I’m always a year or two behind trends – I don’t like them when they are breaking, but by year two, I’m like, “YAS! I need culottes/jumpsuits/whatever!” That’s where I’m at with tent dresses. Call ’em what you like – trapeze dresses, swing dresses – I want them! I toyed with the idea just a wee bit last year, but with my current obsession over the Santa Fe top, I’m all in.
The thing is, it’s a more complicated shape than it seems. My ideal tent dress has lots of volume, but not so much I look pregnant… it’s short enough to be sassy, but long enough to cover my rear when I bend or sit.
There are two tent dress patterns that seem really popular this summer: Papercut Sway dress, and the Made It Patterns Groove dress. Additional options include lengthening Hey June Santa Fe, or even the Papercut Clover.
And yet.. I’m starting my exploration/obsession with tent dresses with another pattern completely: the Jorna dress! Aka. a pattern I’ve barely seen sewn up before, and the one and only pattern release by blogger Jenna Brand. (She also has versions for girls and maternity.) Normally I’m a little sceptical of recreational pattern designers… but I sewed this pattern up for my Mom a year or two ago, and it’s super cute! Think art teacher chic, with unexpected volume and shaping in the skirt.
Basically, it’s a tank dress on top, with a cut-on skirt (no wait seam) that veers sharply off at an angle. The hemline is cut on a pronounced curve so that it’s longer at front and back, but short with lots of volume at the sides. Sounds weird, right? But I think it’s actually cute, and combines sassiness with butt coverage!
Here’s how short it is at the sides, if I hold back all the fullness of the skirt – and how it looks from the side normally!
The reason I thought of this pattern was that I’d asked a friend what the difference between Papercut Sway and Clover is… and she’d shown me that Clover has a curve giving shape at the seams, whereas Sway is a straight triangle. Jorna has that same curved side seam, but even more pronounced. The up-side is that it’s still a loose, flowly shape, but it’s got some waist definition.
I managed to just barely cut mine from about 1.5m of rayon jersey by including a centre back seam. The rayon is key – my mom’s version in rayon looked totally elegant, but the version I made myself back then in polyester ITY was appalling and went straight in the recycling bin. (It’s now been remade into underwear.) I think the weight of the rayon helps it cling to curves in an appealing way.
Can I hit you with a non-sewing non-sequiter? I had a strange allergic reaction to lipstick this spring, resulting in puffy, peeling and uncomfortable lips. I blame one product in particular, a lip crayon with minty scent… or maybe it’s SPF lip products? For a month or two, even my favourite wear-them-all-the-time lipsticks and lipbalms set me off! Anyway, long story short, I’ve been wearing a lot of eyeshadow this summer to make up for the bare lips!
Including this fun duochrome shade that is rust brown but reflects teal in the light. How fun! (And so hard to photograph! I swear it’s way bolder.) I feel like summer makeup is usually marketed as easy and sheer, but since I don’t work in the summer I really enjoy the chance to play and experiment. How about you?
So, round one of the tent-dress trials, and I haven’t really made a tent dress! I’ve got a Santa Fe dress ready to blog though, as soon as it goes up on Cali Fabric’s blog first… and the Sway and Groove patterns waiting in the wings! How do you feel about tent dresses? Wanna talk makeup? Let’s chat!