Summer with SLEEVES and Pattern NOTES

If you need a Summer Vacation Dress that’s more modest for church, no worries!
Throw a sweater on top, a shirt underneath, or better yet…..You can add sleeves!
There’s no official pattern for this part of the dress or formal instructions.

But you can do it by combining,
The Summer Vacation Dress and Shortie PATTERN with
I used Elastic Thread for the shoulder of the sleeve and sleeve hem:
And I added an extra layer of fabric underneath (I added it on to the last row of shirring) to give the dress a petticoat hem:
This version of the dress is a bit too poofy for my taste but I new Lucy would love it. And sure enough, she does. “Here Owen, hold my hand. Mom! It looks like we’re getting married!”
Hmmm….we’ll have to teach her about that one….
and about placing her hands a bit more to her left or right in photos. When I asked, “do you need to go potty?”, she responded, “no, I’m standing like a princess.
Of course! A princess who needed to go potty wouldn’t be smiling so casually and basking in her afternoon stroll around town.
Follow the instructions in our Pattern for shirring your fabric, use the shirred pieces as the basis for your “Shirt Dress”, then follow the step-by-step info in The Shirt Dress Tutorial for the rest. You’ll be set!
(another version I did of the “shirred shirt dress”, seen HERE.)
And now, some NOTES on the Summer Vacation Dress and Shortie Pattern
(these changes have been added to the pattern for future buyers. And will also be added to the Pattern listing in our SHOP, so you can always reference them):

* I’ve added a PATTERN PREVIEW to the Pattern Listing in the SHOP. This is a 4-page pdf PREVIEW, which you can click on and browse to get a flavor for the details and step-by-step instructions our patterns provide!

* I’ve changed the word “smocking” to “shirring”. It’s a more appropriate term.

* As you sew each new line of “shirring”, try to keep the fabric as smooth as you can so that you’re not sewing on gathered fabric from the row before. It’s not a make-or-break thing (since the whole thing will be gathered in the end) but it will look nicer if you try to do this.

* A reader mentioned that when she cut her armholes, the shirring came undone (as shown in the DOT DRESS instructions). I’ve never had this problem, but if you’re worried about that….here are a couple ideas:

  • Cut the armholes before you do the shirring (though it’s hard to know exactly how wide you want the dress to be until after the fabric is all gathered up. So you would need to be confident with your size). OR
  • After marking where your arm holes will be with a fabric pen (BEFORE you cut the arms out), sew a baste stitch around the arm hole (a stitch to just hold things in place till you serge and fold over the arm hole). Then Cut out your armhole and continue on with the pattern directions.

I hope these changes help. If anyone else has feedback or concerns like the notes above, please let me know. I want to make the pattern the best it can be for all of you. And….I can’t wait to see what you’re making!

If you haven’t purchased the pattern yet, you’ll find it HERE:

  1. 1) cAROLINE burnley

    Hi, I am looking at doing hopefully an adult version of this dress with long sleeves , i came across this and it is the perfect shape, however when i click on the instructions/patterns an error message shows and it cannot find them. I am just wanting a rough guideline to bodice shape and arm pattern if you can help at all. Please feel free to email me on



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