March 15, 2023

Day Dresses for a Dopamine Boost: We're Going Bright for May

Sometimes I go into a month with a clear vision of what I want it to be, and sometimes I let things form spontaneously in the process. The latter method always has a bit of whimsy and surprise to it, which I find both a bit scary and all together thrilling.

For May, all I knew going in was I wanted some sort of sundress. This morphed into Day Dresses as I wanted something you could throw on on a lazy Saturday and feel totally comfortable while still put together. A simple start to the theme, but then over the course of picking patterns and organizing the fabrics, I ended up in a completely unexpected but wonderful place.

And where is that exactly? To be honest, it ended up a bit Barbiecore, but largely unintentionally. Perhaps being in the dead of winter put me in the mood for bright, happy colors. Perhaps I just really think hot pink is a fabulous color for clothing. Either way, our May boxes are one giant burst of cheery energy with bold colors and vibrant patterns. And I'm in love with it. I hope you are too!

So, without further ado, let's dig in!

Sew Essential Box: Lois Dress from Tessuti Patterns

I have been eyeing the Lois Dress from Tessuti Fabrics for a while now, but largely for my own personal sewing. It fits my wardrobe perfectly - easy, but not loose fit, a deep V, and an A-line skirt. So when the idea of Day Dresses started coming together, I leapt at the chance to use it in one of our boxes. 

We haven't used many Tessuit patterns, if only because their aesthetic is very specific to Australian beach wear and the clothes you wear in the winter while you're waiting to go to the beach again. And they do this look SO well! They make truly lovely patterns, but not always ones we can use for our monthly themes.  Their clothes are easy fitting, easy to sew and, most importantly, easy to wear. Sometimes I think of them as lazy weekend vibes in sewing pattern form.

And that makes them ideal for this month's theme. The day dresses are all about something you can throw on without worrying about too much styling, and the Lois Dress is that in one gorgeous dress. You'll want to wear it all spring and summer!

For fabrics, the dress calls for some drape and lightness, so we stuck to poplins and voiles, fabrics that are easy to sew and a joy to wear. And of course, they're all in the candy-coated, cheery colors we've fallen for this month.

So here they are!


  • Fuchsia Rayon Poplin - Normally this poplin comes in bold prints that we have swooned over in the past, but we recently discovered a line of solids that has us over the moon. A tighter weave than a challis, this poplin is opaque and deeply saturated. The bright, slightly purple fuchsia is summery and fresh, and will be a burst of cheer in your wardrobe. A gorgeous fabric!
  • Sunshine Ferns Rayon Cotton Voile - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve included this fabric in my list of possibilities and it just hasn’t quite fit the theme of the month. But no longer! This fabric is right at home in our sunshine theme, and we are so happy for it. The fabric is silky soft with a light, flowy drape that will match the shape of this dress. Plus, the cotton means it presses like a dream and will hold the crisp lines of V-neck. Plus the pattern is fun and summery, with navy ferns floating over a honey-yellow background. A perfect summer fabric!
  • Azure Blue Cotton Batiste - As sewists, we may often gravitate towards bold prints or luxury linens, but there is something so natural and comforting about a quality cotton. This batiste, lightly crisp and wonderfully silky, has a drape that works so nicely for the A-line shape and sharp V-neck of this dress. Plus the bright azure blue is like a gorgeous sky in the summer. Be your own perfect day when you wear this fantastic fabric!

Sew Select and Sew Curvy Boxes: Sauvie Sundress from Sew House Seven

The Sauvie Dress was introduced last June, and it's taken all our patience to wait for the right theme for it. But now it's here! And doesn't it just scream effortless elegance? 

All of Sew House Seven's patterns are eminently wearable, and the Sauvie Sundress is no exception. The loose fit makes it perfect for summer heat while the abundance of variations - from a short shift dress to a long ruffled gown - allow you to reflect your own personal style. As the description says, the dress "can be anything from a swim cover-up to a casual summer dress to an elegant evening gown." We are particularly fond of the elastic waist which adds some shape to the dress and structure fro the in-seam pockets

The effect of the dress changes a lot depending on the type of fabric you choose, whether it is a drapey viscose or a more structured linen. We wanted to give you a spectrum of options, from crisper cottons to silky bamboos. And the color theme is strong here with the blue, pink, yellow theme we established in our Sew Essential Box. We hope you find a your favorite!

Let's dig in!

