Summer Sundress Sew-a-long, Stripes






Summer Sundress Sew-a-long, Stripes

Ah…hello my peeps! We’ve got some lovely summer heat happening in Vancouver right now! And lucky me…I had some time off work and was able to sneak away for an impromptu mini holiday for a few days. The mister and I drove up to Whistler to get together with a work colleague of his that was visiting from Texas! Turns out, it was a Texas sized occasion with 24 of us sitting down to dinner at Earls Restaurant. And I’m here to tell ya that we were enveloped in hospitality, Texas style. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our visit!

I wore this stripey sundress all most of the time we were in Whistler. It’s summer sundress sue style. Not so much strappy, but definitely happy. And why? Where the skin doth show, sunscreen must go. I don’t profess to be the fairest in the land, but I do confess to having sun-sensitive skin. Sigh. Such is the reality for a redhead. Life experience has taught me the value of keeping shoulders and other rarely exposed bits of skin safely covered when summer’s rays are at their fiercest, so when I stumbled across this cute dress on pinterest I knew it would be a perfect summer make!

A few posts back, I shared my technique for making a t-shirt pattern. Okay, maybe the word technique is a little fancy schmancy. After all, all I did was cut apart an old t-shirt. But, it worked! I’ve made a few tees already, and how ’bout we call them basic t-shirts, view A. Aaaaaannd…how ’bout we call my summer sundress, view B. Yuh-uh! This sundress is a direct descendant of my humble t-shirt. How to? Well, I added to the length obviously. And, I added to the side seams, creating an A-line shape. I added some fullness to the sleeves with an inverted pleat, and the ruffled hemline is a looooong, gathered rectangle of fabric. The ZIPPER, although completely unnecessary, is the design feature I love the most. It’s my first exposed zip…{can I get a wahoo}…I know, I’m totally late to that party, but what can I say. It was a little tricky working that zipper in a knit fabric, but I do love the final outcome, especially where the red stripe intersects with the red zipper. Hello, is that Vogue Magazine a calling? Since we share the good, the bad, and the ugly here, I must share that I did a little hand stitching at the base of that zipper. After I had sewn the zipper in, I spotted a couple of tiny areas that I was concerned might run, so I hand stitched the corners just to be safe. Knit fabrics don’t fray which is a definite yay. They do, however, sometimes run, just like when you snag a pair of nylons. Or…when you give your cat corporal cuddling…you know…the punishing of a cat by picking it up and cuddling it. Naughty cat has not chosen to be cuddled, and he/she tries desperately to free him/herself from evil clutches of human being. This always involves claws and almost always results in snagged t-shirts. Erg, where was I? Oh yes, my dress. I had the most fun figuring out the layout. This double knit fabric, at a whopping $1.99 meter, was unearthed in the bargain center at Dressew. I think it might have been there because the pattern repeats, oh, about every 50 feet or so. Seriously, it’s not, but the pattern seems almost, nearly random. There are different widths of blue and white stripes, and then a surprise random red stripe thrown in here and there. And I really, really wanted that red stripe to be featured in my dress, so, yes, I played at that for a while. At the end of the day, it definitely passed the travel test; and I like the dress a lot, and I wanna make another one out of a woven fabric! I have to tell you, if I like a garment I’ve made, I always so look forward to making it again…all the ifs, buts, and what just happeneds are sorted out, and garment number two usually goes together in about half the time!

Not much else newsy to share….so far the hives have not reoccurred…keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve reintroduced everything except the laundry soap. And I’m thinking that I’ll try it again….oh, never. The mister and I have been heading to local farmer’s markets on the weekends, our lofty goal being to visit every community market at least once this season. So far, we’ve been to a grand total of three, so as I type this I’m thinking that we might need to adjust our intentions. Especially since we seem to make a beeline towards the baking stands. every. time. That and homemade jam. Homemade jam is experiencing a real renaissance chez A Colourful Canvas. Big time. All righty, ‘nuf said. Thanks ever so much for stopping by!

Dress : : Me-Made
Sandals : : American Eagle for Payless
Starfish Earrings : : Me-Made from buttons


  • Reply Sheila July 16, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I just love this dress – the red stripe is so awesome, and the red zipper was a great choice (oh, and I LOVE the shoes too – please stop in at Shoe Shine on Saturday!). I have been remiss this year in visiting our west coast beaches – and would you believe I have never been to Whistler? Despite growing up in Victoria…

  • Reply Val S July 16, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Fabulous sewing, Sue! I love the random red stripes and your accent zipper. The fact that it's a knit dress makes it all the more easy to travel in, I'm sure, and I can imagine you wearing it every day. Except now you need one in your trademark bright colors!

