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Summery Ogden Cami Dress

Well hello there, I’m Jessie and I’m new to the Minerva Maker Team! I’m so excited to be sharing with you my first make - a cheerful, breezy cotton lawn sundress perfect for summer (and the year-round heat in Singapore!).

Fabric: The fabric is this beautiful Lady McElroy Cotton Lawn covered in tiny elephants. The fabric is wonderfully light and breathable, but amazingly, not sheer. It presses like a dream, and while crisp, it’s definitely not stiff.

To top it off, it’s 58 inches wide - which means less yardage required per make and perfect for circle skirts. I used 1.5m - a remarkably small amount of yardage given all the gathers that went into that skirt!

As for the colour, I was worried it would lean a little too lemon or highlighter-yellow (which isn’t a great colour for given the yellow undertones of my skin), but I was pleased to see that in person it’s more of a deep, sunny yellow that is surprisingly flattering on me!

Print-wise, I always find it difficult to find unique, quirky prints that aren’t too cutesy - and it’s certainly rare to find one as wearable as this! I mean, come on, who doesn’t love elephants? I do! As of now, the fabric is still available on the Minerva website, so if you like the look of it, I absolutely would recommend you give it a try.

Pattern: I had initially planned to use this lawn for a casual shirt, but once it arrived I realised I would get far more enjoyment out of it as a loose sundress that I could throw on for holidays and picnics. I also wanted something breezy that would allow air circulation (VERY important for hot and humid days) and freedom to munch on snacks without restriction (also very important), while being modest enough that I could wear to a nice restaurant or to church. Enter the True Bias Ogden Cami Pattern to the rescue!

In case you haven’t heard of it, the True Bias Ogden Cami pattern is a personal favourite and beloved in the online sewing community. One of the things I love about it is the relatively small amount of yardage needed, and the miraculous lack of gaping at the neckline area - even if you bend over!

The bodice is a hacked Ogden Cami pattern, made in a size 2. I cropped it by measuring 18cm upwards from the bottom edge of the front and back bodice pieces. As I wanted a clean finish on the inside, the bodice is fully lined in cotton lawn instead of using the facing from the pattern. There are no zips or buttons as the dress is wide enough to slip it on over the head.

As for the skirt, it’s a simple gathered rectangle measuring 58 inches (being the width of the fabric) by 63 cm. I also made really long ties and attached them to the bodice at the side seams with the notion of wrapping them around the waist to give the dress shape. After wearing it a couple of times, I think I might detach the ties so that I have the option of leaving them off for more of a 90s’ babydoll dress look (or maternity-wear look, depending on who you ask!) for more casual outdoor events.

All in all, I’ve really enjoyed wearing this dress so far - for one, the fabric was so comfy in the heat plus it’s a great conversation starter! Thanks Minerva!

If you’ve enjoyed reading about this make and would like to see more of my sewing escapades (as well as behind the scenes of my Minerva makes!), do pop over to my blog at huenmade.com and instagram at @huenmade to say hi! 

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