Ottobre 02/2016 no. 10 Glorious dress in linen red poppies

A new linen dress in red poppies.  A new favorite. 
A shift dress is not a silhouette I've ever chosen before or worn, but with their current popularity and our soaring hot temps, thought it'd be a good choice for summer made from pretty red poppy linen fabric purchased from Joann's last season.  Red seems to be a good color for me this year.
I made a size 38 with 3/8" seam allowances as per pattern instructions with a few exceptions. 
Took in 1/2" under arm grading to nothing @6" down.  My upper area does not 'fan' out as this is an adjustment I seem to almost always make.  I must be more straight from under the arm to above the waist....
...as well as taking in the center back.    I sewed a 7/8" seam there.   I must also have a narrow back too as this is another adjustment I seem to always need.  In this case, I was afraid it might make the dress 'cling' to my backside and/or be too tight there, but it fits fine.  Hemmed 1 1/4" as I wanted it more on the shorter side than the longer side.  All seams are serged.
Finding Ottobre patterns fit me well, I'm making it a point to purchase their women's issue through their Etsy shop when they come available.   These are published twice a year with the next issue coming out around August.  You can purchase back issues at their Etsy shop too.  This shift dress is from the Ottobre Spring/Summer 02/2016.  More from this issue can be seen online at Ottobre's website here..
I made the no. 10 Glorious linen dress with an invisible zipper in the back instead of the keyhole with button closure per the pattern.  Ottobre shows this pattern made multiple ways..... sleeveless with the keyhole button back closure, short sleeves with a zip, color-blocked short sleeves with a zip, and 3/4 sleeves with keyhole button back closure.  All pieces are interchangeable and as I wanted to practice more with putting in an invisible zip..... that's what I chose.  Actually one of the reasons I bumped this dress up the queue, was to have more practice putting in an invisible zipper before tackling the sheath dress made up in Carolyn's fabric.  I'm so nervous about that dress, it is paralyzing me!  I so need to get over it and get moving, right?! 
Thanks again ever so much to the Instagram ladies who helped me with the neckline problem!  I posted this photo below on IG to show both the looseness under the arm and the high neckline as I reached out for solutions to both problems.  I was too chicken unsure of my abilities to scoop out the neckline, so instead took a larger seam allowance of 5/8" instead of the already cut and prepped 3/8"....
...and this is what I got.  If I make this dress again I might fool around with the neckline then.  When I'm more sure of not messing anything up.
And be still my heart, but I put this invisible zipper in pretty darn perfectly this time!!!!  It only took me, oh maybe 7 tries, but who's counting!.... each time stitching closer and closer to the zipper until there is no gaping at all!  Yay!  I do not have an invisible zipper foot so this was true determination.  Now having said all this, and having spent an entire afternoon on this one zipper application..... I broke down and ordered an invisible zipper foot for my 21+ year old Bernina 1230.  So happy!  The next day the company notified me they were out of stock and it's backordered for at least a month.  Totally bummed but at least they are still making this foot.  My machine is so old, I was afraid it might be out of production, so was actually okay with the backorder.  They assured me the foot is still being made.  I can wait a month.
I'm not sure whose technique I ended up using to apply the facing to the center back, photo below.... maybe Nancy Zieman's?.... anyway.... love it.  It finished so pretty.  You sew a 1/4" seam at the center back, right sides together... first making sure the facing is shorter than the neckline.   Then sew the facing at the neckline and like magic, after it's graded, snipped and understitched.... it turns under like this.  No hand stitching.  Also, you can see because I sewed a 5/8" seam allowance on the facings instead of the prepped 3/8", my facing is a little narrower.  That's okay.  Even the faint waviness is okay as it sits all nice and neat when worn.  I finished the armholes with self-fabric bias. Also Ottobre usually puts a couple of neckline darts in the back and that is another nice feature of the neckline fitting well with no gaping.
I kid you not, as I was taking these photos on my front porch, a little hummingbird came by and hovered right in front of me totally confused!!  Guess he thought my pretty red poppies might hold lunch.  :)  Should also mention this pattern includes pockets.  Pockets are a good thing.  Pockets are always a good thing.
These red poppies make me feel 'joyful', so this also completes my Make a Garment a Month Challenge for Joyful June.
When temps soar over 100 degrees F in the South, we always reach for a rocking chair in front of a fan and drink sweet iced tea! :)
UPDATE 6.27.2016 - The next day I was able to snap a shot of the little hummingbird who liked my red poppies as she visited our red Canna Lillies.  :)
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)


  1. Beautiful dress, Lisa! I love shift dress and your fabric is so joyful :) Love the pockets and the finished zipper. Nice work! I am a big fan of sweet iced tea in hot summer days too.

  2. Great work on the invisible zipper. Your determination is inspirational! I have yet to put in an invisible zipper despite having the proper foot. It's on that to-do list.

    Your fabric choices are always so pretty.

  3. You totally nailed that invisible zipper! It is completely invisible! :) And that dress turned out lovely. The shape looks great on you and I really do think red is your color! :) The fabric is gorgeous and so is the whole dress, and you! :) Thanks for sharing :)

  4. You look gorgeous Lisa!! Red is wonderful on you, well, I suspect you look fabulous in all colours actually. This is so bright and cheery, but very pretty at the same time. And, invisible zip? what invisible zip?! awesomely done :)

  5. Beautiful dress, Lisa. Your invisible zip is totally invisible. I love the red poppies, too.

  6. Such a lovely dress and looks very cool. I'm sure you will be enjoying alot of sweet tea as the summer is a scorcher.

  7. The dress turned out perfectly - still cool and comfortable, but not voluminous, which would just swamp you. And I think with sewing it is a matter of just gradually getting comfortable knowing what your shape is, knowing what you like, visualising it all, and then making adjustments to suit. And necklines and fit are often done on the body - each garment cuts differently and each fabric handles differently. And good luck with the new zipper foot . A joyful dress indeed :)

  8. What a lovely summer dress! The print is so cheerful and when even hummingbirds think it is real... You look very beautiful in this pretty dress, the straight line is just roomy enough not clinging but hugs the figure a little.
    Have a big glass of ice tea:)

  9. This dress, as usual, is just lovely. The only thing that would make it look cooler would be a little bit of a scoop neck. Yes, you definitely can wear red and should do so year 'round! My question: How do you manage to look so professional-magazine-model-ready when it's 100 degrees out??!!

  10. What a pretty dress and ideal for keeping you cool. We in the UK are still wearing jackets!!! I like how you teamed with the red sandals... great look :)

  11. This breezy dress is very pretty on you and so useful for a hot and sticky summer! I don't think anyone would notice the slightly larger armhole unless you have your arms up all the time.

  12. Such a pretty dress, and you look so radiant. Would you mind me sharing this on Sassy Sewing Bees in the future? I link to your post and let you know when. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa