Purple Paisley Southport Dress

I purchased this purple paisley lawn with the intention to use it to line the sleeves of view 1 vintage Simplicity 7045. I quickly talked myself out of such a dress. While view 1 has the most sensible sleeves they are still not practical for real life (a sleeve dunked in gravy)!

Having sat in my stash for over a year, and surviving the stash diet not because it was particularly precious or special to me, I decided to use it to make a toile/muslin for the True Bias Southport Dress.

True Bias Southport Dress Front

I’d read a fair number of blog posts about this pattern and took the recommendation of others to make an SBA. This SBA eradicated the front dart completely but I figured that the gathers created by the draw string waist would provide some shaping.

True Bias Southport Dress Side Clutch

I shortened the back bodice to match the new front bodice length, which, measuring from the shoulder would meet my natural waistline perfectly. The skirt pattern pieces were cut to match the bodice at the waist then graded out towards the hips. All this and I hadn’t even cut into any fabric!

True Bias Southport Dress Bodice

The purple paisley measured 1m 10cm – all the main pattern pieces just about fitted but I couldn’t do any pattern matching (consequently the front bodice is a little disappointing) and I had to exclude the pockets.

True Bias Southport Dress Skirt

I sewed it up pretty slowly, testing out 15 minutes sewing most evenings instead of my usual block of hours of weekend sewing. I followed the Southport sew-along on True Bias to break the stages down and used instagram to track my progress. The pattern lends itself to bite-size sewing and it was good to try something different.

True Bias Southport Dress Side

I hoped that this would fit well enough to wear it and it did. The only changes I’ll make to the pattern pieces for the future are to raise the front neckline slightly and take out some fullness from the back bodice. Otherwise, it was a successful toile and I wore it today, not just for blog photos, but for all sorts of Saturday admin.

True Bias Southport Dress Back

While I’m dreaming up a maxi-dress version and potential pattern hacks, tell me what’s on your sewing table? And how do you prefer to sew – little and often or long binges?


10 responses to “Purple Paisley Southport Dress

  1. This looks gorgeous…..how beautiful and neat is the neck!!! I love the idea of Saturday admin!!! Does it include a coffee shop??

  2. I love your new Southport – I have read lots of blog posts saying that a lot of people want to change the neckline a little higher too. It really helps reading other people’s findings with new indie patterns!
    As for your patten matching – the paisley is so busy that you hardly notice it!
    The print is very pretty and I think you have styled it perfectly!
    I have some Named shorts on my sewing table and also thinking about making T&tB’s Bettine next week too x

  3. You really nailed your fit changes! Looks beautiful.

  4. love love that fabric, very wearable toile ;o)

  5. Very wearable indeed! I’ve seen a heap of these dresses pop up recently, makes me want to try one too. I really love this print.

  6. it’s lovely! i can see how useful it will be for a casual weekend dress! i love the maxi version too. i am finishing off a SewOverIt Betty dress (just the hemming to go) and making tote bags for teacher presents while waiting for the bias to drop.

  7. I have been seeing quite a few Southports- They look like such comfy dresses. Yours is beautiful. I really like that paisley print you used!

  8. This looks like a lovely cool dress for a hot day

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