A Summery Dress & Some Spiky Thistle

I think thistle and many other weeds are misunderstood. It’s all a matter of perspective. They make the best out of any situation. They continue to come back no matter what hardships they endure. Wildflowers are strong, free and add beauty to the world. While we may not want weeds in our yards, without them, the world would be a boring place.

When I saw this thistle on the side of the road, I thought it would make the perfect backdrop for a couple of pictures of my new dress. Unfortunately, a couple of pictures is all I got in because there was a sudden influx of passersby.

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I tried to take one of those giant thistle flowers home with me, but there were spikes on everything, including the leaves. Yikes! I don’t think I’d ever been close enough to thistle to realize how “thistle-y” it is. Ha! My penchant for doting on weeds is becoming well-documented. I’m once again guilty of being a weed-lover (No, not that kind of weed. Don’t get the wrong idea, here. ;)), because I think thistle is really cool looking. If I could have taken one of the stalks home with me without getting bloody, I would’ve.

Anyway, let’s talk about the new dress…

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I have made this design several times over the past four years, or so (the ones below are some of the custom orders I did through my Etsy shop). It usually popped up in the form of a top, with a cowl or a split cowl.

100_0867100_1782100_1186My first version of the design was actually a dress with a basic, gathered skirt.

dscn9129I made the dress above back in 2009, so you can see I’ve been working on improving this design for a while. I call the design Verity because it became a signature design for a while in my Etsy shop, Verity Clothing.

I’ve made sleeveless versions, as well as versions with sleeves of varying lengths. You may remember, last fall I made this version of the top.

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For this most recent version of the design, I opted for a simple band around the neckline instead of a cowl (more comfortable for warmer months).

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I recently reworked the pattern for a better fit. I also drafted a skirt, so I’d have the option to make a dress version. I prefer partial circle skirts to gathered skirts nowadays, and I really like the drape of this skirt.

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I still have a couple of little tweaks to make (lengthening the bodice, for one), but I am extremely happy with the fit of this pattern now.

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I know I’m squinting in every picture. It was a cloudy day, but still surprisingly bright.

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I brought my tripod with me while I was out running errands yesterday, and set it up in a few places that looked interesting. I’m getting used to people giving me weird looks, but I still try to find areas that aren’t likely to have a lot of traffic.

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IMG_7450 My favorite part about this design is how many variations I can make. I plan to make a couple of sleeveless tops for the summer months.

There are only three days left in May, and I’m happy to report that I have met my sewing goals for the month. Although I haven’t posted about any new active wear yet this month, I did meet my Me-Made-May goal of making two pieces of active wear. I’ll post about those later this week.

What’s on your sewing table? Did you give yourself a goal for the month?

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37 Responses to A Summery Dress & Some Spiky Thistle

  1. Cute dress! I love the fabric AND the thistle :) And how awesome to have a go-to pattern that YOU MADE!

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! I’ve had this fabric for awhile. I’m glad I finally used it. Drafting my own patterns makes sewing even more fun. :)

  2. Kelly says:

    I love it! The fit looks perfect and it is so cute on you :) I didn’t have a lot of goals except to make it to the end of the month, and it has been great. I feel even more motivated to have an all handmade wardrobe!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! It is definitely an accomplishment just to make it through the month, especially keeping up with taking the pictures everyday. I’d say your well on your way to having an all handmade wardrobe, and a cute one at that! :)

  3. Lauren says:

    love this dress! how do you make a partial circle skirt?

  4. JacqC says:

    The fabric is so pretty and I really like the styling with the belt and shoes picking out different colours :)

  5. Kathryn says:

    This is lovely! The fabric is gorgeous and I really like the fit. I know you said you’re going to lengthen the bodice but I like it as is, more empire waist style. Looks like a great versatile pattern.
    I love Thistles too, they’re my National flower!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! I’m glad to have finally used this fabric from my stash. It’s a nice casual fit. The length of the bodice isn’t terrible, and it really doesn’t bother me much. However, ideally the seam should sit just below the bust, and it tends to ride up a bit.

