The best summer dresses are light and airy. That means that the best summer dress patterns for wovens are made with lightweight and airy fabrics.
The summer heat is definitely upon us. Despite living in Southern California and growing up in the infamous San Fernando Valley, I hate heat.
This is why I have lived near the beach for over 20 years. It’s always much cooler near the water than inland. I can deal with a sunny 72º (22.2 C) with a nice breeze. I cannot deal with 90º+ temps (32+ C). We don’t even have air conditioning anymore. That’s how relatively perfect our weather is.
But even with my perfect weather, dresses do make life easier to deal with. Here’s my list of the top 5 favorite dresses I’ve made in woven fabric, what their suggested fabrics are, and whether or not I paid attention to that part.
What makes these patterns stand out? They’re all easy silhouettes. They’re feminine without being fussy. And, in the right fabric, they’re a perfect fit for summer.
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Wovens #5: Colette Myrtle
This is a Colette Myrtle in a very thin poly crepe. I originally made the dress to wear on our second 2nd anniversary (we celebrate both our wedding ceremonies). It was October, out in the desert, as you might be able to tell by the picture. We shot this at the La Quinta Resort & Club, where we stayed for that anniversary.
But then I wore it last month for Father’s Day brunch in the very inland Silver Lake region of LA, and it was still nice and cool!
The upside of this dress is that it also has a knit pattern counterpart! So if you don’t want to make a woven dress, make it up as a knit dress instead. For the woven version, the recommended fabrics are:
- rayon challis
- silk or rayon crepe
- lightweight linen
- light chambray
- wool crepe
- cotton lawn (choose one that’s not too stiff)
The extra ruffle at the bottom was a last-minute addition that isn’t included in the pattern. I accidentally made it too short, and that was my fix!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Wovens #4: Wearable Studio Heidi
#2 is the Heidi Day Dress that I made in stashed poly gabardine. This is a bad choice because it’s a little heavy and too scratchy. It’s also a little stiff. I’d recommend a slightly drapier fabric for summer wear.
I was a pattern tester for Heidi, which means I was one of the first people to get their hands on this cute little sundress. It’s perfect for spring with a little cardigan for cooler temps, and then a great strappy number for when the heat is on.
The dress is very simple with back pleats that the front ties are sewn into. There are bust darts and facings, and the straps are intentionally long so you can cut them to your desired length.
The recommended fabrics for the Wearable Studio Heidi—which is free!—are medium-weight woven fabric such as :
- needlecord, etc.
In needlecord (or any corduroy) this will transition nicely into cooler temps.
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Wovens #3: Seamwork Kenedy
The Seamwork Kenedy (with only one N) was one of the first Seamwork patterns I made. It seemed really easy. And it is!
Originally the dress was a little big on me. Part of this was due to the larger size I chose, but also the crinkle cotton tends to “grow.” Because of the way the shoulders fell, I decided to keep the sleeves off, and it works well. Especially for summer!
The second Kenedy I made was a tad smaller size and in purple stretch taffeta. You can read about them both here. This one got to keep its sleeves!
I really love this crinkle cotton version (top photo) for summer. I wore it on our first 1st anniversary vacation in Cabo San Lucas. Resort life is awesome in a swingy dress!
The fabric recommendations for this dress are lightweight to medium-weight fabrics such as:
- crepe de chine
- chambray fabrics made of fibers such as silk, cotton, polyester, or rayon.
You can dress it up or down, as you can see from my pictures, simply with your fabric choice!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Wovens #2: Seamwork Kimmy
I didn’t realize when I put this list together how many Colette/Seamwork patterns I would have on it. These are honestly just dresses I enjoy wearing. As with the other 2 Colette/Seamwork dresses on this list, the Kimmy was an anniversary dress. This time it was the first 2nd anniversary, so I made it up before the ruffled Myrtle above.
I love a bright red dress! I made this up in a faux embroidered cotton from Michael Levine (that they, unfortunately, don’t seem to carry anymore). The white design is actually fabric paint, not embroidery. Even so, it’s a nice lightweight fabric. And cotton is the traditional gift for a second anniversary, so that worked out (El Hubo picked the fabric).
The list of recommended fabrics is lightweight to medium-weight woven fabrics such as:
- cotton lawn
- double gauze,
All of these are perfect for summer!
Best Summer Dress Patterns for Wovens #1: Chalk & Notch Orchid
The fact that the Orchid dress is my favorite woven dress pattern of the moment should be no surprise to anyone. I have RAVED about this dress repeatedly. I dedicated a full 3 blog posts to it:
- How to Shorten & Narrow a Skirt
- How to Create a Back Slit on the Orchid Midi Skirt
- Orchid Midi Dress Pattern Review
And, of course, I wore it for an anniversary. Our 1st third anniversary just passed.
The recommended fabrics are light to medium-weight woven fabric with nice drape:
- rayon challis
- rayon crepe
- rayon voile
- cotton lawn
- cotton voile
- cotton shirting
- double gauze
I made mine in cotton shirting, as recommended.
And that’s the list for my favorite dress patterns for summer, woven edition. Stay tuned until Friday when I add the complementary knit dress pattern list!
What’s your favorite dress? Have you made any on this list? Tell me down in the comments!