Summer Dress along Painted Portrait Dress day ONE


The Painted Portrait Dress by Anna Maria Horner is one of my all time favorite things to sew. 

You can make this dress or top out of quilting cotton with a very successful result. 

All three of mine below are from quilting cotton:

(I've made two more with linen and they are lovely too.)

We stocked some paper patterns in the shop here, or use the link above to purchase from AMH website.  

Update: I'll be stocking more patterns July 15th. You can pre-order here if you wish. You may have luck sourcing the pattern from online retailers, try a Google search to start.

This is a long, informative post so grab a cuppa and pull up a chair. 

"The Painted Portrait Blouse & Dress is an avant garde take on the empire silhouette and at the same time fashions either a patchwork or solid yoke - each framing your face and your figure beautifully. A perfect year-round pattern whether you love the ease of a sleeveless blouse or the comfort of a pocketed dress". 
(From AMH website.)

If this is your first go at sewing PP try to resist making changes to the pattern at the start, unless it's a full bust or small bust adjustment. Mock up the muslin and see what's happening first. 

As before in June, to find your best fit take the upper bust measurement (that was a link to video) and look at the suggested size below. 

Image result for taking the upper bust measurement
image from Pinterest / link is no good

Anna Maria Sewing Pattern Size Guide: 
(actual body measurements)

XS: bust 32/33”, waist 25/26”, hip 34/35”
S: bust 34/35”, waist 27/28”, hip 36/37”
M: bust 36/37”, waist 29/30”, hip 38/39”
L: bust 38/39”, waist 31/32”, hip 40/41”
XL: bust 40/41”, waist 33/34”, hip 42/43”

Making a muslin for the bodice portion is a good idea on this pattern, because although it's not "super fitted" you don't want it gaping and huge around the neck.  The bust area can be an issue for some people as well.

Sometimes you just have to play around a bit. ;) 

How to make a muslin to test fit

If you find you need a larger or smaller size, here's a link to a preview of grading a pattern, with an option to enroll in the class at the bottom of the post. (This is not my class.) 
 I am not going over grading sizes in the sew along, there are many paid classes available online to learn these techniques. There WILL BE discussion on it, and tips from everyone in the group, but I can't walk through it due to time. Thanks for understanding.


FABRIC requirements:
Light to medium weight woven cottons, rayons, silks.

IF you are a NEW garment sewist please choose an easy-to-sew fabric like quilting cotton or linen. Leave the rayon and silk for another day. (Unless using silk noil, which is great to sew with and NOT slippery.)

****I will be making the sleeveless dress with pockets for the sew-along. There are different versions of this pattern, if you choose to do them. I will not be going over setting in sleeves, as I find woven sleeves uncomfortable and time consuming. 

(Sew along version) 
Option C 
Pattern calls for 2 1/8 yards for XS-XL sleeveless dress however ---  I like contrasting side panels, and to sew a dress like this I rec buying 1 yd for side panels and 2 yards for main dress + pockets. 

*For all options, you'll need an additional 3/4 yard for facings and bias tape if you're making your own tape.

If making a pieced style yoke (shown on cover), you'll need 6 assorted scraps that are approximately 8" x 15"

If you were to make it out of only ONE fabric, you'd need minimum 3 yds, but I highly suggest 3 and 3/4 yds.

*Remember to allow additional yardage if you'd like to center or match any fabric print features.

Here is the image link when I Google this dress. It's super inspiring! 
*Note you can change the look significantly with the yoke piece (yoke =front of chest area). 

Patterns are there for YOU to interpret. Have fun with it!


Kits available through Blue Bar Quilts complete with pattern and fabric of your choice. Gael will email you an invoice via Paypal and ship right to your door! All you have to do is send either myself or Gael your email address.  (hungryhippie (at) live (dot) com)

These are all luxuriously light weight cotton lawns that will be floaty and light and gorg. Oh go on! :D  

What to do when you have your fabric:

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  PREP  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1. WASH and DRY  fabrics as you intend to launder them in the future (maybe do it twice if it's linen or cotton-y).

Samsung 4.2 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR

2. Press fabric so it's flat with no wrinkles- a very important step in order to cut pieces out correctly. 

Oliso Pro Smart Iron

3. Find the grain of your fabric. I really love this post by the Collette Blog that explains this. You will want to be sure and lay the pattern onto the fabric with the grainlines (arrows) parallel with the selvage.

4. Place pattern pieces onto fabric as shown in pattern layout, with weights or objects that will hold the paper down on fabric so no sliding occurs. 

These pattern weights are handy:

5. Cut out garment pieces from prepared fabric and transfer all markings.

*I rec cutting out with pinking shears if you don't have a serger. It helps prevent fraying. 

Find the zig - zag stitch setting on your machine as well (if not serging/overlocking).

You do not NEED a serger to make garments. It does speed things up, and if you'll want to sew more clothing in the future it's worth investigating. But you don't NEED one.  I went three years before I bought one.

Image result for serger    

RST = right sides together
SA = seam allowance
WST = wrong sides together

RS = right side
WS = wrong side

Image result for needle and thread

Ready for Day two? Click HERE.

Feel free to post on social media and use hashtag #summerdressalong so we can see your makes! 

Want to join the Facebook SUPPORT group?

You can also tag me on IG @sewhungryhippie or Stephanie @modernsewsciety if you have a question or wish for us to see your makes faster. 

Pin this post for future reference. 

This is a SAFE SPACE to learn, ask questions, comment, and support one another.  Let's get sewing.


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  1. What luck! I JUST started sewing a muslin of this today and was looking for some help and confirmation that what I was doing was right...and voila! There was your post about it....thanks so much!

  2. What a gorgeous dress ... am so disappointed that I can’t find this pattern anywhere in the UK.

  3. Wow, she is looking very cute, smart, dashing. The list of the brands of her wearing is of the top quality products. very impressive dressing and she looks really gorgeous. Thanks for sharing new fashion designs and trends. custom essay writing service


I appreciate every comment, thanks so much for taking the time. It means A LOT to me. :)