Sarah Kate’s Butterfly Southport Dress


I was intrigued the first time that I saw the True Bias Southport Dress pattern, could this possibly be a peasant blouse style dress that I actually wanted to sew? True Bias had been on my radar since the Hudson Pants, but I hadn’t made anything by this indie designer yet. I was very pleased with the drafting and instructions included in this pattern. I was not confused at any point and never had to read directions more than once (or twice). I am considering investing in the Sutton Blouse in the future, I have some silk in my stash calling its name. But right now we are here for the Southport…

I customized my size by grading between three sizes, 14 at the bust, 10 at the waist, and a size 14 hip. I had read that True Bias drafts for a C cup so even though I fell between sizes I chose the smaller size in order to minimize the blouse effect in the bust. Although after looking at my pictures I may want to give it a teensy FBA so reduce the pull on the buttons. It fits very well in the shoulders. I went down to a 10 at the waist, which matched my measurements perfectly. I am very happy with my measurement decisions. I think that the dress has the perfect amount of blouse and definition, while maintaining an effortless look and being very comfortable.


I made the dress using Anna Maria Horner Field Study Sinister Swarm rayon challis in the Blueberry color way. This was not my first time working with rayon challis and, although I love it, I still find it difficult to work with. So this dress is not without its quirks. I made bias binding which only turned out okay, but I used it anyway because store bought bias tape is too heavy for this fabric. I may decide to redo one of the armhole finishings due to the bias tape not really folding under properly. The hem was also not very easy to level out. I accidentally cut the from to short and decided to give it a tapered hem lengthening in the back by about an inch. I don’t think that it is very noticeable.

On a brighter note the drawstring was much easier to sew than expected. It came together easily without me having to turn it, something I don’t particularly enjoy doing with such a long tube, especially with such a delicate fabric. I also saved myself some misery and simply sewed faux buttons, sewing through all layers for a permanent finish. I am still having problems making buttonholes on my machine and didn’t want any extra agony with the tricky fabric.


Overall I feel great in this dress and would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend. I will be making it again, I have plans for some purple cotton/silk blend fabric that I bought from MOOD! Maybe without buttons at all.

Read the story behind how this fabric found its pattern on my blog, Sarah Kate Creations. Also, MORE PICTURES!


The Details:

Pattern – True Bias Southport Dress View B, a maxi dress with a knee high center front slit.

Fabric and Notions – 3 yards Anna Maria Horner Field Study Sinister Swarm rayon challis in the Blueberry color way, thread, handmade bias tape in self fabric.

Did you make and pattern alterations or design changes? I sewed a size 14 bust, 10 waist, and 14 hip.

5 thoughts on “Sarah Kate’s Butterfly Southport Dress

  1. What gorgeous fabric! Your pattern choice really shows of the the large butterfly print. Kudos to working with tricky fabric. I’m with you, I hate it when the automatic buttonhole maker decides to do it’s on thing and not what I want it to do. It’s one of my biggest dilemmas.


    • My buttonholer is such a pain! I took it into the shop to see what was wrong and it worked fine! the shop owner made buttonholes, I made button holes, everything was peachy. Then I got home and it won’t sew a button. I am going to try making some on a friend’s machine. Thanks for the kind words about the fabric.


Comments are closed.