There Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blues


23 May There Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blues

What can I say?  I’m in a blue and white phase…. and I wish I had a suntan.


Greetings from Edisto Beach 🙂

Believe it or not I’ve been on the lookout for a simple shift dress with cut-in shoulders for woven fabrics for a long time. While that seems like an easy find I’ve never seen exactly what I had a mind. When I came across Vogue’s newly released top pattern, 9109 I knew the addition of a few more inches would bring about the dress I envisioned.


As you can tell I added more than a few inches – more like 24!

I had no intention of making a silk charmeuse maxi dress but when I draped the fabric over my dress form, I saw water, waves and oceans. The design is perfect for the beach even if the fabric isn’t.

Here it is at home,


but I think it enjoys blowing around in the ocean breeze.


From the pattern illustration below you can see the top is fitted through the lower bust gradually increasing to a slightly looser fit through the hips.


Since my fabric is lightweight, I chose to continue the a-line cut over a straight drop  below the hips. To keep the dress casual, I  left the sides split from just above the knee down, and I kept the dress at ankle-length so I could wear flats.


In addition to the custom-fit cup sizes, the selling point on this pattern was the center back seam allowing  me more control over fitting my narrow back.


I sewed the fabric with the shiny side on the inside of the dress to give it the appearance of a silk twill vs. charmeuse. Turning the shiny side inside made it no more (or less) slippery to sew, and as you can see, the color is very clear on the matte side of the fabric.


Three factors generally determine whether I reccomend a pattern:

1. Alterations involved. At 5’2″ I’m bound to make alterations.

2.  Construction process

3. Final result – was it worth it? Do I like it and will I wear it?

All three get a thumbs up as my only alterations were made in the bodice and overall length. After cutting the fabric which was tricky due to its design, the dress went together quickly and hassle free.  This is the third Vogue pattern I’ve sewn in a row with great success – Go Vogue Go!

…and now….  Let the Summer Begin! 🙂

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!


  • Jeannie Crockett
    Posted at 12:52h, 23 May Reply

    This is absolutely the PERFECT beach dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:14h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Jeannie! I think I’m going to love it 🙂

  • Margaret
    Posted at 12:57h, 23 May Reply

    Love it — nice and simple and great for summer!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:14h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, Margaret! I felt the fabric dictated a simple design.

  • Eleanor Schreyer
    Posted at 13:04h, 23 May Reply

    Thank you for the pattern idea! I wanted a maxi but knits on my body are not the “kindest” I feel…a woven is much more flattering … Leaving more to the imagination. Great use of this pattern. Your dress is beautiful .

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:16h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Eleanor! I’ve seen so many lovely RTW woven maxis, and this pattern just seemed right 😉

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 13:24h, 23 May Reply

    We’ve had nothing but clouds and cold weather here in Oakland, CA. I’m so jealous of beach weather!!! I love your idea of sewing the fabric with the matte side out. And then you have that exquisite slinkiness against your skin!! Great dress. I may copy this idea.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:16h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, Alice 🙂 The sikh side does feel very nice again my skin – an added bonus!

  • JS
    Posted at 13:39h, 23 May Reply

    Very nice.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:17h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, JS 😉

  • Kim Hood
    Posted at 13:43h, 23 May Reply

    What a great dress. I’m sure you will enjoy it all summer.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:18h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Kim! I hope to 😉

  • Fiona M
    Posted at 13:46h, 23 May Reply

    What a lovely, lovely dress! Gorgeous colours on you. Envious of your beautiful beach too. Have a fabulous summer 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:19h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Fiona! Nice clear colors have always been my friend. Best wishes for a wonderful summer to you too 🙂

  • Myra
    Posted at 14:09h, 23 May Reply

    Really great dress Sarah!! You’re absolutely correct, it’s for beach or other wear. (I really like it on the beach thought!) By the way, I did happen to get my hands on some of that Blue and white fabric from your last post, thank you!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:20h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you so much, Myra! Do you just love the neoprene? So glad you scored a piece of that great fabric 😉

  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 15:30h, 23 May Reply

    It’s absolutely a,aging to me that you could see a beach dress in that top pattern! I still have a lot to learn! Love the dress and the beach photos!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:21h, 25 May Reply

      Well, like I said I have been looking for a dress pattern with that exact design 😉 Many thanks for your comment, Cindy !!

