Sustainability as a Sundress: Ahhh The Exhale Dress

Updated: Jun 3

The Fabric:

This was a fun make for lots of reasons, the most important is that it all started with the striped double knit fabric that came in my gifted Mystery Pack from Fabcycle.

Fabcycle is a company that reclaims textile waste that would otherwise end up in Canadian landfills and repurposes and recycles it for sewists and our sewing community.

As soon as I opened my Mystery Pack I knew those lovely stripes needed to become a sundress that would welcome in the Spring and celebrate the new Pantone Spring colours for 2021. The fabric is great quality 4-way stretch knit. It’s a soft versatile fabric that I will wear for many occasions over the summer season.

Thanks again to Fabcycle for gifting the Mystery Pack and for working so hard to reduce waste in the textile industry.

The Pattern:

This was the first time that I used the Pattern Emporium Exhale Dress PDF. I really like Kates patterns and how they are put together. They offer so much as a digital pattern that other companies don’t. There are colour photos included with the directions that show many variations of the pattern on a variety of body shapes. This is a great reference to have all in one place. There are links in the instructions to tutorial videos and lots of great photos that accompany clear pattern directions. If there are any adaptions that can be used with the pattern they are also linked to the main directions and explained clearly. If you prefer to print out the instructions this can easily be done and you can move easily between clearly marked pattern pages depending on your adaption choices. The PDF pattern itself can be printed in colour so you simply follow your colour coded size when cutting- such a treat!!

This pattern offers sleeveless, short sleeve, 3/4 and full length sleeve options. There are high neck, scoop neck and V-neck options, as well as short top, tunic, Helio and dress length styles. The combinations are endless. You are buying one pattern but can make an entire capsule wardrobe with all of the choices!!

I chose the Exhale dress as I wanted a short classic knit dress. I like how the dress is fitted through the shoulders and bust then flares out to an A Line skirt. This style creates a classic timeless look that is very flattering. My dress has more body to the flare because of the thickness of the knit, which is exactly what I was going for. If you want a more drapey look simply use a lighter weight knit.

The neck and armscyes are both finished with a banding created from the fabric. I cut my ba ding out of the fabric running in a different direction to create a contrast with the stripes. It is important to note that if your stripes are multiple colours make sure to place your pattern pieces on the same colour stripes to ensure they match. If you have contrasting fabric to create solid banding or pattern matched bandixa ng this would also look great! Like everything to do with PE patterns the choices are endless! The bodice pattern pieces are simple and easy to layout if you are pattern matching. My trick is to choose an identifiable stripe to place the shoulder seam and curve of the armscye on so that both front and back bodice pieces can be placed in the same way. Then, when it comes to matching your pattern use pins not clips. Pin, pin, pin! I put a pin where each stripe has to line up and I don’t remove it until just before I sew it together. If you are a ‘sew over pins’ person simply leave the pins in place and sew slowly. Many of Kate's patterns offer this variety and flexibility. I encourage you to head over to the Pattern Emporium website and take a look at all of her patterns!


So there you have it, a fun recycled destock fabric combined with a versatile easy to use pattern equals a sustainable way to create a classic easy to wear dress. Be creative and use your imagination to design your own personalized dress, after all ... there is

‘Sew Much To Design’. Happy Sewing!


Creatively Yours,


Lou Sheffer


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