    Whistler looks gorgeous, and getting out to farmer's markets sounds like such a good idea. We keep meaning to get out to some farms to buy organic meat and we still haven't done it!

  • Reply M @ My Closet Catalogue July 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Oh, good lord, woman! Just adopt me already so you can show me how it's done! You have such verve and class and talent; I bow down to you! That dress! That cunning red stripe! Those sleeves! Swoon…

  • Reply Heather July 16, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I love this! The starfish button detail on the sleeve!! Wow! Looks like you had a great time in Whistler too. Yay for summer!

  • Reply pastcaring July 16, 2014 at 9:49 am

    You sound very cheery, Cousin Sue! The summer dress is a beauty – love the stripes (and how they match up so perfectly!) and the detail on the sleeves. I confess I am not usually over-keen on exposed zips, but using a red one is an inspired idea and really works with the fabric and style. (I think that's my issue with them – they often don't seem to “go” with the frock, if you know what I mean…)
    Your trip to Whistler and the farmers markets sound brilliant. Enjoy! xxx

  • Reply Connie July 16, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Oh!!! We went on a vacation to Whistler when I was a little kid. So pretty there. You are certainly improving the view! I am terrified of zippers. Especially exposed zips. You did an amazing job on this dress. A-ma-zing!!!

  • Reply My Kurves July 16, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Such a a beautiful dress on you Sue and you look kinda girly. . .Yep! You are so talented and everyone wants to come play in your closet.

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo Style Files July 16, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Well I can certainly tell you lined up that pattern to work seamlessly on this super fab dress. It really does make all the difference to have that little bit of red in there. All the details add up to one great design. Me thinks you are going to get loads of wear out of this dress.

    The toes are CUTE! Like little lady bugs.

    Glad to hear you had a great time in Whistler. You managed to get some wonderful photos. I love the colourful bikes!


  • Reply amy mayen July 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Oh my goodness. I'm obsessed with this dress, I love the random red stripes casually making their appearance:) also the sleeve detail is fabulous! I love knits, and exposed zippers, but I have never sewn a zipper I to knit. It seems like it would be painstaking- you are rocking this dress, Sue.

  • Reply Louise Perry July 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    You are so brave putting the exposed zip in. But wow it paid off, this is lovely. Those flashes of red pop! I made a knit dress recently, but I struggled getting the tension right. I got so frustrated! But by the end of the make I'd learned loads of lessons and I want to have another go real soon.

  • Reply T July 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Awesome …. The scarlet zipper being the icing in the amazingness cake. And also ….. Divine styling on this. You look like you should live in a Woody Allen movie!

  • Reply Hana - Velvet Ribbon July 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    This is gorgeous, Sue! Love your new dress and looks like you are having so much fun 🙂 Love the starfish earrings too, they are so cute 🙂

  • Reply ann wood July 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Super cute Sue! Love the red zipper and cool shoes.

    blue hue wonderland

  • Reply Heather Roach July 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Great dress! I love all the little details, especially the sleeves, that take it from ordinary to fantastic.

  • Reply arish July 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Has hecho unos cambios ideales en tu patrón de camiseta; el vestido luce estupendo y te favorece mucho; yo también tengo problemas con el sol, mi piel es muy blanca. BESICOS.

  • Reply Sewing Princess July 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Whoa! Really nice! Red and blue together are great! Do you live in Vancouver?

  • Reply Vix July 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I love that flirty fun dress and the red zip down the back gives it a whole lot of edge. xxx

  • Reply Steven July 17, 2014 at 12:55 am

    It is my second time to visit your blog and I decide to leave somthing here. You are very refreshing in almost every dress!

  • Reply oona balloona July 17, 2014 at 4:39 am


    i love lots as usual. but i had to point out the piggies.

  • Reply Flo July 17, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Adorable! I want one now! It looks so comfy, I think my favorite part was the way you finished the sleeves. This ranks up there as one of my faves 🙂

  • Reply Ruth Procter July 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Lovely dress – I'm sure it's really comfy to wear but looks great at the same time!

  • Reply sabine July 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Hello Sue,
    I see you had a good time in a marvellous area. Your pics are beautiful. And beautiful also is your summerdress. I love the stripes, the comfortable cut and the cute red details.
    Sabine xxx

  • Reply Margo B July 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Love this dress Sue!!! And stripes…be still my beating heart. I love a stripe! Your zipper looks awesome in red too. Sounds like a glorious summer…I have been stuck in the fog…. Oh well summer will appear just in time for fall. 😉

  • Reply Cheryl July 17, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Cute!! I love it!

