30 Days of Sundresses! – Mesh Sundress!
Hello, June! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend. It is almost time to kick off The Summer of No Pants.
I recently discovered that you can buy fabrics on Amazon. Did you know that? I had no idea. One day I checked it out and discovered that there’s a company called Designer Fabrics Warehouse (affiliate link) that has a massive stash of cheap, by-the-yard knits, many for less than $4/yard. They have a bunch of mesh, sheer and laser cut knits in fantastic colors and textures (I also purchased that open knit fabric for my Laurel dress from this place).
For this project, I purchased some mesh fabric in a bright, summery print and a lightweight solid to line it. The yardage you will need will depend on your size and the desired length and flare of the dress. I made it on my regular sewing machine without a serger, but I did use a walking foot and a ball-point needle. All seam allowances are 1/4″.
The fabrics I used were a generous 58″ wide, so I had plenty left over after buying 2 yards of each.
Fold the top layer of fabric in half and then in half again (it really should be right sides together – since this dress is symmetrical it didn’t matter, I just had to flip it to right sides together after I cut the fabric). Place a well-fitting t-shirt, folded in half, on the fold. Tuck the sleeves under at the sleeve seam. Cut the fabric about 1″ around the t-shirt at the neck, sleeves, and abou 3-4″ below the armpit. Then, flare out in an A-line to the bottom of the dress. Add a slight curve to the bottom of the dress. If you’re adding sleeves, also cut 2 sleeves from the mesh (I used the sleeve from a pattern I have).
On ONE piece of the mesh fabric, make a shallow V-neck, cutting about 2″ below the edge and going up in a gentle curve up to the shoulder.
Fold and fold again the lining fabric. Place the folded mesh dress on the fold of the lining fabric. Fold in the flare at the hip, going almost straight down – you want just a slight flare, making sure you give some room for the hips and thighs, if you got ’em (I do!). The lining is going to be more of a bodycon dress. Cut to match the mesh fabric. Again, cut the V-neck into one side.
Unfold the fabric and place the two front pieces right sides together. Sew along the V-neck. Snip the center of the V, being careful to not cut the thread. Do the same for the back pieces, sewing along the neck line.
Flip the front and back pieces so that right sides are out. Place the front and back pieces right sides together (it should be a sandwich of right-side mesh together on the inside and the lining pieces on the outside) and sew the shoulder seams.
Push the lining pieces aside and pin the sides from armpits to bottom of the skirt. Sew both sides. Then, push the mesh inside and sew from armpit to bottom of the lining pieces.
Fold the sleeve pieces in half and sew the bottom seam. Then, place the sleeve inside so right sides are facing and pin through all layers. The left shows how the sleeve should be oriented when it it tucked inside the dress, the right side is the sleve tucked inside and pinned. Sew the sleeve in.
Finish the seams by sewing a zigzag stitch on the edge while stretching the fabric. This will give it a gently ruffled hem.
And that’s it! I love dresses that are as comfy as a t-shirt, but look fancy pants! Remember that the Summer of No Pants kicks off in just three weeks. Be sure to join the SONP Community and get the newsletter for all of the latest No Pants news. And be sure to check out Melly Sews for a great giveaway and more free dress tutorials during (30) Days of Sundresses!