I have decided that “loose dresses with pockets” are among my favorite things. Especially on hot summer days, when you really don’t want fitted princess seams or a seam at the waistline, it’s a real luxury to slip into a dress that falls easily from the shoulders and doesn’t constrain you in any way. You don’t have to coordinate it with anything. You slip into a pair of sandals, and you’re done.
Luckily Tessuti, an Australian pattern company, gets it. They have a boatload of these patterns, and I have plans for making most of them. This one is the Eva dress.
“This loose dress,” quoth the pattern description on the website, “features a bodice that sits at high waist and a panelled, lantern-shaped skirt with side pockets. It can be made up in either a short-sleeved (A) or sleeveless (B) version. The Eva Dress is designed to be simple and stylish garment and makes for a comfortable and cool addition to your summer wardrobe. It’s best made up in medium weight crinkle and plain linens, textured cottons and cotton blends. For layering in the cooler months, Eva can also be made up in a wool crepe.”
Here is a silly picture that shows the pockets and the bell shape of the skirt:
The fabric is a linen from fabrics-store.com in a color called Sphinx. One wondered why. So one googled “sphinx Greek mythology,” and then “sphinx green,” and finally discovered that there is a sphinx moth with wings roughly this color. And that the Irish Embassies do bizarre things on St. Patrick’s Day*:
It was one of the colors available in what they call their “premier finish,” so I popped an extra buck a yard out of curiosity. It’s smoother than their regular softened finish, but slightly less dimensionally stable, which made doing all the bias strips on this pattern a bit of a picnic. (The neckline, sleeve hems and bottom hem are all finished with bias strips. If I make it again, I’ll just narrow-hem the latter two.) I will definitely choose this finish again if it is available in a color I’m looking for.
I don’t know why the Big 4 pattern companies don’t offer more things like this. All those princess seams and set-in waistlines remind me of the bad old days of the Mad Men era, when women had no birth control, no credit in their own name, no career choices beyond teacher, secretary and nurse, and clothes that reinforced that sense of constraint. Part of the reason that I learned to sew was to get those styles to conform to my short-waisted body, and I am seriously over them.
Constraint, bad. Freedom, good—in dresses as in life.
*No copyright infringement is intended in the use of this photograph.