      Thistles really are cool. It’s a great National flower to have. Maybe I’ll get to see the thistles in Scotland one day. :-) My husband and I would both love to visit there someday.

  6. larakrjacobs says:

    What beautiful fabric and a lovely shape. I have big plans to make a dress that I literally dreamt about a few years ago, but I’m moving house soon and at the moment my sewing room is storing a million other items. So I may need to address that issue first! xxx

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! Ooo, I can’t wait to see your dream dress. I’m sure it will be stunning. It’s understandable that you can’t sew it yet. It’s difficult to get any sewing in when you’re in the process of moving. I know how frustrating it can be. Hopefully, you’ll be settled soon and get to sewing again. :)

  7. What a darling dress, and I love the simplicity of it–no wrapping or twisting, just pull it on and you are all set. I agree with Kathryn that the length of the bodice looks very nice as is. I struggle with getting that just right too. For us shorties with a chest, there’s not a lot of room right there, and it so often ends up just a smidge too short or long. From your pics, it looks perfect at that length without the belt, but with the belt perhaps another 1/2″ of bodice length would be better.

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! It’s nice to have something simple to throw on and run out the door. It can definitely be a struggle to get the fit right when your short and of even a moderate bust size. I agree, when I wear it with the belt, it tends to ride up, so I need just that smidge of extra length. Thanks for the imput.

  8. So cute! In love with the print.

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! The print is so fun and bright print that it’s difficult not to be in a happy mood while wearing it. :)

  9. Roxanne says:

    Love the fabric and the design. It’s so summery! I agree that the bodice might need to be lenghtened a smidge, but overall, a versatile pattern I would love to own!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! Yeah, it won’t take much to get the bodice the right length. I love creating patterns with the potential for a lot of variations.

  10. gingermakes says:

    This is really cute! I love it on you! The colors in the print are super pretty.

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! My favorite part about this dress is how the colors in the print are so vibrant. Perfect for summer.

  11. What a pretty dress! I love the shape, so simple but so flattering, especially with the blue belt, you look fab! Nice shoes too! x

    • Becca says:

      Thanks, Jane! It’s such an easy dress to wear, but it feels cute and feminine at the same time. Those are one of my favorite pairs of shoes. :)

  12. Marie says:

    This dress is so cute and so wearable! You’ve totally nailed the fit as well, but I wish you’d used a commercial pattern so I can buy it and make it myself. I’m now very tempted to try and adapt Dixie DIY’s Ballet Dress pattern for a similar result – I think having a waistband is so flattering! Good work lady!

    • Becca says:

      Thank you so much! I agree, having a waistband adds a nice shape to a simple dress. Oh, and I’ve been trying really hard to keep my mouth shut, but since you commented on wanting a pattern, I have an upcoming surprise with regards to that. Shh! Details coming soon. :)

  13. Its so cute, it looks super comfy and I love the fabric you used :)

    i hate when you find a perfect photo location and other people have the nerve to walk past right your snapping some pictures, hehe. But I love your thistle shots!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! Haha! Yeah, what gives them the right? ;-) If only I was a bit less self-conscious. Then I would’ve been able to get some better shots.

  14. Everything about this dress is perfect! I love the fabric and the fit and the circle skirt and the neckline! I want this dress!
    Thistles are awesome!

  15. I love the dress. And the fabric is super adorable.

  16. Heidi says:

    Beautiful dress! It fits you so perfectly. I love the fabric too.

  17. Alessa says:

    That’s exactly my kind of dress! I like the little bust gathers. :) And the fabric is so pretty!
    I’m a big fan of weeds, too. Both the pretty and the edible ones. ;)

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  20. Amart says:

    It is my dream dress!!!! Please where I can find the patterns?

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