Linen Willow Tank Dress

This simple summer dress has become my new favourite thing to wear ... although it's not what I originally set out to make.

I initially bought a couple of metres of this milled linen on sale at the Fabric Store with the intention of making a Grainline Studio Willow Tank and a matching midi-skirt, but after bringing the fabric home and pre-washing it I had regrets over the colour. The linen itself is lovely and I usually love grey, but for some reason this just reminded me too much of a school uniform. But seeing as how I'd already bought the pattern and the fabric, I decided to go ahead and sew the tank anyway to check the fit. I made a size 14 and it fit just right (which is what I love about Grainline patterns!).

I then thought about how best to use up the rest of this fabric I was feeling ho-hum about. I've been (surprisingly) liking the nineties revival of wearing slip dresses over t-shirts, but slip dresses aren't really my thing so I had the idea to make the dress version of the Willow with the sole intent of wearing it over a tee. I figured layering the grey with another colour might help me to come around to it a bit more. And it worked!

I did hack the pattern a bit to make this dress. I cut out the front and back pieces as one (the pattern has you cut them as two), and I lowered the armholes and front and back necklines. I also added big patch pockets because a) I love pockets, and b) I now have somewhere to put my travel card and phone when I'm commuting. Both good reasons, right? I was influenced by the Clyde Dress by Elizabeth Suzann in making this dress. The Clyde has princess seams that the pockets are set in to - I'd love to try something like this next time.

I've harped on about this before, but I really like clothes that are trans-seasonal. I've been wearing this dress on warm days with a short-sleeve tee underneath (the linen is really light and breezy), but I can equally see this being worn with a long-sleeve tee, tights and chunky boots in cooler weather.

So there you go  a dress I didn't exactly set out to make, in a colour I wasn't feeling all that inspired by, has now become a new wardrobe staple!

1 comment

  1. Clever! It is great to have such versatile garments especially in this crazy towns weather.