Last year I made a summer Sureau out of some gorgeous Cloud 9 organic voile, but I only wore it a couple of times. I thought voile would be the perfect thing for a summer dress, but the print I bought was very light in color, so I had to line it. The lining made the dress unbearable in the heat, so I never really wanted to wear the dress. I believe I’ve previously mentioned that this summer, I discovered that dark printed voiles are magical summer fabrics. Light enough in weight to keep you cool and dark enough in color to not need lined. When I bought a pile of dark printed voiles a few months ago, I earmarked one of them for a new summer Sureau, and it is much better than last year’s version!
I made this one out of a Pat Bravo printed voile from Art Gallery. It’s from the Etno line and it’s called Shore Remains in Algae. In the little images online stores use to sell this fabric, the background looks sort of brown or grey, but it’s actually a dark navy blue that looks pretty much black. I never would have ordered it if I thought it had a brownish greyish background, but I saw photos of the actual fabric on Hawthorne Threads so I knew I liked the way it actually looked.
This was probably my least favorite of all the voiles when I bought them, but the dress has gotten a ton of compliments and I like the color more than I thought I would, so it’s moved up in the rankings.
As with my latest versions of McCall’s 6696, I very unscientifically added a little extra at the side seams to accommodate weight gain. The dress ended up a little bigger than necessary, but it’s supremely comfortable, so I left it as is. I am so loving my loose breezy dresses this summer!
The buttons are just cheapies from Joann’s I had lying around. They’re a sort of iridescent shell, but it’s hard to tell in the picture. I looked everywhere for buttons that would match the light blue triangles in the print, but it turned out to be a really difficult color to match. I settled for sort of matching the cream flower petals.
I’m really glad I redeemed the concept of the summer Sureau with a a better fabric choice! I really love the Sureau – I think the neckline is flattering, and I love that the gathering at the bust means fewer darts. The skirt also seems to have the perfect amount of gathering – not so much that it’s poufy and just enough that the skirt looks appropriately gathered.
I still have a few of my summer dresses to post, but I’ve been sewing in the meantime. I’ve been working on another 6696 (my sixth!) that’s trying to kill me, and I’m also making a knit Belladone. I made one before but never got around to posting it; here’s a quick picture I took back when I made it:
I loved that dress but the knit was pretty crappy and got pills all over it right away.
I’ve also been working on a pile of muslins. Since it worked out so well to cut a bunch of dresses out at once and sew them all up, I decided I’d give a try to cutting a bunch of muslins at once. I posted a picture of them to Instagram, though it’s hard to see which patterns they are:
I’ve got Butterick 6168, McCall’s 6503, McCall’s 6891, Simplicity 1803, and Simplicity 1873. I’ve got the fit sorted on the two Simplicities and McCall’s 6891, but McCall’s 6503 is giving me major fit issues, ugh. Butterick 6168 doesn’t have a side bust dart because it has under bust pleats. But I still need a side dart, so I’m trying to figure out if I should add one or if I should somehow figure out how to rotate it into the pleats. But I hope to finish up my knit Belladone and my 6696 soon so I can get started on sewing a few of these up as final summer patterns. It might seem late to be sewing summer dresses, but it will be pretty hot through September, and I’ll need lots of clothes because I’m going to be teaching five days a week instead of three this fall. Wish me luck with teaching and sewing for teaching!