Poppin’ Poplin!


04 Jul Poppin’ Poplin!


IMG_0033You survived another year, and I made a new dress to celebrate!


One of the things I look for when shopping online are fabrics that will work well together, and I had no doubts about these off-white and navy Celtic inspired stretch cotton poplins. from Mood Fabrics.

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Cotton poplin with the addition of spandex is a dream come true for casual Summer sewing!  Crisp, lightweight and minimal wrinkling –  what more can I want?

Using my own pattern I sewed the bodice with the navy background poplin saving the reverse fabric for the collar, placket and lower band.


I generally make lower bands similar to a double folded bias tape equally encasing the lower edge on the front and back, but I was short on fabric and was forced to be creative. After cutting a four inch band and folding under 1/2 inch, I stitched the right side of the facing to the wrong side of the dress and flipped it to the right side of the dress.

lower band wrong side

The technique resulted in a nice finish to the inside of the dress. I finished the band by topstitching the band’s upper edge.

The busy design was perfect for the 16″ back darts I used to get the fitted back I was seeking, (not available in RTW!  The fitted back is strictly a benefit of sewing 😉 ).


The darts completely disappeared into the print.


Due to the poplin’s crisp nature, the collar is standing at attention with only a lightweight tricot interfacing (also applied to the placket).

IMG_0017But best  of all, thanks to the added spandex, the dress did not need a zipper!

Not only should cotton poplins be preshrunk but I noticed the fabric retracts very slightly after cutting. I recommend cutting along the outer edge of the cutting line or marking your seam lines  in case of a small retraction.

Both of the cotton poplins are still available, however Mood also offers a large selection of stretch poplins, including Liberty of London designs. Check them out HERE!

And with that, I believe it’s time to celebrate! So here’s to great fabrics, especially Mood Fabrics, here’s to fun Summer sewing and most importantly, here’s to our great nation, the United States of America!


Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday 🙂





  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 05:46h, 04 July Reply

    Super cute dress! I can’t believe there are darts in that back! It looks great on you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:51h, 04 July Reply

      Thank you, Cindy! It’s a perfect fabric for darts 🙂

  • Beryl Koster
    Posted at 07:43h, 04 July Reply

    I absolutely admire your capabilities, and choice of colour!
    ! My only critique is that it might be time to lower you hems…..I had the same problem….fashions change, but being such a perfectionist, I got a little left behind with current trends,.
    Please don’t take offense, it was not meant to be.!………….Just a suggestion!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:50h, 04 July Reply

      No offense taken! I agree sometimes I go a little short – I need to quit asking for my husband’s opinion 😉

      • Miss J
        Posted at 10:11h, 04 July Reply

        I think somehow that the lovely shape of the neckline and the pattern on the poplin would have balanced nicely with a slightly longer hem. However, your husband’s opinion is still valid as you have great legs!

        • goodbyevalentino
          Posted at 08:08h, 05 July Reply

          LOL – Thank you, Miss J.
          I almost left the band off to give the dress a longer appearance, but couldn’t resist the band. It may have looked better proportioned one inch longer, however I’m likely to wear the dress more with flats which go better with the shorter length 😉

          • Cynthia Studrawa
            Posted at 23:47h, 26 September

            Actually, I was just looking at your photos and thinking that the length of the dress was just perfect – short enough for the summer heat and long enough for modesty. I don’t think you should change a thing 🙂

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 08:06h, 04 July Reply

    What a great make! Love the use of the 2 fabrics….it elevates the dress with the band, collar and front placket. Such a sophisticated look of our red white and blue….red slides are perfect….YOU have a good ability to match fabric with pattern. Happy 4th, my friend.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:21h, 04 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Laura, and Happy 4th to you too!!!

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 08:07h, 04 July Reply

    Happy 4th sweet Sarah! Love the dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:21h, 04 July Reply

      Thank you, dear Becky 🙂

  • Beth Huntington
    Posted at 08:48h, 04 July Reply

    You have such a good eye for fabric, Sarah. I always learns so much from you. Happy 4th of July!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:10h, 05 July Reply

      Likewise, Beth and many thanks for your comment!

  • Ann Cook
    Posted at 08:59h, 04 July Reply

    Hi there,

    Gorgeous fit…back and armholes are perfect ! you said this was your own pattern, was it drafted based off an earlier tunic you made ? in that post you said you were in pursuit of the perfect tunic pattern, something i am also pursuing. it looks like you took the time to perfectly match the circle motif at the bottom of the placket with the dress to maintain the symmetry of the print….nice attention to detail. lastly, i really like the wider placket, collar and hem band…the proportions and opposing fabric make the statement.,,no further embellishment needed ! Ann

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:18h, 05 July Reply

      Ann- I was determined to match the motif, otherwise one would get dizzy looking at it!
      Through mixing pattern pieces, tracing RTW garments and an enormous amount of tweaking, I have arrived at my own pattern. I like the wider placket too as it opens up the neckline. Thank you so much for your nice comment.

