You know that feeling when you accomplish something that has been living rent-free in your mind for ages? Amazing, right? 🙂
That’s how I feel about this dress! 😀
I fell in love with Shelly as soon as I saw it, but the thing is… I don’t swim that much, and I already have more swimsuits that I make use of.
Yeah, ok. At the rate I sew, that pretty much applies to any and all types of clothing 😛 BUT the point is that Shelly is way too cute to only get out of the drawer once in a blue moon. Am I right or am I right? 😉
So… a Sierra dress for the win!
I opted for a front peekaboo with full coverage back and a maxi skirt, and I can safely say that I love it even more than I thought I would.
Want one too? This is what you’ll need:
- Shelly pattern
- A skirt/dress pattern of choice. I used Sierra’s Maxi skirt.
- 1/2″ elastic for the front waistband
Let’s talk fabric and sizing:
This is a pretty straightforward mash.
The main thing to keep in mind is fabric choice. As Shelly is drafted for swim, if you use fabric with less stretch or recovery, you may need to adjust the sizing accordingly.
I used a scuba crepe. It has a decent amount of stretch and is very stable, but as I am at the top edge of my size, I did size one up for the bodice but used my regular size for the skirt.
This was the only adjustment needed for the bodice. As I wanted a full coverage back and didn’t really need the center line shaping for the flared skirt, I used the “on the fold back piece”.
The front panel won’t be attached to the bodice at the waist, so I used elastic to stabilize and finish that edge (I eyeballed it but the elastic was about 90% the size of the pattern).
As the seam allowance (to attach the skirt to the bodice) is 1/2″ I used 1/2″ elastic, eliminating the need for extra adjustments.
Sew the elastic to the edge of the pattern piece on the wrong side using a serger or zigzag, flip it once and topstitch it in place.
(And please ignore the wonky stitching, I only noticed it after taking photos. It’s been fixed now 😉 )
After this, it’s smooth sailing all the way:
Sew Shelly according to the instructions and treat the skirt as the bottoms, following the “Note on Construction” on page 22.
The final dress will have a bigger peekaboo, and depending on the weight of your fabric it may even be pulled down a bit more. If you’d rather have a smaller front opening you can just tack the bodice to the skirt waistband to close it a bit.
Mine is just pinned for the photos as we are in the middle of a heatwave and I’ve been rocking the big peekaboo, but I’ll probably tack it closed when the weather gets a bit cooler so I can keep wearing it (I had planned to add a snap to it but didn’t like the idea of having it exposed when wearing it open.)
If you have any questions, feel free to give me a shout.
You’ll find me at: