Breezy Rayon Dress

Hi, guys! How’s everybody doing? I hope you’re all well!

Today’s project is a good example of the sewing I’ve been doing this summer… fun fabric in a simple shape. Fussy sewing and fussy garments just aren’t very fun in the heat! So when I picked out this rayon print from Mood Fabrics NYC, I just wanted to keep it breezy!

The fabric has a delicious crepe-y texture, and it’s ever so slightly sheer. Do I want to wear a slip in the summer? No. So, I went with a voluminous shape to counteract the transparency of the fabric. I think it works- no sneaky peekies on display in these photos, anyway!

I really enjoyed sewing this dress. The texture of the fabric gave it some grip, so it wasn’t slippery to cut or sew, and it responds beautifully to steam. I was careful, though, not to press with the iron on the right side. In a crepe fabric, the texture comes from the twist and crimp in the fibers, which can easily be crushed with the iron. When that happens, you get gross shine marks… no good! So I pressed from the wrong side, steamed from the right, and used my fingers to mush the steam into the seams. Super technical stuff! 🙂

The dress has center front and center back seams, and I was concentrating so hard on fitting all the pattern pieces on the fabric with the print all going the same direction that I didn’t even consider matching the print. Whoops! Hopefully it’s not too noticeable.

The pattern is the Sway dress by Papercut Patterns, the long variation with a tie belt. The other version is a mini length, meant to be worn loose and trapeze-y. The pattern is very easy to put together and the instructions are nice and clear. I chose to finish the seams with pinking sheers as serging or Hong Kong binding might show through or look lumpy on the right side. Instead of using fusible interfacing for the facings, I stitched in silk organza, because I’m a very fancy person and definitely not because I ran out of interfacing and accidentally ordered the wrong replacement. 😉


Why, it’s a reversible dress! Since it only needs to fit at the shoulders, it can be switched around and worn with either the v-neck or the round neckline facing the front! Tricky business!

Alright, now please tell me- what’s on your sewing table right now? Simple silhouettes with fun prints? All solids all of the time? Complicated tailoring projects? Do tell!



  • Christy
    August 31, 2015

    Love this! What a great dress for summer. I think I’ll be copying you with this pattern!

    • Sonja
      August 31, 2015

      You will look so cute in this!! Plus, won’t it be summer for you guys in like two weeks?!

  • Sallie
    August 31, 2015

    Ooh this is so fun! Definitely the perfect summer dress! I love that print, and I really love rayon for warmer weather. Do you ever get the urge to just twist your dress around mid-day? Or do you feel like in the morning you have to pick a neckline look and commit? I’m definitely asking for a friend and not because I’m so immature I can’t imagine wearing this dress and NOT sneaking my arms inside and twisting the whole thing around in the middle of a meeting/dinner/in the elevator/every opportunity ever…

    • Sonja
      August 31, 2015

      I’ll never tell!

      (yes… yes I have…)

  • Becky
    August 31, 2015

    That’s really clever, to do extra volume to avoid the extra warmth of a lining. I wouldn’t have thought of that! And the birds are charming.

    • Sonja
      August 31, 2015

      It’s a gamble I’ve made a few times… so far I haven’t been stung by it! 🙂

  • Amanda S.
    September 1, 2015

    It’s cute and perfect for summer. Love the bird fabric!

  • Lori
    September 2, 2015

    Gorgeous dress, the print just works perfectly with the style. Great job as always.

  • Joanne VanSickle
    September 2, 2015

    Your dress is lovely and you have managed to match the amount of volume to your body frame. Did you need to do any pattern alterations and if you don’t mind revealing the following info, what size did you select?

    • Sonja
      September 8, 2015

      I made an XS, which is where I fall in the measurement chart in my upper body. I didn’t make any alterations and I feel pretty good about the fit (I mean, it’s an easy shape to fit, so not much work to do if you have fairly standard proportions).

  • anne jewell
    September 2, 2015

    cute, cute, cute! and so is the dress. my current project is a fall dress made of a herringbone drop-waist bodice and plaid 3/4 circle skirt portion. the plaid fabric is harvested from an actual skirt so i know the drape is right. the other projects don’t count right now.–anne

    • Sonja
      September 8, 2015

      Ooh, herringbone and plaid in one garment? That sounds amazing!!!

  • Fiona
    September 10, 2015

    Such a gorgeous simple shape Sonja and great choice of fabric for it! I hadn’t realised it was reversible and now I’m even more interested!

  • Cennetta
    September 16, 2015

    Ms. Ginger, your smile is infectious. Nice pictures. Your new dress is adorable too. I totally agree that summer sewing needs to be simple and easy. The heat can be so distracting. Anyway.., well done. 😉