True Bias Southport Dress

Here’s my own contribution to Dresses week. I’m quite impressed to think I’ve written a blog post on my own blog, shared it on here and also written up some of the sponsor spotlight posts!

This is the Southport Dress from True Bias which I made for our recent holiday. I was a bit skeptical at first. I’m not a big fan of blousy things, but this works.

The fabric is a border print which came from Fabric Vision in Christchurch. It’s a really fine cotton with a beautiful drape and is so soft. It took a bit of cogitating and ruminating to decide how I might lay out the fabric.

As always when making something new, I searched around to find reviews. What did we do before this? Oh and there’s a few of these around – be warned! I made a number of changes following the reviews. I raised the front neckline by around an inch, I also raised the underarm by around an inch and then trimmed it back by around ⅜”. I lengthened the bodice by around 1.5 inches and shortened the skirt by the same amount. I omitted the buttonholes and stitched the buttons through both plackets. There’s no need for those buttons to open! The buttons are from stash. I rarely need green buttons, so was definitely happy to find these. Oh and note I pattern matched on the front button placket! 🙂

I also removed the drawstring waist, added a casing to the inside and inserted elastic. So much more comfortable and I can add a belt that way if I want to. I shifted it to the inside mainly because an additional casing on the front with this already busy print didn’t look good.

The final change I made was to move the front slit to the side seams, so that I could cut the front skirt on the fold and eliminate that centre front seam. I actually prefer these two side splits. It was this version by Jenny which convinced me this was the way forward.

I definitely recommend this pattern, but with some reservations. I would check the following before making up: the armscye, the front neckline, the bodice length and skirt length. I often have to lengthen the waist, but this I lengthened considerably. I’m also 5’6” and the skirt was way too long for me!

The instructions were clear and easy to follow, although I’m a good one for reading them quickly, looking at the images for ages and then making up my own instructions! The one thing which confuses me with True Bias patterns, the seam allowance is 1/2″, when many are either 3/8ths or 5/8ths.

Saying all that, I love this dress. I lived in it while we were away. So comfy with the elasticated waist, I felt so girly and even dressed up in it. I think this is going to get a lot of wear when our summer comes. Thinks, what can I make another in? Not sure yet whether to make another maxi or the shorter version. Oh and it has pockets – big pockets! 🙂

These photos were taken at our hotel in Fiji. There was a bridge to some fancy overwater bures (no we didn’t stay in one!) If you want to see more photos, check my blog.

9 thoughts on “True Bias Southport Dress

  1. What a great dress! I love that fabric. And that pattern matching is SO IMPRESSIVE!!!! I don’t think I would have even thought to try that!!! I’m not sure I have the brain power to even understand how to make that happen accurately. lol. I now consider this a personal challenge. I have a couple shirt dresses planned for my vacation sewing, so we’ll see! 🙂


  2. Oh my goodness, your pattern matching on the button placket is amazing! Well done! My copy of this pattern arrived this week and I keep changing my mind about what type of fabric I want to make it in…. Much like our chch weather! I am currently tempted to make it in a dark solid tencel or a paler light-weight chambray; but tomorrow I’ll have other ideas!


  3. What a great dress – looks perfect for a summer holiday! I think that you make some real improvements with the changes you made especially with the inside casing and the side slits. Isn’t it fantastic when you want to try a new pattern and can find some reviews online? It can be inspiring and prevent mistakes!


  4. Hi, Nikki! Your dress looks fabulous! Make another maxi before you do the shorter version. 😉 Can’t wrap my head around your coming into summer as we’re still having ours up here. xx


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