A Blue Cotton Staple Dress

I finished another Staple Dress! I learned from my first one that the neckline was a bit big on me, so I cut a size small for the neck line and shoulder seams. For the side seams, I cut a medium since I liked the volume on my last one. This simple pattern works well for busy prints. It really lets the blue fabric take the spot light.

Pattern: April Rhodes Staple Dress

Size: S in neckline and shoulder seams, M in side seams.

Fabric: Blue geometric cotton lawn from fabric.com.

This dress pattern was the first time that I worked with PDF pieces that you print out then tape together. The pattern was a bit sturdier, and I felt comfortable taking more liberty with the original because I knew I could always print out a new copy! There’s no need to trace the pattern pieces before altering them. I’m not 100% sold one way or the other, PDF or hard copy patterns, but my first experience with them was much better than I expected! For patterns I don’t anticipate making more than one or two times (like the bombshell swim suit), I think the PDF would be better because I can recycle the pieces when I’m done. If I decide to make it again farther down the road, then I have a digital copy to rely on–no physical pattern storage necessary. Anyway, here is the finished version of the dress. I wore it to dinner out in Santa Cruz with my parents. It’s very comfy and the perfect amount of flowy (like the last one!).



The waist line is cinched by shirring with elastic thread, or sewing in thin elastic (mine is 1/4″) using a zig zag stitch. I chose the latter method. In the directions, it says to cut the elastic 1/4″ longer than your waist measurement to over lap the ends. However, once my elastic was sewn in, it didn’t seem to relax/unstretch to the length I cut. It wasn’t tight up against my waist at all, and I could pinch out about 4″ of the elastic without stretching it. To the physicist in me, this makes perfect sense; you’re essentially changing the spring constant of the elastic by sewing the thread through it. It shouldn’t have the same relaxed length. But the sewist in me says that it shouldn’t make 4″ worth of a difference in the fit! I ended up ripping out the entire waist (seems to be a trend around here… see future knit maxi…) and redoing it with a 4″ shorter piece of elastic. It was tedious, but a good lesson in how to approach elastic.


Another success with this pattern!

My updated sew-before-leaving-the-country list:

-Blue Cotton Staple Dress

-A dressy black Staple Dress

-Cross body purse Unsuccessful, so I ended up buying one instead!

-Knit maxi

-Swim suit

-Passport cover

-Knee length striped knit dress


2 thoughts on “A Blue Cotton Staple Dress

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