This flirty little number is a fun, super easy wrap dress for those last gorgeous beach days of summer. I managed to whip it up in time for our trip back to South Africa for family weddings (yes plural) and to take advantage of the bit of summer we still have left before I get stuck into thinking about an Autumn and Winter wardrobe. I’m normally about a season behind in my sewing projects so the fact that I’m even thinking about what to sew for the cold is progress. Any way…back to the beach.
I think the French name on the pattern sounds way more sophisticated than ‘Beach Dress’. So to me, it is ‘La Robe de Plage’.
The pattern (one hardly needs a pattern but I used one) is Burda Young 7207 that my husband picked out for me while on our San Francisco adventure. It is designed for teenagers and is very easy so I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered that my husband thinks I can still get away with teen wear or insulted that he thinks I need a ‘very easy’ pattern. But I accepted the gesture and agreed that ‘very easy’ is some times quite a nice change to challenging my brain – stretchy fabric is challenge enough!
The pattern is basically a long rectangle that you wrap behind you and cross over at the front with little elasticised loops for your arms. I chose the shorter version that has a rounded end on the front piece and a ruffle that follows the hemline. The ruffle is cut from a spiral. My ruffle ended up being a bit too long but instead of cutting it off, I sewed it onto the arm loop to make a fluttery little sleeve.
The fabric I used is a printed cotton knit that definitely has some elastic in it. The colours and bright floral design are perfect for summer and the beach and makes the whole thing look a little more special than if I’d used a solid colour or geometric print. I found the fabric at a little store in Marrickville, Sydney tucked behind piles of other bits and covered in dust. But it was by far my best find in that shop!
It is very easy to construct with the only challenge being finishing the top end with a twin needle stitch – I still have not perfected this. I was thinking that maybe including some of that clear stabilising elastic would’ve been good to keep the top from stretching too much. Ideally I would’ve liked to finish off the seam (singular) with an overlocker but I’m yet to add one to my arsenal. The bottom of the ruffle is left unfinished and has a fun swish to it.
Et voila! We have La Robe de Plage! And what a beautiful ‘plage’ we got to play on too. (Aahh…I miss Clifton…although must admit that Balmoral water is MUCH more pleasant to swim in).
This was a fun quick project ideal to whip up before a summer holiday. I hope I get a few more beach days in so I can wear it!
Pattern: Burda Young 7207 Beach Dress (or Robe de Plage)
Fabric: Stretch cotton with colourful floral print
Alterations: My ruffle ended up longer than my hem line so instead of cutting it off, I took it over the shoulder to create a little fluttery sleeve
Do it again?: My friends have already started placing orders! Although I think I’d want to wait until I got an overlocker because I still don’t think the sewing machine finish on stretch fabric looks professional enough. And next time I’d try stabilising the top with clear elastic.