MAXIMIZE May: True Bias Southport for Pattern Review

I don’t know about you, but there are just some patterns and designs that I mull over far too long before trying them out.  I know you MUST have gone through the same experience – instead of purchasing the pattern that you REALLY want, you buy some other pattern that seems close enough, and is on sale (if you are me and cheap) – and then it never quite hits the mark (leading to wasted fabric, disappointment, and frustration – yuck!)…  Well, folks – this pattern was that for me.  And I am here to say publicly – I have NO IDEA what I was waiting for!

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True Bias Southport dress in yummy lightweight rayon challis
This make is the True Bias Southport and is a fabulous easy to wear summer dress (or swimsuit cover up).  It is designed for a C-cup (yay for no FBA), and is just a fantastic and fun make all around.

From the site:

Pattern description:

The Southport dress is a tank style dress designed to be worn as a coverup at the beach or a dress for around town. It has a button opening at center front and a drawstring waist with inseam pockets. View A hits 20” from the waist. View B is maxi length and hits 42” from the waist and includes a center front slit.

Suggested Fabrics:

Light weight, woven fabrics with movement such as cotton voile, rayon challis, crepe de chine, and lightweight linen.



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For the waist-tie, I used store bought bias tape, which allowed me to make the dress from the two yards of fabric in my stash (well below the recommended amount).

I finally used my stash fabric!!!

I made this version in a rayon challis that has been in my stash since last December!  It was one of the first large cuts of fabric I bought myself (yes – I was exclusively buying remnants from Joann’s for the better half of a year, lol), and it has been made and remade in my mind into no less than a dozen garments…

Button placket – using snaps? Heck yeah!

This dress features a button placket, which is adorable, but I mean – buttons?  On super lightweight rayon challis?  Yep – wasn’t something I was DYING to check off my skills list…  So I skipped it!  Katie from The Creative Counselor used snaps for her Bruyere, and ever since then I have been looking for the perfect project to use some – and this was the day!

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You can see the pattern includes a (in my case somewhat poorly executed) bust dart.

Pockets and a waist tie – yep – this dress is everything!

Another requisite feature that I am digging are the nice deep pockets!  I have never used a bar tack in a pocket before (gasp – for shame), but the techniques used here have given me a really nice finish.  For the majority of the instructions, I used the sewalong for guidance, and it made putting the dress together – a snap (hahahaha – corny seamstress joke, I know)!

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Two things I wish I had done differently

While I seriously adore this garment, there are two things I wish I done differently.  The first, is to have used similar weighted bias tape to finish the neckline and armholes (even if that meant making my own).  I used store-bought bias tape and its just too heavy for the lightweight rayon challis.

The second is to have just gone with the buttons – but stitched them down instead of fiddling with buttonholes.  I am nearing the end of my breastfeeding relationship, so I will likely not need the placket for functionality soon.  Buttons would have been more lightweight than the snaps, and again would have been a better complement for the fabric.

Seriously though – these are like SUPER minor nits – this dress is otherwise pretty amazing, and I thank Kelli from True Bias for allowing me to try it out!

Thanks for stopping by,


PS – for more pictures, check out my review on Pattern Revolution for the MAXIMIZE May Series!

11 thoughts

  1. Nice make! I love that fabric…score for using stash! And your smile is always a big hit! I may have to pick up a copy of that pattern. I like True Bias’ patterns anyway, ever since I fell in love with Hudson pants. Another great make, Mac!!! ❤


    1. Thank you Tonya! True Bias patterns are so lovely! I keep trying to talk myself out of buying new patterns (it seems for every garment I sew, I collect another 5-7 patterns) – and that is not a great ratio! LOL!!! Please share a link to your version when you make it!


    1. Thank you, Heidi – I was feeling pretty pleased with my accomplishment on this one… Wovens always work me up (I need to work hard this year to get over that fear)!


  2. LOVE!!!!! The print is too cute! And can you even go wrong with a Southport Dress though? I am yet to find someone who doesn’t look amazing in one. While the weight of the snaps may not have been ideal for the rayon, I find that the pearl snaps look fantastic with the print though.


    1. Totally agree – I think the dress is drafted to be so effortlessly chic that truly EVERYONE looks good in it! Have you made one???


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