Southport Dress | True Bias

The Southport Dress by True Bias was a pattern I snatched up right away. It’s just so perfect for summer throw it on and look like I tried wear. Everyone seems to be making this dress in rayon, but I’ve been dying for a linen dress, so I went that route. Plus, I think it’s more helpful to fit a pattern using fabric with less drape. My fabric is another one of those nice linen/rayon blends from Joanns (this one, while it’s still available).

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I modified the bodice slightly to skip the button front and to eliminate the dart. This pattern is drafted for C cup (in sewing terms) and my measurements put me in an A. My upper bust is 33″, and full is 34″. Normally, I would take my upper bust measurement and add 3″ to select which size to make (for a C cup draft), then remove 2″ in a SBA. However, I went with a size 6 bodice (for a 35″ bust) and took out 1/2″ (1″ total), then went ahead and closed out the dart completely. I was left with a teeny tiny 1/2″ dart, so really what was the point? As it happens, closing out the dart added exactly the length I needed back into the waist seam.

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After trying the dress on, the bodice was just huge on me. I went back in and pinched out 1/2″ on the side seam under the arm, tapering to nothing, thus removing an extra 2″. Despite my adjustments, the bodice is still very roomy. Next time I’ll make a size 4 bodice with the same SBA and dart removal. Additionally, I’ll do a petite adjustment to hike the neckline (that I already raised by 1″) and armholes up where I prefer them.

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My hip measurement put me in a size 12, while my waist measurement was at a 6, so, I cut the waistband casing as a size 6 but the skirt a size 12. I simply made a few small tucks in the skirt when attaching the casing—since the waist is gathered the tucks blend in. I added 1″ in length (usual addition for my height) and 2″ on the back skirt panel. I wanted to make a side split hem, and thought it would look better if the back were slightly longer. Also, it’s just more comfortable when I sit down to have a little extra length back there. The skirt sizing is fine, though I could probably go down a size for stiffer fabrics like linen or chambray but keep the fuller skirt for fabrics with more drape.

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Overall I’m happy with the dress. I wore it as soon as I stitched up the hem, and again a few days later. Any of the oversized bodice issues haven’t bothered me too much, but I will alter the pattern for next time. I keep wishing I had another like it, so I’m sure I’ll be making another soon!

—lisa g.