Sweet Seersucker (Orla Dress + tutorial!)

Last July I made a pale blue seersucker dress and I got so, so much use out of it at the tail end of summer--nothing is better than seersucker when it's super hot and humid, and I love the preppy sweetness of a pastel dress. All year, I thought about making a similar dress in pink, but wasn't sure if I wanted to use the same pattern (Simplicity 4475 from the 60s--I absolutely love this pattern!) or try something new. #anorlaaffair provided the perfect opportunity to make a similar-but-not-identical dress and try out some pattern adjustments I'd been meaning to try for a while!

I love the late-60s empire-waist silhouette, but honestly, that's not a good look on me, and it's hard to pull off for most people! A wide waistband or waist detail like this one is something of a compromise between that streamlined babydoll 60s shape and an earlier natural waist, full skirt silhouette. I played with this for my Christmas Rose dress and it's much more wearable than a true empire, at least for me! Bonus: it's actually a pretty popular silhouette of the mid-60s, too! Here's a great example of the have-it-both-ways empire/natural waist. (Also, here's an extra bonus vintage pattern that would look horrible on me but is very cool!)

Since the seersucker I used isn't quite opaque, I fully lined the dress.  When you do flat pattern style adjustments like this, you aren't really changing the shape of the original dress, so you can even use the original, unaltered pattern pieces for a simple lining since they should be the same shape! If your fabric is opaque, you can use bias binding or a facing, as usual.

One note on the drafting: the underbust panels should be a little snugger fitting than the original bodice at the top (since they cup the bust more than plain darts do) , you may want to overlap them a  bit extra at the top of the dart and/or the top of the side seam. And make a muslin before you cut into your special fabric, of course!

I have a bit more of this pink seersucker left, and I'm thinking I'll try to copy this Tuckernuck dress using the Ogden. How perfect does that look for hot weather? Between this dress and my Ogden pajamas, August may be Ogden month around here! Isn't it nice to have tried and true patterns? Are you up for #anodgenaffair? (Just kidding!)


ps: if this reminds you of the Colette Rue, that dress was an inspiration too! i prefer the lower bust panels of this version, but you could always make them more princess seam lines like the Rue's seams, if you prefer. I think the Rue's style lines only extend to the side seams, as well. i think all the way around looks more intentional, but it's up to you! it's your dress after all.

allie J.

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  1. Love this Allie!!! Thanks for the tutorial. Even if I don't use it, I always learn something! I am currently obsessed with the Ogden. I have made six of them in the last week!!

  2. I think all the styles would look good on you! I really like the seersucker dress though.

  3. Looks great! I was trying to figure out how to lower the waist on this. I think the higher waist is not the best look for me.Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. I have the Rue dress pattern patiently waiting in line for me to find time for it, but I love what you've done with this Orla. The bodice detail looks amazing and your makes are always so perfectly finished.

  5. You are just the cutest, and I love the subtle shaping this hack brings to the Orla. I wish I had Duke to be my background in photos -- maybe someday! <3

  6. Hello! You mentioned you fully lined this dress - would you mind doing a little how-to or tutorial on how to do this! :)

    1. Hey Mel! Actually, Anna did a lined bodice tutorial on her blog for Orla already! She has a note on how to do it for a sleeved version at the bottom: http://www.anna-zoe.net/another-sleeveless-orla-lined-box-pleat-skirt-sewing-tutorial/#more-2485

    2. Thanks so much for replying and for the link!! :) Just wondering - for the skirt, if it needs to be lined, would you recommend cutting the same skirt piece (and gathering it as well) and just sewing them together? I'm just wondering if this would make the dress too bulky!

  7. I am following you on Insta for so long, bbut this is my frst time on your site! It looks fantastic.. as your dress!



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