Thinking ahead to Summer and the associated long, hot days (dream on!), I fancied making a triple-layered, white maxi dress in cool, comfortable Linen Fabric.

Quite specific, I know, but hey, you can be when you're making it yourself and I imagined I would be able to cobble together a couple of patterns to get exactly what I was looking for.

However, Minerva Crafts had what initially appeared to be the ideal Sewing Pattern in the New Look 6281 - version B (pictured in blue), a sleeveless, three quarter length dress with three layers. Perfect!

When everything arrived, I set to pre-washing and tumble drying the linen in order to minimise any further shrinkage in subsequent washes.

It laundered really well but kept its stiffness which, being linen, I hope will soften up more with each wash. Shouldn't take long, I suspect, as a white dress needs washing after pretty much every outing.

The pattern features three asymmetric layers on the front which are sewn into the side seams.

The back is plain with just a single layer of linen.

And therein lies the can see my knickers through it!

I had to have a major re-think and came up with a solution which is better than the original design, in my opinion.

Pieces 1&2 make the shell.

I cut out TWO each of pieces 4&5 and planned on making them totally separate tops, attached at the neck and armhole edges only, NOT the side seams.

The inner shell made, I tried it on.

It was a good couple of inches too big, so the side seams were taken in all the way down.

This adjustment was applied to the other two layers as well.

I love the asymmetry of the hems, all of them running in opposite directions to each other.

This is the back view of the first layer.

I decided to emphasise the asymmetry by adding side splits to each layer as well.

Perfectly mitred corners finish off the splits nicely.

The top of each split was reinforced with a triangle of stitching at the top.

Using the same principle as the first layer, the second layer was soon constructed.....

....and also the third layer.

All three layers were arranged in order, right sides facing out, and stitched together at both the neck and armhole edges.

Bias binding was sewn on to these edges....


......edge stitched......

.......folded to the inside.....

.....and top stitched in place.

What a lovely, neat finish inside and out.

Et voila!

One very nice triple-layered, white linen, sleeveless maxi dress that fulfilled my vision exactly!

Now for some photos.

No gaping around the armhole or neck edges and the bust darts are in the right place.

Can you see how the side splits on each layer match up and echo each other perfectly?

This is an improved design, I reckon, and one that I'll recreate now I've got it how I want it. I love the way all the splits allow the layers to move organically in the breeze.

As predicted, this dress has been worn a lot already.

Here it is, browsing through the rails in Albox market in Spain.

Another outing, this time to a saloon bar in mini Hollywood in Spain.

Paired with a linen jacket from the aforementioned market.....

....and back in the UK when I hosted a fashion show for my students at their school Summer fete.

All in all, a very successful make, albeit a little altered from the original pattern. I've had many comments already as it is something you'd NEVER find in the shops. Isn't that one of the main reasons we sew in the first place?

Thanks go to Minerva Crafts for supplying the pattern and all materials for this dress.