Hi, guys! I’m writing to you on a super sticky Saturday in New York– it’s a scorcher out there! Luckily, the sure-fire way to beat the heat, besides eating popsicles for every meal, is a new summer dress!

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

This is the Xerea dress pattern by Pauline Alice, view B. I keep telling myself that I will never buy another pattern, never ever. But somehow, despite my best efforts to stop myself, this one landed in my cart! 8 euros and 21 pages for the PDF wasn’t too prohibitive, so here we are.  Plus, a swingy, 60’s-inspired mini dress? Be still, my beating heart!

The design lines are really fun- front and back yokes, a deep inverted pleat, and cool curved pockets. Of course, these details are totally obscured by the print, but trust me, they’re there. 🙂 And lucky for me, the crazy print also hides a terrible secret… I made a huge mistake when I was cutting this out! I was squeezing the dress out of 1.5 meters of narrow fabric, and for greater efficiency, I was cutting the pieces flat instead of on the fold. I trace one half of the pattern, flip it over, and line it up with notches on the fold line before tracing the other half. However, instead of lining up second half with the CF notch at the bottom, I accidentally lined it up to the pleat line notch, so my front piece was about 2″ too narrow and was tilted off grain. Noooooo! There wasn’t enough fabric to re-cut the piece, so I had to do a crazy patch job, basically filling in the gap with scraps of fabric. Not ideal, but the mistake isn’t noticeable unless you’re close up, and everything is back on grain and hanging correctly. I’m calling it a good save and not getting hung up on the mistake! YOLO, dudes!

That topstitched seam isn’t supposed to be there… ooooops!

The pattern is a very straightforward sew. There is a small error in the pattern that’s been addressed in a new version of the PDF, but basically, the pleat line isn’t marked in the correct place. I didn’t see Pauline’s post until I had already made the dress, and I assumed I had accidentally stretched out the yoke, so I just eased the seam to fit. Next time I make this, I think I’ll do a small narrow shoulder adjustment. I usually skip them, but I should get in the habit of doing them… they definitely improve the fit of my garments.

The wind wasn’t helping me in all the pics with the back view, so it doesn’t usually hang like this, but I wanted you to see the back neckline!

Let’s talk about the fabric! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a cotton barkcloth from Miss Matatabi. It’s got this great texture and weight, but it’s still really drapey… perfect for apparel! There’s a pink/yellow/brown colorway on sale- you should totally buy it all so I’m not tempted to! Good work, team! You bought it all! 🙂 The fabric was a gift from the lovely Gillian… I sent her some stretch denim and she surprised me with this beautiful print! Isn’t it perfectly my style? Orange, blue, and mint? I love it! Thanks, G! Also: why is it so hard to find nice denim in Canada? What gives, dudes? And, do Canadians use the term “Canadian tuxedo” for denim on denim, or is that just a rude Americanism?

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

I know this is a simple dress and it’s basically a muumuu, but I really, really like it. It turned out just how I’d hoped! Well, with a minor detour to fix my scissor mishap! 😮 Tell me– what’s your favorite sewing pattern this summer (or winter)? Any new favorites in your collection?

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

125 responses

    • Thanks, Melizza! It’s so nice to have air flow under your clothes, although after a gust of wind in a tent dress yesterday I’m feeling a little more cautious! My apologies to the folks on 11th Ave who saw my granny panties!! 😮


  1. I tell myself all the time I will never buy another pattern. 😦 And then BOOM- I am buying another pattern. SIGH… I like it tho- this was worth the purchase and looks prefect for a hot sticky day. Cute fabric! Great pockets!


    • Oh, dear, it’s an incurable addiction! I think this particular pattern was a good buy, though… I’m plotting two more versions and it wasn’t very expensive from the get-go!


  2. This dress looks great – I think it’s actually pretty flattering for being semi-muumuu (your words 😉 hahaha)!! When I first saw the design of the pattern, I thought it was really cute, but I know I could never pull this shape off – so I’m very happy to see it looking wonderful on you! Plus – I’m sure there’s a lot of air movement inside for the summer heat! (LOL)

    And I think the best pattern I’ve tried recently is the Greenwood Tank (which I should make more of) – talk about a wardrobe gap filler!


    • Ooh, the Greenwood Tank looks so nice! A perfect basic! Confession: it creeps me out a little because “Green-Wood” is the name of a huge cemetery out here… such a stupid reason to not buy/make a pattern, but it’s just a weird association!


  3. I always thought the denim-on-denim look was called a Texas Tuxedo. 🙂 But I bet they don’t say that in Texas! We definitely don’t use the term Canadian tuxedo to describe our outfits.

    Your dress is very cute and perfect for hot summer weather! I think the tent-like dresses work if they fit in the shoulders and are sleeveless, so it doesn’t look like too much fabric. It’s a nice style on you!


  4. I hear/read Canadians using Canadian Tuxedo. Just like hockey hair, we like to own our questionable fashion choices. 🙂


  5. Can I just say how much I love your sandals? (And the same ones in brown from another post…) they look like the ultimate walkable summer shoe. I can’t even stand wearing sneakers right now. Anyway, I love this dress. I was just showing my husband a similar tent dress pattern and he put the kibosh on it outright. (But secretly I want to make it anyway…)


    • These are the best shoes! Kork-Ease Ava, which I think is their middle height wedge. They’re SO comfortable! And husbands are always pooh poohing swing dresses, but what do they know, really? 😉


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  7. Pingback: Marimekko + Xerea + giveaway!!! « Ginger Makes…

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