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Pattern Review-The Calvin Dress/Top

It is certainly not groundbreaking to suggest the lightest, most minimal dress possible by any means, but the newly stock Calvin Dress by True Bias is a no brainer for stylish, COOL summer closets. I had had this piece on my sewing wishlist since release (so many patterns, so little time!) but the wait was more than worth it to pair with the floaty Circle Line Paint Rayon available here. This fabric is at once crisp and easy to sew while also impossibly lightweight to wear. These bright colors are so on trend for the season and bring a little smile to my face every time I pop into my closet. I had fun styling three different looks for this dress using a few other recent me-made summer staples. Pop over to @stitchedslowly to see them in motion!

Onto the sewing-only four pieces to cut, plus miles of bias tape means prep work is perfect for putting on a great podcast and getting to work. I cut a straight size 4 and shortened by 4″ as I am 5’1″ and the pattern is drafted for 5’5″. I’ve been a fan of Kelly’s patterns for years, and the Calvin is right on with her high quality, easy to follow instructions. I love how she anticipates trickier spots and makes sure to give ample warning before you go astray. For example, my serger is out of commission so I French seamed the dress to finish. I nearly cut the seam allowance too narrow to allow a sturdy buttonhole to thread one wrap tie through, but a careful warning in the instructions saved me! The straps are constructed using bra rings and sliders for a high end, fully adjustable finish.

Once cut and bias tape prepped, I was able to sew this dress in one evening! It is marked intermediate as there are some skills (bust darts, bias tape, bra strap hardware) that might be unfamiliar to a newbie sewist, but the drafting, directions and Calvin Sewalong over on the True Bias blog will have you feeling super accomplished. I’m planning to make a top version from linen scraps soon, and dreaming of other versions-how cute would these strawberries be with hot pink bias binding?

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