Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

Blue stripe circle ruffle tie neck sundress

I've participated in Melly Sews's Sundressing series for several years now! I LOVE kicking off summer sundress season with a DIY. This sundress is definitely the summeriest thing I've made this year!

I usually modify old favorite patterns, and this time was no different. I used Simplicity 1355, which I've made several times before (see them all here), with several changes... you'll see below.

I've seen a lot of pale blue striped summery dresses lately, often adding ruffles or bias- or circle-cut ruffles. I wanted something flowy and easy to wear, no zippers or anything, and modified an old favorite pattern to be a little more bare at the top of the bodice and a little fuller in the skirt. Plus, I added a ruffle I cut like a circle skirt.

I cut the ruffle using a table that was about the right size to trace!

And marking about 5.5" out all around.

With simple elastic-waist dresses like this, and when the skirt is pretty straight like this one, the skirt is no fuller than the bottom of the bodice. So I tried something a little crazy on this one... I cut the bottom of the bodice, and the entire skirt, two sizes larger than the rest of the bodice. You'll see how that worked out for me as you read on. ;)

You can also see here how I made the bodice a little lower-cut and with narrower straps than the pattern calls for.

I love how the circular ruffle hangs!

The dress turned out totally summery and light!

BUT my full skirt method failed. Wider at the waist, on a lightweight fabric and with narrow elastic, just makes it thicker in the middle!! I like the width of the skirt but that taper is way too sharp in the bodice and it's just huge throughout the middle. I think I'll probably take it apart and take in down to the size it was meant to be when I get a chance. :P

I do really like the easy tie neck and loose style, though!

Pattern: Simplicity 1355
  • Cut front and back "straps" narrower
  • Cut bodice in triangle shape/cut skirt fuller
  • Cut the skirt short and added circle-cut ruffle

Thanks to Melissa for inviting me to participate in Sundressing 2017!

Shop some of my inspirations here!

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