Sew Select Box:


  • Denim Blue Pin Dot Cotton Lawn - Designed by esteemed Japanese brand Sevenberry for Robert Kaufman, this cotton lawn has an ultra-smooth hand and an, airy, soft drape. Lightweight and breathable, with tiny white polka dots speckled across its face, this fabric is a classic, evoking day dresses from the 50s and 60s, but in a thoroughly modern dress. This dress will feel be a dream to wear, perfect for the summer heat.
  • Maize Cotton Batiste - There’s not much more summery than a bright, sunny yellow, so it was simply obvious to feature this gorgeous cotton batiste. Light and silky, this finely woven cotton is a classic summer fabric. It is breathable, soft, and supple. The lightly crisp drape will accentuate the flow of this dress, without adding too much volume, all while keeping you cool in summer heat. And the color will be a burst of cheer in your closet. We’re happier just looking at it!
  • Magenta Baby Noil - If you love our viscose linen noil, this will be your next fave. With a higher rayon content, this fabric is even silkier and drapier, making it ideal for this dress. And the color is divine! A vibrant, jewel-toned pink, it give a kick of color without knocking you out. You may not think a pink dress is in your future, but I'm here to convince you otherwise. Go bold with this stunning choice!

Sew Curvy Box:


  • Buttercup Daisy Rayon Poplin - A retro-inspired print, this fabric combines a soft, butter yellow with gray and white daisies for a look that is simply divine. The rayon poplin (one of our favorite fabrics), is lusciously light with a soft drape that will give this dress movement and sway. The tight weave of the fabric makes it easy to sew and wear, and the cool hand of the rayon will keep you comfy in the summer heat. All in all, it's everything you could ask for in a day dress!
  • Magenta Bamboo Twill - The wonderful thing about bamboo is it takes dyes so easily. That means we can get amazing vibrant colors, like this fuchsia pink. It is rich, lush, and deeply saturated. The fabric has a gorgeous, soft drape from the bamboo and a cool, dry hand, perfect for the upcoming heat. Plus, with a subtle sheen, this fabric will add a bit of poshness to this day dress, while still being incredibly comfortable and soft. We love every bit of it!
  • Blue on Blue Linen Cotton Stripe - We fell HARD for this variegated stripe linen. A yarn-dye weave, this fabric felt like a perfect match for this dress. The vertical stripe will really show off the long line of the dress, plus, it opens up possibilities of turning the stripe for the hem ruffle! The classic blue has Mediterranean beach vibes while the linen will be breathable and fresh for summer. A stunning, stripey choice!

Sew Indulgent Box: Charlie Caftan from Closet Core Patterns

We've featured the Charlie Caftan before, but that was waaaaay back in 2018, so it felt like we could use a refresh. And the dress is an all-around stunner of a summer dress. Featuring a deep V neckline, grown on sleeves, inset center panel and roomy pockets, this dress is not your grandma's muumuu or your mother's 70s caftan. 

It's the epitome of a summer day dress. Put on some heels and you have your next favorite going-out dress. Put on some sandals and you're ready for a full-day at the park. Put on a bathing suit, and you have the most stylish of beach cover-ups. It can do it all, and that's why we're positive you'll want this dress in your upcoming summer wardrobe.

With the long line and stunning sweep of this dress, you can really feature some gorgeous fabric, and we really knocked it out of the park on this one (if we do say so ourselves). A cotton eyelet, a unique gauze, and a brilliant tencel print will all become your go-to dopamine dresses. The hardest part of getting ready will be choosing which one!

Here they are!


  • French Blue Embroidered Cotton Voile - This caftan really works for so many fabrics, from linens to silks to cottons. Because we want to create something as unique as you are, this fabric immediately jumped to the top of our list. Between the bright French blue and the lovely floral embroidery, this fabric has it all! Tiny cutouts are small enough that you won’t need to underline, especially with the loose fit and flowy drape. Textural and subtle, this fabric will become a unique dress beyond anything you could find in stores!
  • Lemon Stripe Cotton Double Gauze - We say each month that there is always one fabric that cements our color scheme. This month, this fabric started the ball rolling with its gorgeous, warm yellow. It’s sunshine in a stripe! With the double gauze weave and slight crinkle that creates, this fabric is wonderfully light and soft. This dress can go everywhere – from the beach to picnic to Target – and you will look amazing anywhere you go. Secret summer pajamas for the win!
  • Bright Pink Abstract Floral Ecovero Twill - There are large-scale prints and then there are giant prints that take up nearly the whole width of the fabric. That's this printed Tencel which is like a mural of floral color. Huge green leaves and red flowers float on a bubblegum pink background, giving both a tropical and painterly feel. The tencel itself is dry and supple, and will transform into a truly gorgeous, statement caftan. Dopamine dressing indeed!

Our Tried and True Boxes this month will feature our Statement Collars theme from last Spring. Each of these blouses shows off a gorgeous collar, from peter pan to full smock, and we think they'll be an amazing addition to your summer wardrobe. Since Deer & Doe Patterns stopped offering paper patterns, we swapped in the very cool Tilda Blouse from Maison Fauve. A new company for us, we're excited to start using them more in upcoming boxes. They have such nice details in their designs!

And lastly, we have some BIG news coming up at the beginning of next month, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media to be in the know. 

Until next time. . .

Happy sewing!


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