April 16, 2015

It’s ready, it’s finally ready. I am so in love with the Southport dress and am excited show you all what I have been working on for the last bit behind the scenes. The Southport dress came from my desire to create a pattern that is as easy to wear as a coverup at the beach or pool as is it is to wear around town.

The Southport comes in two versions.  View A is short and hits 20″ from the waistline and View B is maxi length falling 42″ from the waist. Both versions have a simple button up feature at center front and a drawstring waist. It’s a tank style dress using single fold bias tape to finish the armholes and the neckline. View B also adds a bit of drama with a center front slit.

After some deliberation I decided to label the Southport as intermediate because of the more difficult techniques of adding bias facing and buttons/buttonholes.  That being said, a confident beginner could definitely tackle this dress especially if they chose easier fabrics and followed the sewalong coming to the blog in a couple of weeks.

Although we will talk more about this next week, suggested fabrics are lightweight woven fabrics such as cotton voile, crepe de chine, rayon challis, and lightweight linens.  Pretty much you want something with some drape and movement so that the drawstring waist doesn’t get bulky. The fabric that I used in View A is a really soft linen blend and View B is sewn up in a rayon challis.

There will be a sewalong for the Southport the week of April 27th and there will be some inspiration posts coming next week. Here is the schedule if you would like to follow along:

Sewalong Schedule

Monday April 27th – Prepping with Markings, Staystitching, Interfacing, and Seam Finishes

Tuesday April 28th – Darts, and Neckline

Wednesday April 29th – Armholes and Buttons

Thursday April 30th – Pockets and Waistband

Friday May 1st – Slit and Hemming


I will also be posting so suggestions on fabric and ready to wear inspiration next week to gear up for the sewalong.

The Southport Dress will be on sale for 25% off until the sewalong begins (so until midnight EST Sunday April 26th) with the code SOUTHPORTLAUNCH. You can purchase the Southport Dress pdf sewing pattern by clicking here or by clicking on the image on the right sidebar.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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  • Reply Jessie April 16, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    This is the summer dress dreams are made of! And just in time for my trip to Mexico next weekend. Let’s see if I can get it sewn up before I leave 🙂 You are one talented lady- keep up the amazing work!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:19 PM

      ohhh! this would be the perfect travel dress.

  • Reply Laura April 16, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    I just got really, reeeaaallly excited about this dress and was going to hop on making one right away and then remembered…. I’m pregnant. Only going to get bigger and bigger. But there’s that forgiving drawstring… any suggestions on giving this dress a huge belly?

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:19 PM

      i think it would actually be really great for maternity. just shorten the bodice to just below the chest and adjust the width of the skirt to make sure that it will fit over the belly. maybe not for full term, but it will certainly get you to at least halfway.

  • Reply Alexandra April 16, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    I’m so excited that this dress is nursing friendly! I’ve had the hardest time finding sundresses that I can nurse in, and I miss wearing them. I’ll definitely be sewing this up.

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      it will be so perfect for nursing. i wish i had this when i was nursing.

    • Reply Katie Woods April 20, 2015 at 1:15 PM

      I’m in exactly the same boat, and got the pattern for (aside from cuteness, of course!) precisely the same reason

  • Reply Amanda April 16, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    This will be perfect for a humid NYC summer!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      i know. all i want is summer to be and then it will be humid and sticky.

  • Reply Lauren Dahl April 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    I’m starting to think about my post-baby, handmade wardrobe, and this will be PERFECT for nursing! You have made all my dreams come true! 😉

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      yes to fashionable nursing clothing! good luck with everything.

  • Reply Ginger April 16, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    This is adorable and makes me even more anxious for summer’s arrival!!!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:14 PM

      thank you sonja! please come summer!

  • Reply Emilie Ahern April 16, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    Kelli, they are both gorgeous but that blue version is STUNNING on you. So effortless, but also chic!!

  • Reply Katie April 16, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    I love it!! So beautiful and perfect for summer – I’m hoping to whip one up this weekend!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      thanks! i can’t wait to see it!

  • Reply Kay April 16, 2015 at 7:35 PM

    They are both so pretty. I just wish I didn’t have such a hang up over exposing my shoulders.

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      i understand. i usually wear mine with a jean jacket. although i can’t wait to wear it as a coverup too.

  • Reply Bec April 16, 2015 at 7:39 PM

    Lovely! Such a great pattern! I have a similar RTW dress with an exposed zip instead of the button placket that I’ve been trying to rub off, but this might be the perfect pattern for it! Love the darts, too. What cup size do you draft for?

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      what a great idea – an exposed zip!

      • Reply True Bias April 18, 2015 at 8:43 AM

        also, its drafted for a size c cup, but most of the dart fullness is rotated to the waist to accomodate for the drawstring waist. None of my testers ended up needing a bust adjustment despite their cup size, although i always suggest a muslin of the bodice first to make sure.

  • Reply Heather April 16, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Hooray! So glad you’ve released another fabulous pattern, and I can’t wait to share mine! I am also excited to see what everyone does with this pattern.

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      thanks heather. can’t wait to see yours in all its glory.

