Tied Summer Dress in red

Any time I don’t know what to make but want to make something, I make this dress. I call it the Tied Summer Dress/Top (this version is the top) and it’s from a pattern I drafted myself. I talked about it here, and oh yeah, promised you a tutorial and pattern “soon.” Oops. That hasn’t happened yet.  But I promise you, I’m thinking about doing it. Soon!


I think I came up with this pattern “out of my own head” as my son would say, but it’s so hard to tell with the creative blogosphere. Maybe something somewhere gave me the idea? I’ve been making this dress for almost two years now, and all I know is that one morning I woke up with a picture in my head and started drafting. And that was before Pinterest! (I know, can you imagine such a world?).

(UPDATED: I recently saw a couple of similar baby sundresses by Made by Rae (here and here). These were posted two years ago, around the same time I started sewing this dress. I was following Rae’s blog then, so I think it’s safe to assume I was inspired by her. It’s important to give credit where credit is due!)

You’re probably tired of hearing this, but the last time I was in the LA Fabric district, I picked up these two prints. The moment I saw this red I knew it was meant for Abby, and the blue dots were just, well, perfect. Of course, my moment of inspiration occurred just as Michael Levin’s was about to close its doors and the poor lady who was helping me (and who was about to topple over from the tower of fabric she was carrying for me) kindly reminded me that it was time to cut the fabric now.

This is the story of my life. I can’t leave the fabric store until someone makes me leave the fabric store. Usually, my kids take care of this.

OK, back to this dress/top. I always pick small dots for the yolk and ties of this dress. I think they balance the bold prints I like to feature on the body.

The lace at the bottom is another vintage piece from my grandmother’s stash. I know I talk about that stash a lot. I should show you pictures sometime!

Here’s a closeup of the shoulder ties. My sister-in-law took these pics of Abby wearing the dress with her Cannon Rebel (t1i, I think?). A good camera makes such a difference!

Look at that tan skin. I guess all those hours of swimming and swimming and swimming have paid off!

Here she is wearing the first pair of little shorts I made her. I actually made them to go with this top. And she’s wearing some strawberries around her mouth, too, which match the dress and just make her that much more adorbs.

Here’s a closer shot of her strawberry cheeks. And her perfect little face.

This dress/top was perfect for our family pictures on Mother’s Day. I just love the way it matches her sunny personality. Let’s just say she’s not a shy girl.

This just might be my favorite picture of the kids. Ever. (Thank you, sister!!)

Thanks so much for reading, friends. Hope you’re having a fantabulous week! We are half way to the weekend already, whoohoo!

Oh, I almost forgot: yesterday I said I was going to post pictures of Abby’s 2nd pair of summer shorts. I was just too excited about this dress and had to show it to you right away. Tomorrow, shorts!


    • says

      Thanks so much, Lucinda! It’s such an easy dress and makes such an impression. Thanks for commenting!

    • says

      Thanks!! I think so, too, lol. 🙂 I’ve wanted a Rebel for so. long. now, but we recently bought the Sony NEX N5 (less $$) and it is amazing. I’m going to write a review for the blog soon, but seriously, I love my new camera a million, and it didn’t cost me a fortune!

    • says

      Oh my gosh, Rae, totally! I was following your blog back then, so maybe these inspired me? I’ll post your links and give credit where credit is due. So glad to have you as a visitor at CailaMade. 🙂

  1. Anonymous says

    It’s yoke, not yolk. I’ve been seeing this alot lately, and it’s a pet peeve of mine. Clothes don’t have egg parts.
    That being said, it’s a cute dress! :)!

  2. Crista says

    I know this is an old post, but I’m a very new sewer, teaching myself and I just love and adore this top. I don’t have the skills to figure out a pattern for myself. Any chance you ever made a tutorial that I haven’t found? My 4 year old would look so precious in this 😉