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Dressmaking with cotton vintage fabrics

Summer sewing inspiration

Crisp and cool, cotton and linen are the perfect fabrics for summer. Cotton is usually woven on a basic hopsack weave which means it doesn’t slip around when sewing. So it is the perfect fabric for beginners or those of us who want a slightly easier sewing project when the temperatures are high.

I’ve released an edit of vintage cotton fabrics for the summer and wanted to share some sewing inspiration for your summer wardrobes. I’ve paired the sewing patterns that I sell on my site along with the fabrics. I’ve already checked there is enough fabric available to fit the pattern. Some of these fabrics are narrow so you may need to change the layouts. Read my tips on how to work with narrow fabrics. I’ve sneaked a few linen fabrics into this blog too as they are so delightful for summer sewing.

Maven Barcelona Dress Pattern

I’ve made this dress several times as it is chic, smart and yet comfortable to wear. Perfect when going out all day but going somewhere too smart for shorts. Sharon from Maven has shared lots of tips on how to make the dress, I’m following her blog on how to alter the pattern to add a lining. There is also a tutorial on how to create a skirt from the same pattern. Click here to for the Maven Barcelona tutorials.

Fabric suggestions: Barcelona

Maven French Dart Dress Pattern

The French Dart is so versatile and works really well with vintage fabrics. Designed as a tunic to be worn over jeans or leggings, it also works well as a summer dress with bare legs. Or follow Sharon from Maven’s hack on turning it into a top. With 3 sleeve options included in the pattern you will be making this design again and again.

Fabric suggestions: French Dart

Seasons of East Summer in London dress pattern

Summer in London is a beautiful dress with a distinctly vintage feel. Princess seams are used to give a lovely fitted shape to the bodice which is fully lined, whilst gathering provides fullness to the elegant midi length skirt. Fastened at the back with a concealed zip and with the option of making the rouleaux straps adjustable. There are plenty of techniques for sewists to sink their teeth into. Suitable for intermediate sewists who have mastered a number of sewing techniques.

Fabric suggestions: Summer in London dress

Maven Wendy Smock top pattern

Inspired by the traditional artist’s smock – think Monet wafting around his garden at Giverny with brush in hand, and then refashioned for us modern creative ladies to enjoy. You will be able to create your own generous and loose fitting top with 3/4 length sleeves. This is a versatile pattern with 3 neckline options: self-bound with either a faced opening at the centre front or a side neck opening positioned on the shoulder seam, or choose to finish without an opening. Two pretty and practical patch pockets are an easy addition.

Fabric suggestions: Wendy Smock

I’m offering 15% off all fabrics when bought along with a sewing pattern on my fabric shop. Use the code ‘Cotton’ on check out. Discount is valid until midnight on 31 August 2023. Discount only applies to fabric, excludes patterns, haberdashery and fat quarters. Free shipping included in promotion if the total order value is £25 or over. Pattern and fabric must be bought at the same time to the same shipping address for the discount to be valid.