Completed: The Sway Dress

3 Sep

Y’all, this heat is making me do crazy things this year. As in, I made a tent dress. Out of LINEN. I’ll just let that one soak in for a minute.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - front

I doubt it’s the most flattering thing I could be putting on my body, but you know what? Fuck it. This shit is BEYOND COMFY.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - front

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - front

Katie sent me this pattern, the Sway dress, right after the launch of her most recent collection, Chameleon. While I loooove the way it’s styled on the envelope (especially that winter version with the turtleneck! Ahhh it looks so chic and cozy!), I was pretty sure there was no way in hell I’d be putting this kind of tent shape over my body. My waist, the world has to know that I have a waist!!!1!

Then I turned 30, then it got really hot, and then Katie is basically like my mom because she knew better before I even realized it for myself.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - side

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - side

If this dress looks like it took 2 hours to put together, that’s because it did. It was super fast, super easy, and a really satisfying project to work on. The pattern is extremely simple – front, back, facings, and then pockets. That’s it! No darts, no tricky seamlines, no closures. I cut the size XXS with no alterations, and made this up in an afternoon. The directions are clear and straightforward, and I really like that the facings are all-in-one, so that the arm holes and neckline are all encased at the same time and everything stays in place really well. it’s a nice, clean finish, and it looks really good from both the outside and the inside. Letting the dress hang for 24 hours to stretch out the bias was the most time-consuming part of the whole sewing process, but even leveling the hem wasn’t that bad.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - front

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - back

AND, because the dress only really fits at the shoulders and falls loose everywhere else – it’s totally reversible! You can wear the front to the back, or vice versa. Say what now?! I was originally Team V-neck, but after wearing the dress around a bit, I actually like the v in the back.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - pockets

Since the dress is already totes appropriate for hot weather, I went the extra mile and made it out of some dark blue heavyweight linen to keep things extra cool and breezy. I really did not know what to expect with this linen – I’ve bitched and moaned before about how much I don’t like linen for it’s shifty nature and constant wrinkles – but this particular linen is a lot more tame than most of the ones I’ve sewn with. Because it’s so heavy, it’s not as prone to shifting around or wrinkling (while I did take these photos before wearing it around, I have since worn it for a full day and even with a couple hours of driving involved, it barely wrinkled at all). It does still fray like mad, so I made sure to finish all my seams with the serger and that solved that problem. This is the kind of linen that would get me sewing with the fiber on the regular – and now that I’m looking at the Mood Fabrics website, it looks like they added more colors! Yay!

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - neckline

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - necklineThe only part where I deviated from the pattern was to cut the pockets out of a lightweight china silk, instead of the heavy linen. I’m sure the linen would have been fine, but I like how light and not-bulky the silk pockets are. Plus, they feel gooood on my hands!

One thing I will change for future makes of this pattern is to raise the arm holes, because they are pretty low on me! It might just be because I’m petite, but I was showing a little bit of bra when I first tried on the dress. I took in the underarm seam just a bit, which helped a lot, but I do need to be careful of which bra I wear with this dress because it definitely can and will still show at my underarms. I think raising the underarm about 1/2″ will take care of that. Also, if you plan on making this pattern – watch the length! I did not adjust the length whatsoever and it’s preeeeeeetty short on me (I’m 5’2″). Like, if I raise my arms too high… y’all are gonna see some cheeks. No, seriously, I tested that shit in front of a mirror. The struggle is real.

That being said, I love the micro-mini length combined with the exaggerated tent shape. I especially want to put this into action in a cozy black wool, and wear it with black tights.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - detail

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - detail

Inside guts. It’s a simple dress, so really not much to see here!

Papercut Patterns Sway dress - twirl

I’m still not 100% that this is the best look for my body (I’m sure there is someone out there who thinks I’m trying to hide a pregnancy), but I am 100% in that this dress is SUPER comfortable and perfect for the summer heat!

As a side note – I’m off to Cancun, Mexico this weekend! Gonna lay poolside with my bae and drink something with an umbrella sticking out of it (wearing my new Made Up bikini, naturally! Yay for finishing by my self-imposed deadline!). Cannot even wait. Suffice to say, this blog will be pretty quiet for the next few days. This girl needs a vacation!

Note: The fabric for this dress was purchased with my allowance for the Mood Sewing Network. Pattern was given to me as a gift. All comments on this blog post are just, like, my opinion, man.


