It was the first day of school today.  It went well.  The boy seems to be in a pretty good mood, and so do I. I’d say that alone makes it a first day of school success.  I may have school work and grading on my mind now for the next many months, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about my next sewing projects, or even making a pretty dress here and there.  I have another one to show you all today, a Me Made Monday gem of a dress, and I am calling it the Take Me to the Beach Dress.  I have a good reason for this name.   

Simplicity 1873

After the last dress I made, I had a huge bout of inspiration to make the real dress that I had wanted to from that first draft.  As is always the case, I never know what material to use, and spent more time than I should have finally deciding on which I would be cutting into.  This particular material was the last of what I had bought from the Art Gallery line over on  The last of that wonderful material that was actually supposed to be a different dress altogether.  I am not ready to dive into a Vogue pattern just yet, and I was itching to turn these yards of geometric goodness into something, so a Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 1873 it would be.  I had enough yardage, and some free time.

During this free time, last Sunday, several of my dear friends were on their way to the beach.  It seemed like a pretty short drive for them all, because before I even had the bodice darts completed, my phone was blowing up with messages of the trip.  Me and oh, I don’t know, all my closest friends, have a continual group message thread going on our iDevices.  It was wonderful getting to see all the fun they were having through the pictures they were posting.  It just made me wish I was there on the beach with them, but I wasn’t.  I was home making a dress while vicariously tasting the salt water and feeling the sand through their photos.  How could this dress not be about the beach?  It even had the perfect beachy colors to go with those blue green views I kept seeing on my phone.  I was sewing, but I was thinking, take me to the beach!

fit and flare pleated dress

Now you all have the story of the name behind the dress, so let me give you a little bit of details about the make of it.  I had only one problem with this one, and it was totally fixable.  I didn’t really pay too much attention to the directions, this style is not unlike almost all of the others I have been making, so I forgot that little bit of stay stitching at the neck line.  When I noticed I had overlooked it, I thought it wouldn’t make a difference.  It very much did!  I undid the neck binding when the dress was done, and went ahead and added the stay stitching.  This took off about 1/2″ from the neckline.  The exact amount to relieve the neck gape that the dress had.  I will never forget this little step again.  At least, I am saying I won’t.

I made this version with all the pleats, and I love all the pleats!   I do have to read the instructions when I make pleats, however.  I seem to have made mistakes with those more than a few times.  I made version C with the longer skirt, and skipped on the button ties at the sides.  I am liking colorful belts these days, and thought that a belt would look better than the ties would.  Maybe one day I will add those, but probably not.  I didn’t line the dress, instead used my usual self made bias strips.  I also cut the back on the fold and made it with a side inserted zipper.  I really prefer side zippers.

retro style dress pattern

My last make of Summer Break 2015, and I am pretty happy with the results.  I am now going to start planning my fall sewing, which no doubt will look much like my summer sewing.  I just can’t get enough of these fit and flare dresses.

If you want to read more about my thoughts on this pattern, you can read my review on

Linking up with:  Craftastic Monday, Creative Mondays, Do Tell Tuesday, Tuesday’s With a Twist, & Modest Monday

5 Replies to “The Take Me to the Beach Dress”

  1. Adorable dress and it looks lovely on you! I love your choice of fabric. I have the unopened pattern sitting right here. It will now move to the top of the list. Thanks for the inspiration.


    1. You are welcome! This pattern sat in my unopened pile for a bit before I finally got the nerve to do something with it. Well worth it, you will have something fabulous in no time. 🙂


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