose a striped chambray from Hobby Lobby that I had already seen online and knew would be perfect for this style. The pockets are a polka dot chambray also from Hobby Lobby. In this pattern, I measured XS bust, S waist, and XS hip. For the woven style, I chose to make a straight Small since this was my non-stretch version and the elasticized waist would create a fitted look.

I did not color-block either of my versions. I used the full top for the bodice (no inserts). It was just the look I wanted for these two versions–and I’ll definitely be sewing more to try out the color-blocking.

 

The fit turned out perfect in woven; and I was right–I lived in this at the beach. The style is classy yet modest…and definitely mom-approved!

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 4

Woven Sewing Tip: Because we don’t have the grace of stretch when sewing with wovens, there are a few tricks to get a perfect fit when connecting the bodice to the skirt. My skirt ended up being wider than my bodice, and this could have been for several reasons (my pocket placement, seam allowance etc.). I simply used a basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine) and slightly gathered my skirt before connecting it to my bodice (and before adding elastic). The gathering was minimal, and it didn’t affect the proceeding steps (creating the casing etc.).

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 2

I also have tips for creating a nice, crisp “v” –and I’ll share those toward the end of the post.

Version 2: Knit

Seaside Dress Knit Floral Seamingly Smitten 3.1

For my knit version, I used single brushed poly “Herb” from Sly Fox Fabrics for the bodice,  “Joy” in sage single brushed poly for the skirt, and single brushed “Moss” for the pockets. Again, I didn’t use fabric from my stash. I had a vision, and I went with it!

For my knit version, I sewed a straight XS (measurements were XS bust, S waist, XS hip). I knew I had more leeway with knits; and I’d recommend this to others sewing the pattern as well: if you’re between sizes, choose larger for woven and smaller for knit.

 

I can’t say enough how awesome these pockets are with the gathered skirt style! I’m not even a big pocket user, but I want them for looks. I’m all about the pockets this season 🙌

 

Waistband Elastic Tip: As with any pattern, I recommend taking your elastic and circling it right around your waist. I do this every time to see what length is most comfortable (depending on where I’d like the elastic to sit). I ended up cutting my elastic about 1” shorter than the pattern recommendations.

“V” Neckline Tips: Lastly, I want to leave you with a few tips to get that crisp “V” neckline. This is another feature that I love about the pattern. I don’t sew enough v-necks, and they can be intimidating for many. This style uses a facing, so once we sew the facing, we flip it to the wrong side of the garment. If you’re new to v-styles, you’ll love this.

Step 1: Start stitching 1.5-2” from your “V”

Anytime I sew a “v,” I want my concentration to be on the most integral part–that center “v.” To ensure that I get the “v” right, I start stitching just before the “v” and then continue around the rest of the neckline. You can see where my presser foot is; this is where I’m beginning to stitch the facing.

Seaside Tutorial 2

Next, per the tip in the pattern, when you get down to the “v” point, keep your presser foot down, pivot your needle to stitch straight forward, and use your hand-crank to crank two stitches forward. Then, with needle down, pivot again to face the other edge of your “v” and continue stitching the remainder of the neckline. Those couple stitches in the middle of the “v” allow the fabric to turn more easily with less bulge.

Seaside Tutorial 3

Here is what the inside of my neckline looks like with the facing, before I’ve flipped it to the other side.

Seaside Tutorial 4

Then, snip as close to that “v” as you can, without going through the stitches. I also snip one on each side as well. This eliminates bulge.

Seaside Tutorial 5

Once we flip the facing to the wrong-side of the fabric, it’s time to topstitch. Again, I start near my “v” to keep my concentration on that center point. Otherwise, I can easily get lost in my sewing and might be careless by the time I get to the “v.”

Seaside Tutorial 6

Once you’ve completed your Seaside Dresses, I want to see them! Be sure to share them in the Seamingly Smitten Facebook Group and use the hashtag #SeasideDress so we can easily find them!

Happy sewing!

Seaside Dress Knit Floral Seamingly Smitten 1

Versatility of the Sazerac Shift Dress: Boho Dress, Nightie, and Swimsuit Coverup

Shift dresses have increased in popularity within the last few years as part of the beautiful Boho trend. I adore Boho, yet I try to avoid the “frumpy” look. The Sazerac Shift Dress by Seamingly Smitten was my perfect option for both a chambray/fringe boho style I wanted for winter and a sheer chiffon nightie I wanted for Valentine’s Day. The versatility of the pattern definitely has put this pattern on the must-keep radar for me.

Features

There are a few key elements I love about the shift dress. #1. We can use wovens! We knit lovers have wovens in our stash but rarely use them; this is a great opportunity! #2. It has a clean neckline (and easy! …just fold down and stitch). #3. The pattern includes optional cuffs. To me, this just pulls the dress together. I like the free-flowing sleeve option; but when it comes down to it, I’m more of a structured gal 🙂

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Versatility

How neat is it that I can use the same pattern for a dress and a nightie…and let’s be honest…a swimsuit cover-up? You get my vote!

Now…let’s talk about the two main styles I made. The first is a woven chambray with graphite fringe trim. I truly adore this look for winter.

The width of the dress is pretty large, even for the “xs” size, so if you like a more fitted look (like below), you’ll want to take in the sides 1-2” (on each side). It’s an easy adjustment and allows you to have both the larger shift and slender shift options.

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Now…the nightie! I chose sheer chiffon from Pretty Posh Prints for a modest yet sexy Valentine’s nightie.

nightie-shift-dress-9

I took the sides in 1” but didn’t have to alter the shift pattern in any other way. And because I tire of nighties pretty quickly, this will definitely become a swimsuit cover-up by summer! Mamas always have a plan 🙂

I just love the mint and polka dots. It makes my heart happy.

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my sewing friends!! Make something that allows you to feel gorgeous…because love begins with loving you.

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PATTERN LINK: Seamingly Smitten’s Sazerac Shift Dress

FABRIC LINK: Pretty Posh Prints

Seamingly Smitten Showcase: The Lesley Flutter Sleeve Top

Although the first glance at the Seamingly Smitten Lesley flutter sleeve top gives a nice summery vibe, I knew right away it’d be a perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. In fall and winter, I get cold. I’m always looking for extra layers and beautiful styles that showcase both elegance and practicality.

When I found super soft hacci sweater knit from Love Adore Fabrics, my fall vision was complete!

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We happened to have a gorgeous 70-degree NOVEMBER day in Michigan, so I opted for nothing underneath, but with a long sleeve under the hacci, I’d be wearing the cutest poncho-looking flutter around. I mean…check out these sleeves!

jennifer-flutter-sleeve-top-9

The pattern was super simple to put together. There is hemming (neck, full sides, and bottom); the majority of the pattern is hemming. But it’s somehow soothing. And when the hemming is complete, we sew a couple of lines, and Voilà! We have a sweet addition to our fall wardrobe. Or really…summer…spring…winter. I love how versatile the style is. Can’t you just envision it with sequins for New Years?!

Style AND mama approved? That’s a Yes in my book.

 

 

Feature Pattern: Lesely Flutter Sleeve Top by Seamingly Smitten

Feature Fabric: Hacci sweater knit by Love Adore fabric shop. Also on Facebook.

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