  • Emily
    Posted at 09:32h, 04 July Reply

    If you told me this was a $400 Tory Burch, I’d believe you! Gorgeous work–wow!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:23h, 05 July Reply

      LOL – what a compliment, Emily – many thanks !! I’ve tried on many Tory Burch tunics and have yet to find one that fits me just right – thank goodness for sewing 🙂

  • Madeline
    Posted at 10:11h, 04 July Reply

    Love the dress. You do have a way with fabrics, I also learn a lot from you. I will have to try the cotton poplin as I am in need of summer clothes! As for the length of that dress, I agree with your husband! You have great lega and fashion is all over the place when it comes to length! I wear what makes me feel good and what puts a smile on my husbands face 😉

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:26h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Madeline! I think stretch cotton poplin is a perfect summer fabric due to it’s drape and versatility. As for length – it’s summertime and I prefer a shorter length for casual clothes – great legs or not 🙂

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 10:41h, 04 July Reply

    Great dress! Happy Fourth of July!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:27h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you, Cheryl! I hope you had a good one 🙂

  • Elaine Davies
    Posted at 11:53h, 04 July Reply

    Perfect fit, perfect length on you! You’re a petite lady so the length suits you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:27h, 05 July Reply

      Many thanks, Elaine! What I would give for four more inches!

  • Starla
    Posted at 12:20h, 04 July Reply

    That is absolutely adorable! I think Mood is about to sell out of that fabric!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:28h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you, Starla! There are plenty of other stretch poplins should Mood sell out of this one!

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 13:30h, 04 July Reply

    I love how you used the two prints together – very striking! It’s a great summer dress! You have a wonderful 4th of July too.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:39h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you, Carolyn! Finding fabrics that work well together online is not so easy 😉

  • Jennifer Shaw
    Posted at 13:49h, 04 July Reply

    Your dress is fantastic and you look so gorgeous!! Happy Fourth of July to you, too!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:39h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Jennifer!

  • Jean OReilly
    Posted at 14:12h, 04 July Reply

    Inspiring!! Thank you,

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:40h, 05 July Reply

      Many thanks, Jean 😉

  • Art Attack
    Posted at 15:36h, 04 July Reply

    Perfect in every way, Sarah. Love it Happy and safe 4th to you and yours. XO Dorcas

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:40h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Dorcas! I hope you had a good one 🙂

  • Margo
    Posted at 16:35h, 04 July Reply

    Chic as always! Gorgeous print, so fresh! Thanks for the tips on this fabric, I love that you didn’t have to put a zip in this dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:41h, 05 July Reply

      Many thanks, Margo! Foregoing the zipper delighted me 😉

  • Barbara Byrne
    Posted at 16:53h, 04 July Reply

    Beautiful work, beautiful fabric!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:41h, 05 July Reply

      Many thanks, Barbara!

  • Tomasa
    Posted at 19:16h, 04 July Reply

    Your dress is gorgeous. I love how you combined the 2 prints – perfect. It also fits you beautifully.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:42h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you Tomasa! I am so pleased with the fit.

  • Sandra
    Posted at 20:36h, 04 July Reply

    What a fabulous summer dress – I love the contrast of the same print and the stand up collar is fabulous. This suits you 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:43h, 05 July Reply

      Hi Sandra! Thank you so much 🙂

  • Mimi
    Posted at 18:04h, 05 July Reply

    Love this dress, mom!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:07h, 05 July Reply

      Thank you, Mimi!

  • Lisa C in Dallas
    Posted at 18:10h, 05 July Reply

    What a lovely dress! I agree that it looks like a Tory Burch – except better! Navy and white are always winners (so why so much black in the stores?) and everything about the dress is perfection. I think the length is great on you.

  • goodbyevalentino
    Posted at 19:09h, 05 July Reply

    Many thanks, Lisa! It fits better than a Tory Burch (as much as I adore her tunics) and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result 🙂

  • Lin Burley
    Posted at 20:17h, 05 July Reply

    Great Job! You certainly do have an eye for fabrics….I go to Mood- and come home empty handed- Just way too much to take in for me…..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:54h, 06 July Reply

      Many thanks, Lin! Did I read you correctly? Empty-handed you say? 😉
      LOL – I know what you mean and that happened to me at M and J Trimming.

  • Marguerite
    Posted at 13:09h, 06 July Reply

    Love this dress! I think the length is fine. Patti Palmer always says to let your legs be the guide to how high the hem goes not age. She’s right. I’ve seen young girls with not very shapely legs trying to pull off a mini by virtue of youth and it doesn’t work! Your legs are very nice looking and that’s through all eyes, not just hubby’s!
    Also , once again your armholes fit perfectly! Yay for sewing! That’s always an area of poor fit in RTW. But you’ve arrived at the perfect fit. Always fun to read your posts!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:29h, 06 July Reply

      Thanks so much, Marguerite! I suppose hemlines are a matter of personal taste and this seemed right for me and for this dress especially in July. Fitting has become my sewing obsession this year – thank you for noticing the armholes 🙂 🙂 !

