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


My New Garden Midi Dress: Oceanside by Itch to Stitch

Oceanside Dress 10.1

Kennis Wong is a designer from Hong Kong with an eye for detail. I know this about her patterns, and I adore it. Before jumping into every test, I understand that there will be more options for detailing and finishing that initially meet the eye, and this new dress is no exception! The Oceanside Dress releases today and contains a sweet inset “v” cutout at the neckline and sleeves that “v” down at the sides for gorgeous color-blocking options:

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 9.16.05 AM.png

After checking out my closet and seeing the desperate need for midi-length, I chose to lengthen my skirt for the perfect summer-garden midi dress!

Using solids for part of my color-blocking allowed my floral to stand out without being overwhelming. Both my floral and deep raisin solid fabrics were from Sly Fox Fabrics, and the blush pink liverpool was from Pretty Posh Prints.

Oceanside Dress 6

As far as fit, this style is very forgiving and highlights the beautiful features of women. I measured a “0” up top and a “2” at the waist and hips and sewed a straight 2. The bodice gathers into the fitted waistband so nicely, allowing that fit/flare look with a beautiful loose/blouse bodice.

It’s so comfortable that I actually garden in this dress before heading out to enjoy friends and more pleasantries of summer.

Will I sew it again?

AbsolutelyThis style allows for many solid and pattern color-blocking combinations; and with such a different look depending on length, I could sure use a few more of these in my wardrobe!

Be sure to join the Itch to Stitch Facebook group for a special discount code and share your new Oceanside Dress on the Facebook page so we can be inspired!


Disclaimer: The pattern links in this post are affiliate links; I’m so happy that you were inspired to buy the pattern via my creations! I am affiliated with most of the pattern companies I test for, and this in no way shapes my response or promotion. I only test for companies I respect and only share patterns I adore!

Adding Built-In Cups to the George & Ginger Edgy Top

Edgy Top Coachella Shorts 1

I bought the Edgy Top yesterday in preparation for the upcoming George & Ginger Swimsuit sew-along and wanted to test out the size as well as adding one element that I knew I’d need–cups! From my experience, I end up wearing strapless tops way less than other clothing items because my store-bought strapless bras are ill-fitting and a hassle to keep up.

So I decided to add cups to my tank as well as my upcoming suit so that I’d get the most use out of both!

*Please excuse the poor image quality of the upcoming tutorial; it was late, I was in my basement, and I had my 50mm lens and no extra hands! I know you’re gracious, though, so LET’S DO THIS!

  1. First, you’ll want to trace out the inner lining of the shirt to create a “shelf bra” or Bandeau. Use the front piece of your top, and cut right around it.

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 3

2. To determine how far down you want your Bandeau to go, hold the top up to your body, lining the shoulder seam to your shoulder the under arm seam to your armpit; mark the apex/nipple point of your breasts. Hold those points, and mark with a washable sewing marker, chalk etc.

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 5

3. Next, lay your cups down flat on the top, matching the apex points with the center of the cups. Press them flat against the fabric, and cut below that mark (I cut about 1” below that mark). Also cut a band piece about 75% the length of the bottom of your Bandeau. You can use the arm band as a guide for width.

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 4

4. Pin the cups to your top flat (I didn’t photograph this, but your top will look like the picture above; add pins to your cups, getting them as flat as possible). Use a zigzag stitch, and stitch right on the edge of the cups, securing them to your top. When you are finished, the other side of your top will look like the picture below. This will be the side that faces the shirt, not the skin (the actual pads will face the skin).

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 7

5. Fold your bottom band in half (wrong sides together) and iron. Align the raw edges of your bottom band and Bandeau, right sides together. This is the same technique as you’ll use to add the arm bands or neckband. Pull the band (not the Bandeau) as you stitch or serge the band to the top.

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 9

6. Baste the sides of your Bandeau to the wrong side of your Edgy top, the cups facing you. This will help keep it in place when serging the tops together.

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 8

7. Next baste the neck of the Bandea and Edgy top as well as the arm opening (horrible pic below). Again, this just helps make these two front layers into “one” layer so that you can finish the construction of your Edgy top.

8. Complete the construction of your Edgy top per the George & Ginger instructions! Enjoy your new top and not having to figure out a bra 😀

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 1

Edgy Top Shelf Bra Tutorial 2


You can buy the Edgy Top HERE on Etsy — and remember to start from Ebates for your Etsy purchases to get cash back! LOVE saving those pennies for more pretties!

Shorts are the Women’s Coachella shorts from Striped Swallow Designs; I will be featuring them in more detail on my blog soon!




Blog at

Up ↑