51 Responses to “Completed: The Sway Dress”

  1. OferMeSew September 3, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    Short tent dress that looks amazing – the things that tiny women can get away with!! ! it is adorable and the color is great on you. it looks like a super fun one day project.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

      Thank you! It was pretty fun to put together – a perfect day project. And even more fun to wear!! πŸ˜€

  2. Anonymous September 3, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    From what can be seen, you are a beautiful lady, who is creative and makes gorgeous things! I have followed you for a while, admiring your work, and the way you model your clothes in a graceful way. It’s beyond me, however, why you so frequently resort to crass vocabulary. It’s sad, the way in which profanity is used so freely in today’s culture. Wonder if this is part of the “feminist” movement, to be just as crude as only the men/truckdrivers used to be? Oh well, I’m sure you will not be happy with my comment, but I am just so puzzled and sad, really! Anyway, your work and modeling is amazing!

    • francescapia September 3, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      What the fuck?? Lladybird is not using truck driver language. I use it all the time, and I am a bona fide aristocrat. Seriously. Baron father, private school, related to half the nobility in my island…. of course, I don’t use the title, its dumb in this day and age, but using so called bad language is fun. Chill:)

      • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

        Thank you!! This comment pops up every few months or so, and it drives me completely crazy. Bad language is fun! It’s not hurting anybody! Either lighten up or GTFO πŸ™‚ hahaha

    • anonymous September 3, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

      I hear you–and agree with you on all points. No femininity at all

      • francescapia September 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

        God, what a bunch of bigots. Why lurk here at all?

      • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

        Well, I guess it’s a good thing that being ~feminine~ wasn’t part of my life goals!

      • liz-o-matic September 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

        I’m sorry but, who says I can’t curse like a sailor AND be feminine… In my world the two are not mutually exclusive πŸ˜›

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi! I’m glad you enjoy my blog, and I’m sorry to hear that my choice of vocabulary makes you sad. I do consider this blog my personal space, I will continue to write using whatever foul language I choose as it makes me happy πŸ™‚ Please be aware that, 1. I will never use language that is racist or blasphemous to anyone’s religion, because even I know where to draw the line; and 2. I am of course mindful and aware of people within earshot of me in the real world, especially children, and I watch my language accordingly. However, a blog isn’t a captive audience. You don’t have to read it if you don’t like it!. You can always follow me on the Mood Sewing Network, where the content is 100% G-rated, or see if your browser offers an add-on for bleeping out curse words. But please don’t come here in my personal space and tell me how to write my posts, because I think that’s completely absurd.

      Also, my grandpa was a truck driver – as well as a World War II veteran. Despite whatever you think about people who freely drop the f-bomb, I can assure you that he was a classy gentleman, Stetson and all πŸ™‚

      • SeeKatSew September 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

        Your choice of vocabulary makes me fucking happy.

        • Anonymous September 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

          Like πŸ™‚

      • liz-o-matic September 3, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

        Haters gonna hate! A large part of why I personally love your blog so much is BECAUSE of the language…. it real, no holds bar and honest. It’s how I talk, it’s how my friends talk. I personally get turned off by a lot of blogs because the language feels fake and forced- like it’s some Polly Anna everything’s perfect, sunshine and roses bullshit.
        But maybe that’s just me… I have been drinking…. and cursing! [*gasp* clutches pearls]

        • Anonymous September 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

          I hear you and second you:). All the way. I don’t click on most of my feed just because of that fakeness. …

      • Anonymous September 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

        Well said babe.

        Your language policy is exactly like mine. And my daddy was a WWII vet too. He’d have looooved a stetson…. he used to look adorably ridiculous in summer in his favourite super baggy shorts. .. only time he got offensive was when watching football if Italy was playing:) unlike his daughter. He used to find my swearing funny. Only time he got mad was if I blasphemed (people do here. A lot.) So I didn’t.

        • francescapia September 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

          Why am I marking as anonymous? With my other reply to LI zonation too? Wierd!

          • francescapia September 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

            Sorry Lizz my dumb phone will NOT let me write your name properly!