  • Reply Jan Graham-McMillen July 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Awwwh. I agree about the zipper! So pretty. Definitely summery and some cover is a great thing. Such a cute length, and it's fun to have a little flounce on a little shorter dress! I have one that I took a little shorter than I might ordinarily because a flounce just demanded it!
    Things are improving here, less stress, etc. Not quite back in a proper frame of mind, but we persevere. Dan and I and all the critters thrive, so that's a lot! Hope you are enjoying your summer, Lovely Girl!

  • Reply Cathy B July 18, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Something a little different Sue! Well, no one can say you are predictable! Speaking of Farmers Markets…one of my Favourites is the Ladner FM. It's not every weekend, but worth marking it on your calendar. Great place to have brunch as well…

  • Reply No fear of fashion July 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I love this dress as much as you do I think. It is a perfect dress. Contemporary, fun, unique, flattering… I can go on for a bit more. In one word: a stunner.
    And to think you did all that with a T-shirt taken apart. You are a master! Love your red “details” and the pleat in the sleeve. How about some sleeves to your elbow next time? Just for a change? Or doesn't that suit you?

  • Reply No fear of fashion July 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Forgot to compliment you for the shoes.

  • Reply Sheila July 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Sue, saw your comment – that place was Fable Cottage! They actually uprooted it and floated it away to Denman Island. I remember going there as a kid – there were creepy gnomes all over the place.

  • Reply Dana Bishop July 21, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I'm so behind at life. I should have told you days ago how much I like this dress and each of your accessories. The red zipper is super cool, and though I resist using expressions du jour, the red really “pops”. All of your work is first-rate and so is each of your posts.

  • Reply Barbara July 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Your red zip is spectacular! What a way to debut with the exposed zip! Your dress is fab, enjoy summer.

  • Reply Rebecca July 21, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I just love Whistler! I am so jealous that you got to spend some time there! Such a beautiful place! I adore this dress you made, my favorite part is that red exposed zipper too! The little ruffled bottom is so sweet!


  • Reply Jasmine Rabuñal Barrientos July 23, 2014 at 8:31 am

    It's amazing that you sewed your dress! It's so well done. Really beautiful and it flatters you.

    Jasmine x
    For a Real Woman
    So easy Spanish!

  • Reply Glenda July 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I agree with you on the zipper. It is delightful and makes for a more interesting back detail. An article of clothing should be interesting all the way around, and this dress most certainly is. I love it, and especially with the fun, chunky gold sandal 🙂

  • Reply dan July 24, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Stripes and colours make your delightful dress very marine…the red zip at the back is very nice! Details often make the diference in clothes…
    Never stay in the sun without a high protection, Sue! Me too have a sensitive skin and can remember some holidays completely ruined by skin problems…

  • Reply Ariane Lasalle July 24, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Hi Sue!

    How are you doing? love the dress and again admiring your sewing skills!
    Me too have sensitive skin and cannot leave home without sunsreen –
    I have been on the hunt too on our daytrip during the weekends for farmers market, and so far none very disapointed – I guess you will have to go further to find them and you are right about the bake goods and jam;) But this is what i was looking for!

    Big hugs

    See you soon


  • Reply Joni James July 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Whistler is such a pretty place, isn't it?
    You did a great job on that dress. Love the nautical theme right now. The zipper really makes the dress even better. I haven't put a zipper into anything since junior high school. I'm petrified! Why is sewing so scarey? haha
    I'm getting more brave though and I can't wait to sew better things like dresses. You look great and fresh!

  • Reply jen storer July 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Sue, It was so great to hear from you. I was hoping 'that colourful girl from Vancouver' would pop up again as I am so out of the loop and lost half my contacts. You have brightened my day and made me smile as always! Looking FAB!

  • Reply Laurie July 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Wahoo Sue! Once again I am amazed by your talent! What a great dress.

  • Reply Kelly Jackson July 30, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Sue! Everything about this post is pure perfection! The dress and every little detail are perfect. I love the way you display everything on your blog – it's just so lush to look at. Xoxoxo

  • Reply The Style Crone July 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Fun, flirty, fantastic. And love the metallic shoes! You never fail to dance on my computer screen.

  • Reply Lori August 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I love everything about this dress, fabulous job.

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