Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Ruffled Red, White, and Blue Plaid Montavilla Dress

 This is not the wedding corset post I promised a week and a half ago. Between the holiday weekend and the fact that this is birthday week at my house, I haven’t had the time or energy to write about the corset. 

That’ll come soon, but meanwhile we’re gonna talk about a more recent sewing project!

By the time my wedding rolled around I was completely done with wedding sewing and very ready to make something else! All the wedding sewing was fun, but it seriously took months, and I was very ready for a change! I had so many plans for allllll the things I was going to make as soon as all the wedding sewing sewing was done.

All the wedding sewing was done the day before the wedding. (At least it wasn’t the day of the wedding!) Thus, sewing anything non-wedding related had to wait a bit. There were important things to attend to first, such as getting married, going on a honeymoon, and moving in with my husband. Those things. 

Once all that was done, finally, finally, sewing could commence! And one of my very first projects was going to be a 4th of July dress.

Several months ago I found the perfect fabric for this dress. A reversible cotton double gauze showed up in the pre-cut bun at Walmart. 3 yards for $8. I snatched it up! On one side it was a red, white and blue plaid, on the other side a red and white gingham. Is there anything more summery? I would just need to figure out a dress design that would make the most of both sides of the fabric!

After a bit of brain storming, I had it! The Sew House 7 Montavilla Dress pattern would be just right - with a few alterations.

I wanted a nice full skirt. The Montavilla has a straight skirt and no waist seam. So my first alteration was to cut the front and back pattern pieces off at waist level. I’d cut skirt panels to gather onto these bodice pieces.

Meanwhile, I left the side panels a bit longer. The Montavilla has some amazing large pockets incorporated into the side panels and I wanted to keep those! So, instead of cutting the side panels at waist level, I cut them off at the bottom of the pockets. The skirt panels that I would be gathering into the front and back bodice pieces? I cut those so they would end at the same level as the side panels.

Then I cut a nice wide ruffle to sew onto the bottom of the dress.

To make the most of the reversible fabric, I made the plaid face out on the front and back and the pockets. I had the gingham facing out on the side panels and bottom ruffle. And to finish it all off, the ruffle was hemmed to the outside so there would be nice band of plaid around the bottom.

So, a few extra ruffles, fabric flipped different directions, and nice large pockets. I had a pretty darned awesome red, white, and blue summer dress! 

There was just one annoyingly obvious issue with it. One that was too much trouble to fix. Half the bodice was cut off grain. Grrrrrrrr. I apparently majorly failed when I attempting to fold this plaid in half and cut out the bodice pieces on the fold. Double gauze is shifty. Grrrrrrrr. This half off grain bodice kind of drives me nuts, but I can mostly ignore it because the dress is just so darned comfy!

I love the overall shape of it!

I mostly wear it belted, but I like the loose, unbelted shape as well.

I certainly plan to repeat this hack of the Montavilla dress sometime in the future.

Just probably not with a shifty plaid next time!

My husband and I opted to spend the 4th with my family this year, and we had a very nice Independence Day celebration with my mom’s side of the family!

We ate lots of food, played board games, made s’mores, and watched fireworks!

My sister surprised me that morning by appearing downstairs in in the 4th of July outfit she and I made together 6 years ago!

We made it as a loose dress back then.

Now, without alteration, it’s a very cute tunic top!

I can’t believe she can still wear it!

It’s the ultimate grow-with-the-kid clothing item!

And it looks just as fabulous on her now as it did 6 years ago!

A lot has changed since then, but it’s still fun to dress up for the holiday with my sister!


  1. Aww this just turned out so cute!

  2. I love dressing up for the 4th! I have a piece of fabric I've been promising myself a festive patriotic top from for about 3 years now, but.... it hasn't happened yet.