Tropical Blend Dress

We have weather for summer dresses here in late April. I can hardly believe it – 20 degrees (Celsius) during Easter holidays, isn’t it amazing?

It definitely makes me want to sew summer clothing, so yesterday I made another dress from the latest Ottobre – this time for Frida. I picked out 5 or 6 fabrics that I would be happy to sew it up in, and Frida made the final decision, which is a beautiful design from Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane collection.

Frida wearing her tropical blend dress

The dress is #18 (design B) from Ottobre 3/2011, and in spite of the simplicity of the design, it has the piping at the neckline and the bias tape at the hem to add a few nice details. I traced a 98 length and a 92 width, and it’s a perfect fit. The bias tape I used for the hem is Michael Miller gingham, and I used it for the piping as well, cut in halves. I even managed to find som matching daisy buttons for the dress – it could not be any more summery, and Frida loves it.

Tropical blend sleeveless dress - button

Tropical blend sleeveless dress - detail

I haven’t made piping before, and it’s not perfect, but it’s not bad either – I found it a little hard to work around the strap roundings, I probably should have stretched it a little more through the curve. Anyway, this is the perfect summer dress!

Meanwhile, it’s always hard to predict what will happen to the stuff you sew, isn’t it. Take the tulip dress – I almost had to bribe Ronja into modeling the tulip dress… Why? Apparently, it’s scratchy. If any of you guys have a quick fix for scratchy linen, let me know, because I’m afraid otherwise there is no rescue for the dress. But here she is wearing it – at least she looks content. 🙂

Ronja wearing her Tulip dress

Ronja wearing her Tulip dress


  1. Margaret says:

    Soaking it for a bit in water with fabric softener added may help. I have also had some luck soaking natural fibers in a bucket of water in which I have added hair conditioner ( it works wonders on scratchy sweaters). Love the tropical blend dress, I am off to order that issue of Ottobre now.

  2. Susan says:

    jeg synes du har gjort et flot job på begge kjoler. Er ret vild med den seneste.j
    jeg har også modtaget ottobre, og er ved at sy model #8, men den piping gav jeg op overfor. har du kommet snor i din eller bare lavet den med ombukket stof?
    skal lige siges, at det er kun min kjole nr. 2 i hele min sykarriere – så er ret ny indenfor området.

    skal du være med i spring top 2011 i år? det var faktisk gennem det jeg fandt din blog i sin tid.

  3. Rachel says:

    Very cute dresses!

    What about making a thin cotton slip to wear under the dress? It shouldn’t add too much warmth and would keep the fabric from being itchy on the inside at least.

  4. Astrid says:

    Margaret – thanks for the tip, I think I’ll try hair conditioner first! And this issue is great – happy sewing! 🙂

    Hej Susan – tak for din hilsen! Nr. 8 er også fin – nu har jeg ikke lige beskrivelsen, men hvis pipingen er lavet på samme måde som i denne her, så er det bare et stykke foldet stof – altså ingen snor. Det er ret enkelt, men tager lige lidt ekstra tid – men hvis det er den anden kjole du syr, så vent da bare med den. Kjolen vil være superfin uden også! Jeg er faktisk en af dommerne i Spring Top Week, så jeg følger aktivt med, men jeg kan ikke deltage. Skal jeg glæde mig til at se din top 🙂

    Rachel – Thanks! I thought about something under the dress, but then maybe it would be easier to make another one… Still, thanks for the idea! 😉

  5. Susan says:

    Tak for svar. ja, den kan vel syes uden, men jeg er desværre også lidt perfektionistisk – sætter tit en stopper for min syning ;).

    jeg havde overvejet at sy en top, men jeg har et andet projekt jeg håber at få lavet, nemlig en let jerseykjole til mig selv, som er nem at have på efter en fødsel. Det er lige op over for mig, så lad os nu se om jeg når det…

  6. Millie says:

    Frida is so grown up…I was looking up a perticular Ottobre pattern today, on Flickr, and found several photos of her in the rompers you made her, when she was only 6 months or so. She is now a beautiful little girl. It is lovely to watch her growing up. The colours in her dress are wonderful, and the buttons are so perfect for it.

    Ronja is so beautiful too, and I hope you can sort out the scratchy fabric. I’m afraid I have no tips, except that linen is supposed to soften with washing. It would be a shame if she couldn’t wear her lovely dress.

  7. Astrid says:

    LOL Susan – du er for perfektionistisk, hvis det sætter en stopper for din syning – du skal bare sy langsommere. 😉 Held og lykke med fødslen, det lyder dejligt!

    Millie, that’s actually one of the things that I love about having a blog – sometimes you dive back into the past, checking old posts, and looking at the children when they were younger. It IS wonderful to see them grow, and I have been thinking the same thing about your beautiful children – especially the twins are growing up so fast as well! I’m going to try washing the dress – let’s see if Ronja comes around. 🙂

  8. Carla says:

    Hi Astrid. I’d suggest wash and wash and wash too. Linen will get softer. I find it interested to see the colours you use. I’ve got some natural coloured linens but wasnt sure how they’d suit my daughter. She has similar colouring to your girls (but a bit more tanned as we live in New Zealand) The coloured sleeves and details really help a lot dont they.

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