Late last year I began a quest for dresses. I found myself hating everything I owned and set about looking for patterns that could fill the void. (Read about the quest here.) So when I was asked to participate in the Indiesew Spring Collection blog tour I knew I had to try out the Sanibel Dress by Hey June. I love all the details and trust me it was a challenge deciding which view to make. It's a classic shirt dress design with a button front, collar and drawstring waist. There are options for sleeves with button plackets or epaulets and button tabs. You can also choose whether to do a skirt or shorts on bottom, both come with scooped front pockets. After much debate, I decided to do the skirt with epaulets.
I actually printed out the entire pattern, rather than just the pages I needed so that I can make it again but with long sleeves and shorts. I really love the chambray version featured in the IndieSew collection and I can easily imagine wearing it all summer. It would also give me more practice sewing sleeve plackets and a chambray would be easier to topstitch.
I found this fabric at the FIDM Scholarship Store in downtown LA. They have a very small fabric section but I've always managed to find some gems. And it's really affordable, around $3 or less per yard. The fabric is some sort of rayon/poly. It's comfortable to wear but it was not the easiest to sew, especially all topstitching for the details such as the epaulets and pockets. Fortunately the fabric is very busy so you can't see my wonky stitching. I really did my best to cut everything properly but I'm sure I cut some things off grain. But again, you can't tell. I've ordered a bottle of spray starch to try out for my next project. I hate feeling scared to do something and I'm really scared to cut into some fabric I've had sitting around since last fall.
I'm super in love with the buttons I used for this dress. As I've mentioned on Instagram a number of times, I have a massive button collection. So I just shop my stash rather than the store. I explored the gray button box and found a few viable options but my favorite was the sundial style. However, I only had six sundial buttons and the pattern calls for seven. I asked for advice on IG and decided to just not attach a button at the top of the bodice. I never button my shirts all the way to the top and as someone wisely pointed out, with how the collar lays, you'll rarely see the top button.
The only change I made to the pattern was to lengthen the skirt about 4-5 (?) inches. Otherwise, I cut a straight size M. There is a lot of ease built into the pattern and the drawstring waistband is fairly forgiving so I felt comfortable going down a size at the bust. My measurements are roughly 38/28/39 and 5'11" (hence the added length). The bodice is actually pretty long and I believe it's designed to be cinched up by the drawstring to create a blouson effect. I did not add any length there and if you are short I recommend checking the length and possibly shortening it. For the drawstring, I just used a length of twill tape and skipped the elastic, self fabric drawstring the the pattern instructs. I like that it gives a contrast look and it saves some time too.
Depending on the buttons I want to use, I might make the button band wider the next time I make it. It's pretty narrow and some of my buttonholes are noticeably off center. The great thing about the extra busy print is that it distracts from any imperfections in my sewing. yay! I also might make the collar stand a little shorter and make the casing longer.
Overall, I really like this pattern and I'm looking forward to trying it out with an easier to sew fabric. And of course the romper version. I'd also love it in rayon challis with long pants. I wore this dress to work last week and I felt really comfortable yet still put together, exactly how I want every outfit to be. This pattern is a really great wardrobe builder just like all the patterns in the Indiesew Spring Collection. Scroll down to take a gander at the rest of the collection and get the calendar for the blog tour.
The Indiesew Spring Collection is an amazing collection of five patterns, the Birkin Flares (see mine here), Lou Box Top, Florence Kimono, Rushcutter Dress (see mine here) and the Sanibel Romper/Dress. I'm so honored to have my pattern as part of the group. It's a great collection of wardrobe building patterns that will keep you in DIY style for months to come. And when you buy the bundle you save money which means more money for fabric, right? :)
Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour posts for more sewing inspiration. It's only half way through and there's already so much eye candy!
Disclosure: I received this pattern for free but all thoughts and opinions are my own.