Pinspiration: Melon Summer Dress

With all that's been happening in the world the last few weeks pertaining to Coronavirus, I needed a break. I find being creative is a very productive and helpful outlet for me. So I went to my Pinterest board and looked to see what I was inspired to sew. This peach summer dress popped out to me so that's what I made, with a few changes of course. 

Here's my inspiration from

Found on Pinterest; originally from
Here's my version:

Now one thing to point out about my inspiration is that it's made using woven fabric. I chose to use knit instead since I prefer knit summer dresses. Another change I've made is that with young children, this mini length doesn't work for me. I've extended the length to fit my lifestyle better. 

Now let's get into the details! 

Pattern used: Made for Mermaids Jade with Scoop Bodice and shoulder ties
Hack: Added gathered straight skirt
Ease of hack: 1/5
Ease of project: 2/5
Fabric: Mily Mae Fabrics Lush Rib Knit in melon
Fabric Needed: For my size and length, about 1.5 yards. I purchased 2 yards for $13
Notions needed: optional (clear elastic for waist)

This hack works for any size and both women or youth. Alternatively, if you prefer the tie front bodice of the Jade, you could use that too. The Jade bodice is fitted with negative ease. Make sure to use a fabric that has spandex and recovery.

The fabric I used for this dress is the lush rib knit in melon from Mily Mae Fabrics. I've sewn with this fabric in different colors for many different makes. It has excellent recovery which isn't usually the case in rib knits. I've used the rib knit for the main and lining of this dress. 

Start by cutting out all of your pieces for the bodice using the Jade pattern. Make sure to cut out enough pieces for the bodice and the lining. If you chose to add the optional shoulder ties, cut out 2 sets of those too. I did add the ties but didn't stitch them down so can remove them if I feel like it. 

Next, we'll cut out the skirt. I took a tape measure and measured from my waist to where I wanted the dress to end on my body. Take that number and add 1" to account for the hem. My measurement was 24". The width of the skirt to cut depends on the size you are making and how dense of gathers you want. A good rule of thumb is to measure the bottom of your bodice and double that for your width. I was able to cut the front and back skirts from the width of the fabric, making them about 28" wide. So I cut two equal pieces 28" wide x 24" high for the skirt. 


Sew the bodice fully following the instructions in the Jade pattern tutorial. 

Next, sew the side seams on the skirt panels, right sides together. (I did the process differently which didn't work as well as how I'm describing.)

Now, we will sewing gathering stitches. There's many different ways to gather. If you have a preferred way that works best for you, do that. I've found I prefer sewing 2 basting lines for consistent gathers. To do this, with a straight stitch turn your stitch length to the longest possible (on my machine that's a 5 length). I then sew at 1/4" and 5/8". Make sure to leave long tails when starting and stopping the stitches. I find it's easiest to start and stop these basting stitches at the side seams so you can adjust the gathers on the front and back separately. 

Before proceeding anymore, fold your skirt and bodice in half. Add clips or pins to the center front and back. This will help ensure your gathers are even around. 

Now let's gather! I hold the bobbin threads of both lines of stitching in my hand tightly. Then I use my other hand to push the fabric away from the threads. I prefer to make the gathers too tight now and release them to fit. 

Fully gathered should look like this. 

With the skirt wrong side facing out, insert the bodice with right side out. You will match up the center front and back clips at this point. Clip side seams now too. Adjust the gathers by either loosening or tightening so that the bodice and skirt match up evenly. 

Using a 1/2" seam allowance, attach the bodice and skirt together using your serger or sewing machine with stretch stitch. You can choose to add clear elastic at this step too if that's your preference. 

Remove your basting stitches. 

The last step is to press and hem! The hem included is 1" but this is a great time to try it on and decide if you want a different hem length. I ended up hemming mine 1.5" based on my length preference. 

Tips & Tricks

If you are trying to conserve fabric or make this from a smaller cut, use a different fabric for the lining. I've used DBP or Cotton Lycra in previous makes, both work great. 

If using a non-directional fabric, you can cut the skirt pieces either direction. 

When sewing gathering stitches, I put in contrasting thread to make it easier to remove later. In this case, I used grey. 

As for cost, I don't do this to save money. The cost to purchase the fabric was $6.50/yard and I needed 2 yards for a total of $13. If I had purchased this online, it would have cost $23.25. I saved $10 and ended up with a dress more fit for my lifestyle.  

Happy Sewing!

My posts may feature affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase from these links, I receive a small percentage in compensation at no cost to you. I may have received patterns or products to test or review but the opinions I voice are my own. 


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