  3. Christi September 3, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    I love it – and the shoes TOTALLY make it!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Yeah!! Love those shoes πŸ˜€ β™₯

  4. francescapia September 3, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    Dude – wakey wakey! If your summer, like ours is hot and sticky, loose linen is the way to go! Personally I think you look darn cute in it. The shortness makes up for the tentness – yes I know that isn’t a word;). If I had good legs, I’d do short too, but I don’t. I used to be the same as you – what, not show my waist?! Never. To make matters worse, I’m half Italian, and it’s in our genes to want to look good all the time. But I am trying to overcome the look good as in show my shape ingrained thing as comfort is so much nicer :).
    After years of deriding Japanese smock things, I caved and made the one on the cover of Jinko Matsumoto’s Feminine Wardrobe. (Sorry, dont know how to link on this tablet). It is adorable. It has a sort of bow like an attached yoke in front, and is kind of OK for my conservative workplace as the pleats make it look made it in a bright granny smith green and it is my most complimented dress. Go figure. Two women have stopped me in the street to ask where I bought it, and when in said I made it, one said damn, the other said ah, that’s why..,only thing I did different was I didn’t gather the sleeves at the bottom – cooler, and a bit less lolita. You could make it short, it would be so cute on you.

    I hate getting hone like today in my vogue 50s dress with a fitted bodice stuck to me – peeling it off is such a hassle – and it’s Tana lawn. I can’t even stand linen top tucked into skirt anymore – as in waistband and layers – we’ve had one of the hottest and stickiest summers on record here in Malta, and sinfe some bloody newspaper published an article saying we are the friendliest people or some crap like that, we have been invaded by expats so the traffic is incredible… and no one is friendly any more 😦 – it’s just read rage time – linen saves me! Geez I sound like an evangelist!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      Oh yeah, my mom has been telling me for YEARS that I need to wear loose linen to beat the heat! But up until recently, I was all about fashion over comfort, so I never really listened to it. Ha! I’m still struggling a little with wanting to look good, but comfort is reeeeeeally winning out most of the time hahaha.

      I know what dress you are talking about!! Man, your version sounds gorgeous made up in a bright granny smith green. I can totally see why you’d get stopped on the street for that! I might have to revisit that book, now that I’m not completely appalled by loose clothing πŸ™‚

      Oh, man, and as someone who’s city is also getting flooded out by transplants (because we too are a friendly bunch! Everyone wants to move here), it can definitely feel like everyone is getting meaner! But then I go somewhere else and realize that we’ve still got it pretty good where we are, bad traffic and all πŸ™‚ It could always be worse hahaha πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous September 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

        Yup. That happens to me too. Still love it here πŸ™‚
        You should take this to Mexico if you plan any running around at all. Have a fab time πŸ™‚

  5. smonakey September 3, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    That blue is gorgeous! I love linen, even more now that my internal thermostat is going whacko. I clicked on your link to the fabric even before i finished reading the rest of the post.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

      It’s SUCH a beautiful blue in real life! I love it so much!

  6. Dani Malloy September 3, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    Holy shit, this looks amazing. That color is fantastic with your hair. I’m so glad you’re starting to review some less-fitted designs. That’s what I normally go for and I really value your reviews. Thanks for being so thorough all the time!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

      Thank you!! I’m enjoying playing around with silhouette, so hopefully there will be more less fitted designs in the future as well πŸ™‚

  7. Leticia September 3, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Very cute dress! Have fun in Mexico!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

      Thank you! Looking forward to my weekend:D

  8. embee September 3, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    I seriously love this dress! I have a few yards of linen that I’ve been hoarding like the ring of power but waiting for some inspiration..tent dress. Although, like you said, even the name doesn’t sound super flattering. However, this dress looks really good on you. It seems like you can get away with wearing anything, damn you!! πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Tent dress! Make a tent dress and we can be twins! πŸ˜€ hahaha

  9. heather myers September 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Haha Lauren,  I did the same although a bit less tent-y. Pattern is from Wendy Karnish designs – the gal who’s helping me alter patterns to fit @ the fabulous fabric shop Elfriede’s in Boulder, Colorado. Not a flattering photo but you get the idea. Heather

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”LLADYBIRD” Date:Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 5:53 AM Subject:[New post] Completed: The Sway Dress

    LLADYBIRD posted: “Y’all, this heat is making me do crazy things this year. As in, I made a tent dress. Out of LINEN. I’ll just let that one soak in for a minute. I doubt it’s the most flattering thing I could be putting on my body, but you know what? Fuck it. This s”

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Oh, I’d love to see this! Can you email me the picture? πŸ™‚

  10. didyoumakethat September 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Part of sewing is experimenting and I love anyone who goes outside their comfort zone. And yeah, comfort… It’s important! A superb make, as ever.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      Leaving the comfort zone to enter the comfort zone! Gotta love it πŸ™‚

  11. Michelle September 3, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Lauren! LoveLoveLOVE your blog. So sorry to see that some people don’t understand FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

    Anyhooooo… I’ve been following you on Bloglovin for some time now and for some reason today your blog would not load. Said something about an expired certificate or some sort of technical nonsense…. sorry, I kinda get the glazed over eyes feeling when my computer flashes weird “scripts” to me. It very well could be my computer doing this as I just recently changed to Windows 10. but in case it is not I thought you may be interested in this information. I had to access this blog entry via direct link to your lladybird webpage.