  • Reply crab&bee April 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Yay, Kelli! I especially love the long version.

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      thanks! so glad that you like it.

  • Reply Melonie April 16, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    I’ve been looking for tank maxi summer dress patterns that I can nurse in and here it is! Thank you!!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:08 PM

      i know! i wish i would have had this when i was nursing too!

  • Reply Internet Highlights | Match Makes April 16, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    […] Bias released her newest pattern today. It’s called the Southport Dress and it launched at just the right time for me. This tank style dress has two length options and, […]

  • Reply lisa g April 16, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    Love it! Such a perfect summer dress… can’t wait to make it!

  • Reply christine April 16, 2015 at 11:00 PM

    Love love love it! Simple and perfect.

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      so glad you like it. means so much coming from you.

  • Reply kristin April 17, 2015 at 12:20 AM

    ahhhh kelli! it’s so great; perfect casual spring/summer dress. off to purchase!

  • Reply Trine April 17, 2015 at 1:36 AM

    This is gorgeous, Kelli! I need that maxi in my life. You did it again ♡

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      thanks trine! you are so sweet.

  • Reply Emma - CraftyClyde April 17, 2015 at 4:48 AM

    Can’t wait for this one! Would love to join the sew along – what a great summer dress 🙂

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:05 PM

      thanks emma! can’t wait for the sewalong to shart.

  • Reply Jenny April 17, 2015 at 5:04 AM

    Absolutely Love it!!! I’ve been looking for the perfect dress to kick start my summer sewing, this is it – off to purchase now!!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:03 PM

      thanks jenny! so glad that you like it.

  • Reply Lisa April 17, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    Well done 🙂 so excited to make this.

  • Reply coco April 17, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    Love this pattern! Great alternative to the Saltspring dress, for those of us (moi) that want more coverage up top!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM

      i understand. i love the saltspring but I have to wear a bra 🙁

  • Reply Emili April 17, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    Love it. Need it. Thank You…

  • Reply Clio April 17, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    Wowee! I can’t decide which version I like better!

  • Reply rox April 17, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    This looks like the perfect pattern for the latest piece of fabric I purchased… It’s an amazing cotton voile with a groovy print. I was wondering, since voile is kinda on the sheer side, could this dress be lined? Or is it better to make it as it is and wear a separate slip?

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      you could line it for sure, but i would worry about it creating extra bulk around the waist. its up to you. the neckline and armholes are instructed to be finished with bias binding but if you lined it you could just finish them with the lining.

  • Reply Devon April 17, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    The maxi length is HEAVENLY!

    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 3:54 PM

      thanks so much. glad you like it. i have to admit that i love it too.

  • Reply Ashley April 17, 2015 at 11:37 AM

    OBSESSED! This is going to be perfect for summer. Love the maxi/slit version!

  • Reply Lien April 17, 2015 at 3:03 PM

    Such a cute dress!! really an awesome pattern!!
    Would you add an extra option during the sewalong how to do add a little split in the short version.. would be prettyawesome!!


    • Reply True Bias April 17, 2015 at 3:52 PM

      thats a good idea. Honestly if I wanted a slit I would probably just shorten the view b to the length that you want. That would be the easiest way at least. so glad you like it!

      • Reply Lien April 20, 2015 at 11:43 AM

        Thanks for the tip!! I just ordered the pattern and couldn’t be more excited 🙂

  • Reply The Southport Dress by True Bias April 17, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    […] I think the sale goes until April 26th, so if you are interested in this pattern head on over to her website for more details and the discount […]

  • Reply Summer Sewing Plans | Match Makes April 18, 2015 at 2:24 AM

    […] Southport dress: turquoise linen […]

  • Reply Anni April 18, 2015 at 3:58 AM

    This is sooooo perfect! How many pages are there to print?

    • Reply True Bias April 18, 2015 at 8:35 AM

      the pattern is 52 pages in all, but there are instructions to print only the maxi or only the short so that you don’t have to print them all. there are 11 pages of instructions if you decide to print that.

  • Reply sallie April 18, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Yay!!! Congratulations!! Such a great summer pattern! I love the long version you made in rayon challis. Now I want to get my hands on some cute rayon challis to make myself the maxi version!

    • Reply True Bias April 20, 2015 at 5:05 PM

      sallie, I could totally see you in the maxi version. probably with some amazing bold large print amazingness that you always pull off.

  • Reply Monica swift April 19, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Oh Kelli!! I’ve been out of the loop for a bit…this has me super excited!!

  • Reply Anna April 19, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    This dress is so gorgeous and it looks incredible on you too!

  • Reply knottygnome April 21, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    If I wanted to eliminate the buttons is the dress roomy enough to pull on and off without closures or would I need to add a zip?

  • Reply Ashlee April 22, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    I have been scouring the web as of late for a tank-style dress with a bit of waist definition without having to accessorize – it’s like you read my mind! So excited to whip this up in a bunch of fun summer prints 🙂

  • Reply Kristen May 11, 2017 at 5:23 PM

    Love this pattern. Your knee length striped dress, what type of material is that? It looks fairly stable but still drapey. Whats the variety? Thanks!!

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