I do have a few opinions on what makes a great sundress. Sundresses should be comfortable. If you’re dealing with a high heat situation you do not want to be wearing an tight fitting, pinchy dress.
Comfort is on the top of my list. I love my sundresses to be on the flowy side, maybe with a bit of a twirl factor too. For me a sundress has to be made with easy care fabric. Silk is lovely, as is easy-to-sew cotton. A fitted sheath in silk shantung would work for something on the formal side.
Below are two sundresses that meet all my criteria. I made this classic sundress last year for a 1940′s ball. The pattern is from 1948 but as you can see, this style is just has relevant today. This has a great twirl factor with a 3/4 skirt, it is made with a cotton and a China silk lining. I need to go back in and adjust the straps.
Straps that fit comfortable, no digging and stay on your shoulders is also a must for the perfect sundress.
I’m working on this one right now. I wanted to finish it for the series but, life got in the way. This is an OOP (out of print pattern) from Vogue 8645.
The outer fabric is a stretch satin and the lining is a grey chiffon. Chiffon, probably not the greatest choice for hot days, we’ll see. With the loose nature of the dress it shouldn’t be too sticky when wearing. And, it’s not like I’m going to be toiling in the outback or anything.
This version has pockets. I do love pockets but they are not a make or break for me. Sometimes I don’t like the extra bulk of a pocket and I might eliminate them.
On a side note: This pattern is interesting because it’s made to be reversible. You don’t see many reversible patterns anymore. Although it’s easy to figure out how to make a reversible garment, I find it interesting that Vogue actually presented it that way.
So in a nutshell here’s my list of must-haves for the perfect sundress.
- Easy care fabrics
- Straps that fit (no sliding off shoulders)
- Flowy, with a bit of twirl
- Fantastic fabric
Basic, but non-negotiable requirements. The fun is in the details don’t you think? Find a classic sundress and make a bold statement with outrageous, head turning fabric. My recommendation is to make up one for every day of the week!