At long last, summer finally arrived in London☀️ If you’re still looking for a cute summer dress pattern and a matching fabric, I know the perfect dream team for you: the Simplicity 8635 dress combined with the John Kaldor Floral Print Crepe fabric from Minerva Crafts💕
The Pattern: Simplicity 8635
This pattern has it all! You can choose between 4 different options: a long dress, a romper, a short dress or a jumpsuit. But there is more! On top of that, you can customise your sewing project with either closed or open back plus choose between a slightly more v-shaped neckline versus a rounded one💁♀️
All options are beautiful, so it’s quite a taff decision which one to go with😅 As my goal was to have a medium-long summer dress, I decided to go with version B and a rounded neckline. And as I wanted to have a dress which is suitable to wear every day, I went with the closed-back option.
Why This Pattern
First and foremost, I’m absolutely in love with the strappy back detailing. It’s such a beautiful design and makes this pattern very special and unique💖
Also, this dress is absolutely perfect for summer. There won’t be any uncomfortable stickiness on your skin thanks to the airy skirt (if you go with option B) and the open arm and shoulder part☀️ Use the top to bring in shape and to emphasise the waist area, while the gathered skirt allows you to sit comfortably in the grass in a park on a sunny day🌳
And…the dress also has invisible pockets! I love pockets so that’s a big plus for me.
Don’t choose this pattern if you’re an absolute sewing beginner!🙈 I started sewing about one year ago and felt, let’s say challenged by this pattern. However, as an advanced and ambitious sewing beginner, you might want to give it a try! (here’s a link to a more beginner-friendly pattern in case you’re just getting started)
Below are some of the challenges I faced while sewing this dress😅 The instructions don’t go too much in detail, so it would for sure be a big plus if you have practised these skills in the past with other sewing projects before starting this dress.
- Creating long and super small tie ends (you will need a loop turner to turn your tie ends)
- Shortening and inserting an invisible zipper
- Gathering the skirt and attaching it to the bodice
- Attaching and understitching bodice lining
The instructions also don’t tell you when you have to press the seam or zigzag the ends to prevent it from fraying. Therefore, some sewing knowledge and experience really are needed before getting started with the Simplicity 8635 pattern👈
None! I’ve just fitted the top a bit around my bust and waist areas so that I feel comfortable in it🙂 Other than that, it was absolutely perfect when I’ve tried it on.
However, in the UK, I’m usually going with a size 10 but after measuring myself and comparing the result with the size table on the back of the pattern bundle, I decided to go with a 12 and the dress fits perfectly🙌
The Fabric for My Summer Dress
The pattern gives you quite a big fabric choice – from cotton lawn to lightweight denim to silky fabric types. Important for me was to work with a drapey fabric so that the gathered skirt falls nicely and that it fits the airy style fo the pattern🌟
My Fabric Choice
When I discovered the John Kaldor Floral Print Crepe fabric on the Minerva Crafts website, I knew right away that I have found the dream team of fabric and pattern💕
John Kaldor is a “leading manufacturer of fashion-driven ladies wear for UK mid-market brand label retailers”. The name stands for the best quality and I definitely wasn’t disappointed when the fabric arrived. It was not only a great fabric to sew and work with, but it also is a dream to wear the finished garment😊
The Floral Print Crepe is a soft polyester crepe fabric with a beautiful, simple and modern floral design🌸 I love the contrast between the black background and the white flowers plus the bit of colour added in the middle of the flowers.
The fabric has the perfect weight for a dress and I will definitely use the leftovers for a simple cami top.
Final Thoughts About My New Summer Dress
I’m so happy to have this wonderful summer dress as a new garment in my wardrobe and will definitely wear it often in the next couple of weeks.
Have you also worked with this pattern and/or fabric in the past or is it on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram or Pinterest (@sewingbeginner)🤗