Patsy's True Bias Southport Dress Made With Cotton Linen

Hello again, Sew Me Sunshiners 

It’s Patsy once again and I have a great little dress to share with you today. I’ve been living in it since I finished it and it’s the True Bias Southport dress. It’s such a perfect summer dress!  Some of these photos are coming to you from the famous Nyhavn harbour in Copenhagen as we were there a few weeks ago.

Let’s talk about the fabric first. As soon as I saw this Rust Cotton Linen I knew it was the one. It’s sold out now, unfortunately. But Harriet still has some of this Leaf Green in stock, which was my second choice. There are a few Cotton Linen fabrics that would work with this pattern and the colours are beautiful. Plus, at £10/metre it’d be rude not to! I really love this fabric. The colour is gorgeous and very saturated. It’s a red brick sort of colour and it seems to be everywhere now. I also really love its texture. It’s so lovely and linen-y.

The fabric was a joy to sew! My goodness, I do love working with linen. It behaved under the presser foot, it stayed where my iron told it to, and I love wearing it. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, my husband took part in a triathlon on the hottest day of the year. I went to watch him, and I wore this dress. It was a horribly hot and sticky day. Not a breeze to be found anywhere, but wearing this dress was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve also washed it a couple of times and it has become a little softer. Man, I do love linen!

Ok, now let’s talk about the pattern. There is a maxi and a knee-length option. As you can see, I chose the knee-length for this version. I made a size 4 with no alterations. It's a great skill-building project, if you’re only starting out. But a more experience sewist will also find it enjoyable.

The neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding, which I really enjoy sewing. I know a lot of people hate it, but I think it looks so good when it’s done properly. I used shop-bought bias that I had on hand as the linen I used would’ve been far too heavy for that.

The way the instructions have you attaching the binding to the neckline, behind the button placket is so clever. It makes for a very clean finish, with both edges enclosed. The waistband casing is also very cleverly done, in a way I hadn’t come across before. The pockets are big, which is always a plus! And the loose skirt means I can put things in the pockets and they won’t look too bulky and distorted.

If, like me, you are not on good terms with buttonholes, I have great news: they aren’t needed here. Sadly, I didn’t realise it until I had already sewn my buttonholes and stressed about the possibility of them going completely awry – which luckily didn’t happen this time. Phew! I didn’t end up cutting them open though, so my buttons aren’t functional. I have since made a maxi version as well and I opted for real buttonholes on that one. Having to pull a maxi dress on and off like that seems like too much effort and too much fabric to me.  

The fitting of the Southport isn’t very involved either, since it’s a loose silhouette, cinched in with a waist tie. There are darts to shape the bust but that’s it. It’s also very versatile and I can see it working in multitude of fabrics. For instance, for my maxi version I used a cotton lawn that I’ve been hoarding since last summer. But there are loads of other options as well. I can also see it working really well in viscose linen.

I’m very happy with how this dress turned out. Even more than I expected – I think the fact I’ve already made another probably attests to that. Thank you so much for my fabric, Harriet! 

***As a member of the Sew Me Sunshine blogger team, the fabric for this project was sent to me free of charge. I chose which pattern I wanted to make and all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.***

1 comment

  • Of love to buy the pattern for the dress. Makes me keen to look for the material.

    Patricia Ashmore

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