  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 15:30h, 23 May Reply

    Oops, typing on my small device here – that’s supposed to be AMAZING!! Haha!

  • Karon Scott
    Posted at 16:02h, 23 May Reply

    I love woven fabrics and making it into a Maxi was a beautiful idea! Such an amazing transformation from top to dress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:22h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you so much, Karon!

  • Denise Dooley
    Posted at 16:31h, 23 May Reply

    Wow, you can feel the breeze in this one. Great photos and such a stylish dress. Is this a washable silk?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:23h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, Denise! Umm….. no it’s not washable silk, another reason it may not be the greatest fabric choice, but I couldn’t resist 😉

  • Lisa Watson
    Posted at 16:49h, 23 May Reply

    Oh my goodness! that dress is absolutely adorable! I love so much that you took a pattern and adapted it to your vision; I love when I can do that and enjoy the outcome. This is a definite winner for you Sarah, it looks wonderful on you. 😀

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:24h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you very much, Lisa! The pattern and dress are definitely keepers 🙂

  • marnie rieber
    Posted at 17:58h, 23 May Reply

    Beautiful. I just purchased this pattern to do the same thing. Marnie

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:24h, 25 May Reply

      Oh good! I do hope you will show me your version 🙂

  • Peace Thyme
    Posted at 21:36h, 23 May Reply

    Lovely summer frock. Well, a beachy frock. Nice job. Beautiful fabric.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:25h, 25 May Reply

      Beachy frock, indeed 😉 Thank you, Peace Thyme!

  • Marla Cooprider
    Posted at 21:46h, 23 May Reply

    I love your blog! I would not have thought to lengthen a top pattern to make a maxi dress but am inspired now! Love your dress and the fabric! I have started using Vogue patterns more and enjoy working with them!

    I am only five feet tall and so have to alter everything. I have narrow shoulders and upper back as well. So I can relate to what you write about alterations for petites and narrow back.


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:28h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you so much, Marla! One thing I have found about using the same pattern designer/company is that alterations become easier and more predictable. It’s also easier to recognize which patterns will work for me. 😉

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 21:49h, 23 May Reply

    This pattern just arrived at my door….but what you did with this little pattern is amazing…brilliant idea. I think I’ll play with this pattern tomorrow.
    Good job, but I’ve learned to expect nothing less…… 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:29h, 25 May Reply

      You’ll have fun with this one, Laura! Maybe your trip is coming up soon or did you just get back?

  • Shirley
    Posted at 02:30h, 24 May Reply

    This dress is really lovely. I would not have thought to add inches to turn this top into a dress. It turned out amazing! I have added this pattern to my wish list in hopes that I may one day duplicate what you have done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:30h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Shirley! It will be an easy alteration 😉

  • Irene
    Posted at 05:57h, 24 May Reply

    Beautiful dress! Nice to see that somewhere there is beach weather.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:31h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Irene! We’ve been lucky with the weather this week, thank goodness 😉

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 07:18h, 24 May Reply

    Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:31h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Becky!

  • kathie Bennett
    Posted at 08:14h, 24 May Reply

    Fun dress!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:31h, 25 May Reply

      Extremely!! Many thanks, Kathie 🙂

  • Eileen
    Posted at 08:21h, 24 May Reply

    So pretty!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 09:38h, 25 May Reply

      Oh, now I have a question for you, Sarah. Did you purchase bias tape or make your own?