  • Alex in California
    Posted at 13:53h, 06 July Reply

    A warm summer day allows for a shorter hem especially one made as tasefully as yours. I like the dress length very much. I know women usually dress for other women but we men will be truthful when it comes to dress length. It’s not like when a woman will ask if a dress makes her look fat. It’s a wonderful summer dress not a cocktail dress where it would look too short. I agree with your husband – you’ve got good gams!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:30h, 06 July Reply

      LOL – I like how you think Alex 😉 Many thanks for the great comment 😉

  • celeste
    Posted at 14:03h, 06 July Reply

    This dress is wonderful, and it is not too short. I cannot imagine how steamy summers must be in your area; I believe that dress is perfectly appropriate for you and the summer time weather. Is there really enough stretch to remove it without a zipper? That seems amazing to me, but I have not had much experience with stretch wovens.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:33h, 06 July Reply

      Thank you, Celeste for your comment! You know it’s been hot when 90 (F) degrees is a relief.
      I’ve found the stretch varies immensely in wovens, but to answer your question – Yes, there is enough stretch to remove this dress without a zipper – I promise I wasn’t being lazy – just thrilled 😉

  • sbzurenda
    Posted at 14:36h, 06 July Reply

    Mighty cute!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:40h, 06 July Reply

      Thanks so much, Susie! 🙂

  • Gayle
    Posted at 18:18h, 06 July Reply

    The length is good on you. You’re still young so why should you dress like an old lady! And you have the legs for it; lucky you!
    The dress is beautifully made as usual and it fits well. Perfect!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:12h, 06 July Reply

      Many thanks, Gayle! I’m not as young as I used to be but the length is comfortable for me 😉

  • NaTisha
    Posted at 22:54h, 06 July Reply

    Love the dress. Wow 16 inch back darts. I’m still new to certain techniques and can do a dart perfectly from a pattern but wish I knew how to create darts without patterns. I could then add them to garments as needed to perfect the fit.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:09h, 07 July Reply

      Thank you, Natisha! Back darts are easy to add without a pattern and there are lots of tutorials available to help you 🙂 Once you start fitting yourself you’ll never be able to stop!

  • Renee Gibson
    Posted at 16:10h, 07 July Reply

    This dress is wonderful in every way! I love tunics that are semi fitted yet comfortable. This has inspired me to continue my quest for great tunic style dresses and tops. Did you base your pattern on any commercial pattern or combination of patterns?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:30h, 07 July Reply

      Thank you, Renee! My pattern is based on a combination of RTW garments, a number of sewing patterns and LOTS of tweaking! The good news is I found it and you will too 🙂 🙂

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 23:32h, 09 July Reply

    Hi! Love the tunic and the fabric! Somehow I didn’t get a notice of your last 2 entries – this one and the cute apron.I just
    discovered this as i was cruising during my late night – just a few more minutes – that lasts much too long – look
    at the internet! Alas! I hope I haven’t been dropped!!!!! ML

  • Sonja
    Posted at 11:25h, 11 July Reply

    This is glorious! Such a pretty dress!

  • Julie
    Posted at 13:06h, 23 July Reply

    What a lovely dress! I’ve looked at many of the pictures you’ve posted here of the beautiful pieces you’ve sewn and I think the length of your dress is just right for your frame. I wouldn’t go much longer (if at all).

    I’ve been a sewer most all my life and your blog inspires me to refresh my approach and try out some more challenging things. I love the fabric choices you’ve made and will have to check out Mood Fabrics.

  • CarolinasCallin
    Posted at 21:31h, 03 April Reply

    How did I miss this dress??? Adorable! Love the details, too. You could sell your pattern! I’d buy one in a heart beat. All RTW dresses like this – even the LPs – tend to be a little short waisted on me, so I’m in constant need of a good fitting summer dress. Love it!

  • Nancy S.
    Posted at 12:27h, 04 July Reply

    I think the dress looks perfect the way it is, especially if you plan to wear it with flats. Perhaps my older iPad ia playing tricks on me but did I somehow miss what pattern you used for this adorable dress? Thanks.

  • Maria D.
    Posted at 13:41h, 12 January Reply

    I just found your blog and I can just read this for hours!!! I LOVE it!! I used to sew many years ago, had kids and found myself too busy to do it anymore but have been contemplating going back to doing what I so love to do…sew! You have inspired me. I’m getting together with friends for “Craft Day”, we’ve all been talking about doing this and are finally going to do it! I’ve been looking for an ‘idea’ of a dress to make and came across the black & white dress you made from Vogue 9022 – which led me to your blog! Not only have you inspired me to definitely get back to sewing, but you’ve inspired me to make that dress! I’ll post pics when I can but just want to send you a sincere THANK YOU for bringing back the excitement of sewing. Thank you!! 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:46h, 12 January Reply

      Your comment made my day! Sewing has changed so much over the years and I think you’ll love what you find this time around. Good luck and many thanks for your wonderful comment 🙂

      • Maria D.
        Posted at 14:49h, 12 January Reply

        Thank YOU! And I forgot to mention…. you make beautiful clothes!!!! Looking forward to doing more reading! ^_^

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