Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files
Sewing Projects


No, we’re not having a heat wave in Montreal, and no, I am not the kind of rugged/crazy Canadian stock who walks around in short sleeves when all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. What I am is horribly behind in all my planned blog posts for the last month or two. Travelling seriously messes with your ability and/or desire to keep on top of things;  hence a post about a summer dress in the middle of October. Bare with me, please (get it? Bare?! Oh Heather is feeling punny today!)

Apologies for anyone who missed the weekly Sewing Blog roundup on Sunday. I was in upstate New York teaching a Ginger Jeans class at Camp Workroom Social and the wifi was intermittent at best. To be honest, I ran my keister off for 3 days straight and didn’t even remember I had failed to write the post until we were basically on the bus home. I’d love to talk about that experience on another day, so for now, let’s focus on one of the more popular indie pattern releases this year, The Southport Dress from True Bias.

Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case FilesSouthport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files

Kelli sent me the pattern when she released it, but I didn’t have a chance to make it up until summer was almost over. I used some printed challis I picked up at Globetex over the spring; it’s an interesting print, somewhere between ikat and a Scandinavian folk design. I also think it’s the perfect choice for a dress like this; with the drawstring waist and not a whole lot of shaping, you want as much rayony or silky drape as possible.

I preferred the maxi right off the bat, but made the shorter version as a sort of wearable muslin before I sacrificed the yardage to the full skirt. If memory serves, I made an 8 and graded to a 10 at the waist but didn’t make any other adjustments.

Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files

My thoughts? I like the fit through the bust, and appreciate the depth of the scoop neckline (I’ve never been too concerned about modesty). It doesn’t bother me when I’m wearing the dress, but in these photos I’m wondering if the arm opening is perhaps a 1/2″ too low on me; an easy fix I can make in my next version.

Because of the gathering, there is a lot of fabric around my waist and lower back. It’s currently a little more blouson than I would like, but I suspect if I made up the maxi, the weight of the fabric would pull the waist down and lay a little flatter against my body. I could also try removing a little length from the bodice, since my natural waist may be higher than Kelli’s block.

It was a pretty simple sew; I forgot to get gut shots but I just used some commercial single fold bias tape to finish the neckline and armholes. As usual, the instructions were thorough and made construction easy.

Southport Dress by True Bias in Rayon Challis // Closet Case Files

I currently have the Sutton blouse cut out, and will probably assemble it at the same time I make my Roscoe dress this season. I found the most delicious cobalt, white and black silk print at Mood last week and I can’t wait to rock the boho shorter dress version. We may be friends, but I am also a fan. Kelli always nails modern, urban silhouettes.

Did you make the Southport dress this year? Tell me about it!

  • I made the maxi version, wore it every week this past summer and got compliments on it all the time. I’m kicking myself for not making time to sew up another Southport yet. Love this short version on you! Great fabric too.

  • Love it! I have 2 Southports and they were my go-to dresses this summer (as in, I made the second one because I was shamelessly wearing my first one multiple times a week). I definitely want to make more, maybe a maxi dress, maybe one without buttons since I can get it on without unbuttoning. I love the print on yours!

  • Margo Bergman

    Great print! I also have quite a few summer projects that didn’t get blogged…. oh well! I haven’t made this dress yet but it certainly seems to be a winner!

  • Tiffany

    Love the crisp blue and white print! Those colors always remind me of the summer!

    Stop by 🙂

  • Deepika Prakash

    This is my favorite indie summer pattern along with your sallie maxi. wore it all summer. you look lovely. I need some gold/bronze clogs 🙂

  • Hélène

    Didn’t make the Southport dress last summer, but I have admired all these versions over the blogosphere. Your version is cute and fresh, but it makes summer look so far away! Something like nostalgia…

  • This pretty much looks like my ideal relaxed dress for summer, that print is beautiful!

  • Amy L

    Really love the print you chose. Killer backdrop!

  • That’s a lovely dress, and a great fabric choice! I also still haven’t blogged about some of my summer makes…

  • Mindy Nickel

    Great dress! I adore that print. It’s got me yearning for summer again!

  • I am totally down with the seasonally inappropriate posts! I think your dress looks great! I am looking forward to seeing your Sutton and Roscoe too!