    • Addie Marie September 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

      I had the same issue coming from Bloglovin. I’m using Google Chrome browser. Navigating directly to the site worked just fine!

  12. Jessica September 3, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Both the colour and the silhouette look fantastic on you! Very modern and as such a nice addition to the retro- feeI of your other work. Although, of course, you look great in that too πŸ™‚

  13. SeeKatSew September 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

    I just made a similar dress and have mixed feelings on how I look in it too. However, linen is great in the heat and this dress means big bold jewelry and awesome heels or platforms go along with it. I think it is really cute on you, you don’t look preggo, just amazing as usual

  14. Evie September 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    This looks super cute on you! And while it’s not the sort of shape I generally go for either, from someone who lives in the Ohio Valley, that is totes the most perfect summer garment ever. I may have to make myself one next summer.

  15. Addie Marie September 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    Oh oh oh this is so great! I usually give tent garments the side-eye, but I think you’ve totally sold me on this. Especially picturing it in a beautiful drapey wool — I’m totally drooling (and totally going to make one too!). You did a glorious job on this, the linen looks totally lush. Have fun in Mexico!!

  16. mirza September 4, 2015 at 6:58 am #

    Once you start wearing linen, you can not stop. That stuff is the best in the heat. I even knit a sweater out of it – the knitting part was hell, but the wearing part is a dream!
    And, I totally agree with you on the Katie knows better part πŸ™‚ Even when I’m not totally sold on one of her patterns, once sewn it always looks good. So now, I just trust her.
    I’ve had this pattern since its release and I can’t decide between summery flowers or wintery wool. Since summer is almost over, I might have to go with wool after all. ha.
    Just one question though, does it look good with a belt, or do you have to wear it like a tent ?

    • LLADYBIRD September 8, 2015 at 9:45 am #

      It looks ok with a belt. I think with fabric that has this much body, it’s better tented (the belt can kind of make things slightly lumpy in places where the fabric is trying to fold). It does, however, looking awesome with a belt if you make it in a drapier fabric. All the soft folds look super pretty!

  17. Angela September 5, 2015 at 5:47 am #

    I actually really like this style on you and think it is a flattering silhouette, and of course the colour tops it off.

  18. Denise September 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    Love that blue! Dress is cute. Linen is a great fabric, especially around the home! I mostly use it for sheets, pillowcases and towels. Luxurious!

  19. Colleen September 7, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    What a fun dress! I’d be terrified to wear this shape, but we seem to have similar body shape, so now I might have to give it a try. You’re rockin it in your pics. Also, I love your writing/language–no apologies necessary!!!

  20. Melissa September 7, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Loving the dress! I’m so sad I didn’t have time to stitch mine up last week. The whole not having a washing machine really gets a girl down. I guess if I hurry, we’ve still got at least 2 more weeks of summer weather here.

  21. gingermakes September 10, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Team Tent Dress! TEAM TENT DRESS! I love this, dude. But now I want to make a short version! So much to sew, so little time! This is seriously CUTE.

  22. Trisha September 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    I have seen these popping up everywhere this summer and thought they must be pretty easy to sew — but like you, I’m a fan of the waist. This looks adorable on you, though, and must be so cool and breezy! Way to branch out. πŸ˜‰ Maybe I’ll have to give one a shot!


  1. Fall/Winter 2015 Sewing Plans | LLADYBIRD - September 18, 2015

    […] I made this fun tent dress in a summery linen, but I really would love to make a winter version as well. I have a really nice black boiled wool […]

  2. Fall/Winter 2015 Sewing Plans All in one DIY & Fun | All in one DIY & Fun - October 12, 2015

    […] I made this fun tent dress in a summery linen, but I really would love to make a winter version as well. I have a really nice black boiled wool […]

  3. Completed: The Shutters & Shuttles Sway Dress (+ a Giveaway!!) | LLADYBIRD - December 14, 2015

    […] the project to allow for any mishaps!), I made another Papercut Patterns Sway dress. Yep – my second navy Sway dress in 2015. Hey, what can I say – at least I’m predictable πŸ˜‰ This is definitely a […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: