The August Dress

This is going to be a wordy and picture heavy post…you have been warned!

When I came up with the 12 Month Dress Challenge(wherein I make a new dress each month for 12 months), I pretty much had the whole year planned out by what dress I’d make each month.  I’ve stuck to the plan for the most part, but this dress definitely wasn’t on my “plan” since I just bought the fabric about a month ago.

My mom and I were out shopping at Hancock Fabrics looking for fabric for me to make her some dresses and skirts when I came across the fabric that would eventually become the August Dress.  It was pretty much love at first sight, but I hesitated because it had a print…I mean…I don’t usually wear prints outside of stripes, polka dots or florals.  In fact, I looked through my closet and I own nothing with any prints beyond the typical stripes, polka dots, plaids and florals.  So I didn’t buy the fabric, but I couldn’t get it off my mind.

Later that day, mom and I saw a blouse at Banana Republic that looked as it had been made from the fabric I’d almost purchased earlier that day.  Not having time to return to Hancock that day, my mom told me she’d go by after work the next day and pick up a few yards for me.

My original plan was to just make a blouse(and I’m still planning on doing that), but then I saw a printed dress somewhere….I can’t even remember where it was but it was a 3/4 sleeve dress with a slightly flared, knife pleated skirt.  Immediately my mind flashed to the nautical fabric and I knew right then and there I wanted to make a dress out of the fabric as well as a blouse.  I told my mom to buy me 4 yards figuring that should be plenty of fabric to accomplish both the dress and the blouse.

I decided to make the dress as my August dress and got to work on it a few weeks ago.  I cobbled together a couple different patterns to get the look I was going for(I actually used the neckline/collar of the pattern I’ll be using to make the blouse, so the blouse and dress will end up looking very similar) and I was really liking the bodice.

I made the collar out of some scraps of navy/white stripe fabric, but I didn’t end up having enough of that fabric left to make the cuffs, so I had to make those plain navy.

I went back and forth on whether to make the skirt a knife pleated affair like I’d seen in my original inspiration, a full skirt or something in-between.  I ended up decided to go with the skirt that came with the bodice I was using.

After I attached the skirt to the bodice, I pinned it to my dress form to see how it was looking and I wasn’t so sure I was going to like the dress at all.  It looked a bit(or a lot) like a nightgown. I consulted with my sister and she agreed that something seemed off.


I thought maybe changing out the skirt for a fuller skirt would solve any issues of nightgownishness….BUT that would mean I wouldn’t have enough fabric left to make my blouse!

Plus, this one’s kind of silly, but I’ve never had seams line up so perfectly as on this dress.  Seriously, every seam on the bodice lined up PERFECTLY with every seam on the skirt.   I hated to let that go to waste.

I decided to go forward with the dress and insert the zipper just to see how it looked and make my decision from there.  The zipper installation gave the dress a lot more shape than it had when I had just pinned it to the dress form.

I tried it on for the hubby and he thought it was great but needed a belt.  SWEET, my dress was saved and I could still make a blouse.

I went really simple on the belt…it’s just a piece of grosgrain ribbon with a snap to keep it on.  The lining is just plain white…nothing special about it, though it is extremely comfortable.

I feel like the dress has a very 40’s vibe, but hubby thought it looked like something Joan(from Mad Men) would’ve worn(which would be in the late 50s/60s).

For some reason, the hem looks like it’s hanging funky in these photos, but I promise it’s not.


Back view.  I used an invisible zipper because they are now my favorite kind of zipper to install.



The tie can be left loose, though I prefer the bow, because of COURSE I do.





{Dress: Made by Me, Shoes: Limited}

This dress is one of the more comfortable ones I’ve made.  I managed to find the right balance between having enough ease without having it look too baggy.



6 thoughts on “The August Dress

  1. Kristin says:

    Love it! I agree with the hubby. Very Mad Men. I love it tied with the bow. Can’t wait to see the blouse you create next!

    • guitargrl325 says:

      Well, I guess I was off on what decade I thought my dress looked like it was from! Not that it matters, I basically love most of the styles from the 40s-60s.

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