Draw it Sew it: Swim Coverup/Dress


I am completely exhausted. Keeping up with work and blog posts means that I get about half the sleep I need to function and my house is a complete disaster.

Over the last 5 years I’ve struggled on and off with anxiety and depression. I’m now managing it successfully without drugs, but I have to be aware of my triggers. The lack of sleep and falling behind on my to-do list is triggering my anxiety. For the next few weeks I’m going to be paring down to 3 posts a week rather than 4 or 5 mediocre ones.


Last week’s results were neck and neck, the subtle hemline winning out by 6% of the votes. Short it is! Thinking that this dress would be much easier to sew up than it was, I didn’t really allot myself much time to make it. I started cutting around 9pm Wednesday night. Big mistake.


Turns out, this fabric is evil. It’s cursed or something. I bought it from Michael Levine loft, it was in a crumpled mess, all wrinkled and kinked. I thought that was part of the design. Not the case.

This fabric wrinkles easily and does not iron well. Naturally. It’s a synthetic. Usually synthetics are slow to wrinkle though.


As I was cutting out this fabric, I was fighting to keep it from shifting around and kinking. While sewing, I was fighting to keep the edges lined up together.

It was 3:30am before I threw in the towel and went to bed. I had everything done except for the ties, the button hole on the side and a little fit detail I needed to fix on the neckline. It was going to take me another 2 hours before I could call it complete.


I finally finished it today, spending about an hour just ironing out all those kinks. GAH, this stuff is annoying!

On the bright side, I love the color and I love the drape. It flows really nicely as I walk around. I just need to remake this dress in a different fabric. A real silk perhaps?  It’d be a lot more expensive. I got this fabric for something like $3-4 for 5 yards. I used about 3 1/2 yards.


Drafting up a pattern for this dress was simple. I shortened the high-low on Megan Nielsen’s cascade skirt and I used my basic scoop tee pattern (actually had to draft up a new version since I couldn’t find my physical pattern anywhere) for the top. I needed a curved ruler in order to do this. Otherwise it was simple.


If you look really closely, you can see marks from the steam and my iron (it didn’t burn or melt the dress, but it did make random marks in some spots).

Outfit Details:

  • necklace: Ardor
  • dress: handmade
  • bangles: thrifted, gifts and c/o Apricot Lane
  • earrings: H&M
  • shoes: thrifted


I’m looking forward to wearing it to the pool. I also made it long enough so I can wear it out and about as a dress. I love how it turned out despite the nightmare of working with the material. I’ll definitely make another one.

Which combination of fabric should I choose for this raglan tee?

@melissapher: Which color scheme? #sewing #fashion #diy

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    1. phil says:

      olé !!!

    2. Heidi says:

      Good for you for managing your anxiety/depression w/o drugs! We’ll miss the more frequent posting but I’m glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself.
      Unrelated: I can never seem to vote on your choices, is there supposed to be a button or do I vote in the comments? It always looks the voting is done when I see the post.

    3. Kristin H says:

      I have depression & anxiety, too – Zoloft is my best friend :) its so awesome you can manage yours with out drugs. Do what you gotta do to stay healthy!

      Looove the cover up. Such a shame that it wrinkles easily, as that color is perfecto.

      Um, I think you should make two raglas. Both fabric combos are lovely.

    4. Elisa Clark says:

      Beautiful! I only wish I could make a dress like this in such a short time. You inspire me to want to sew some things for myself…and not just my little girls. :)

    5. Kristie says:

      Love the dress. Hate that the cute fabric is the most difficult to work with.
      And if there is time, both sets of fabric would make adorable raglan shirts.

    6. Heidi says:

      I agree, you should make two raglans, I had a hard time picking which combo! You should make one with short sleeves (the pinky combo) for summer, and the other with long sleeves for fall/winter!

    7. Lindsay says:

      I really like the dress! And way to go managing your depression/anxiety without drugs. I’ve been trying to do the same for about two years now, and it is hard sometimes. I’m glad you’re able to take a break and take care of yourself!

    8. May says:

      It looks so lovely on you!

    9. Shelby says:

      Good for you making the choice to put yourself and your health first. We all love your blog and look forward to your posts, but your health and happiness always should come first! I have also struggled with depression since my adolescence and although I’ve been encouraged to take anti-depressants, I could never bring myself to do it… so, it’s tough to manage drug free but if that’s the direction you’re going then it’s important to know when you’re overwhelmed and need a break. I wish the best for you in maintaining your balance!

    10. Polly says:

      You look stunning! (As always:)

    11. Marissa says:

      You are an amazing woman!

    12. cute!

      Traci Michele @Ordinary Inspirations

    13. Tori says:

      You look wonderful, and the dress is beautiful! PS: Way to go on keeping your anxiety/depression in check without meds. That’s a goal I am working toward :)

    14. Aqiqah says:

      With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism
      or copyright violation? My website has a lot of completely unique content
      I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

      • Melissa says:

        There’s no stopping plagiarism, it’s not worth the time to hunt every copy-cat down. I just have warnings in multiple places that my posts should not be copied and that’s all I can manage.

    15. Emily says:

      LOVE this dress!!! Sorry about the wiley fabric. It sure does look beautiful in these pictures. And take care of you! Hugs!

    16. alana says:

      I kept trying to refresh your page without reading the first paragraph…d’oh! Here is to you getting more rest and taking care of yourself! I’d be happy with once a week posts, knowing how awesome your content is and that you’re busy with your family and home. All the best!

    17. Lizzy says:

      Very pretty dress!! Great you’re doing with no drugs

    18. kristin says:

      I’m all for stepping back and only doing what you can at the time – 2 posts a week is about my max – I actually don’t like posting every day! Love this dress even if the fabric is persnickety (it doesn’t show), and I think you should do the pink floral/pink raglan with the charcoal as a skirt or something. ;)

    19. David Preston says:

      Lovely dress and your hair is gorgeous!

    20. I hate evil fabric like that. So many of the pretty ones are awful to work with! It turned out gorgeous, though! Best wishes on the blog/life balance!

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