      • goodbyevalentino
        Posted at 15:34h, 25 May Reply

        I made my own bias tape. It’s not difficult to make and, in my opinion, looks far better than the purchased tape.
        Many thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Cissie wellons
    Posted at 09:07h, 24 May Reply

    Great use of one of my favorite new patterns. Using the wrong side of the charmeuse puts the silky side next to the body — an added benefit!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:34h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Cissie! Your lovely bird top was my inspiration to buy the pattern, you know 🙂 🙂

  • Marguerite
    Posted at 11:11h, 24 May Reply

    Beautiful! I’m your height and have avoided the maxi dresses ( both now and way back in the 70s!) but may give them a whirl. I too like the cut in armhole style and have found many in vintage patterns on Etsy and EBay. Always a treat to see what you are sewing!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:35h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Marguerite! I find maxis are becoming on us short ladies if we keep it simple 😉 Hope you’ll give one a try!

  • Gayle
    Posted at 11:40h, 24 May Reply

    Beautiful fabric Sarah! Wherever did you find it? Amazing job on matching the pattern too!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:38h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Gayle! I bought this fabric from EmmaOneSock nearly four years ago when I started sewing again 🙂

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 12:12h, 24 May Reply

    Lovely dress and perfect for the beach!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:38h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, Carolyn!

  • Teresa Davey
    Posted at 15:35h, 24 May Reply

    The perfect dress for the beach. The simplicity of the design really shows off that great print. Really like this on you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:39h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Teresa! I thought keeping it simple was definitely the way to showcase the fabric 😉

  • Barbara Carlon
    Posted at 17:38h, 24 May Reply

    I admire your vision from the simple top to a lovely maxi dress. It turned out beautifully.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:39h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you so much, Barbara!

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 23:57h, 24 May Reply

    Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:39h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, Bernadette!

  • SuziB
    Posted at 00:56h, 25 May Reply

    You have made an absolutely magnificent dress! Love everything about it – & am impressed with your vision of creating it from that pattern. I may steal your idea & make a street length version suitable for tossing on in hot weather to go the grocery store!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:41h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you, Suzi. Go ahead and steal away – LOL! I think this pattern has an Eileen Fisher feeling to it and would make a great street length dress 🙂

  • Sew, Jean Margaret
    Posted at 07:56h, 25 May Reply

    Love how you have turned this pattern into the perfect beach maxi. The fabric is perfect too.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:41h, 25 May Reply

      Many thanks, Jean! It was a piece of cake and I may do another one 🙂

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 08:33h, 25 May Reply

    Ahhh…I feel cooler just resting my eyes on this dress! I loved Cissie’s top from this pattern and never thought of lengthening it to a maxi. How smart of you! The fabric couldn’t be more perfect. Enjoy the beach and our spectacular weather.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:42h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you so much, Julie! The weather has been ideal 🙂

  • Linda
    Posted at 10:51h, 25 May Reply

    Pretty dress. Beautiful scenery. They look great together!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:43h, 25 May Reply

      LOL! If only life was always this good 😉 Many thanks, Linda.

  • Sharon kane
    Posted at 09:03h, 26 May Reply

    Another winner! I like the woven maxi too (vs the knit). Thanks for the pattern suggestion and tips to redesign from short to long.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:19h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks, Sharon!! This was such an easy pattern to alter, but it is an equally good top pattern too 🙂

  • Manju
    Posted at 11:44h, 26 May Reply

    Very clever to lengthen this top. Looks beautiful on you and perfect for summer.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:19h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Manju!

  • Ginger
    Posted at 12:11h, 30 May Reply

    This is so pretty! I love the shoulders- really nice cut, as you say! I love this dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:21h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Ginger! The shoulders are cut just right for me – would look great on you too 🙂

  • Karen
    Posted at 16:31h, 31 May Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    What type of seams did you use with the charmeuse?

  • goodbyevalentino
    Posted at 21:23h, 01 June Reply

    For the side and shoulder seams I stitched with a straight seam and finished in the serger. For the back seam I finished the edges in the serger and pressed open after stitching 🙂

Post A Comment