Cowl Neck Out and About Dress : Winged Blog Tour

Today I’m excited to share with you an Out and About Dress I made for the colder seasons ahead + provide you with a simple tutorial on how to make your dress a cowl neck, instead of a simple neck band. It is SO easy + fun to wear for colder weather!

Cowl Neck Out and About Dress DIY // SewCaroline.comYou’ll need a copy of the Out and About Dress pattern (found in PDF format here or in paper format here). You won’t need any extra fabric, as the fabric requirements listed are generous and adding a cowl takes a minimal amount of fabric.

When it comes time to cut the neck band, you’ll want to cut the same length, but you will want to cut the width by at least 14″. (The one pictured here is 14″ and if I were to make another, I’d make it a bit wider.. maybe 20″ or so!). Then you simply follow the instructions listed in the pattern on attaching the neckband. Fold over your cowl and you’re finished! Seriously.. it is THAT simple!

Cowl Neck Out and About Dress DIY // Cowl Neck Out and About Dress DIY // Cowl Neck Out and About Dress DIY // SewCaroline.comI made the maxi version of this pattern and used two coordinating knits from Bonnie Christine’s Winged Fabric for Art Gallery. Don’t they look absolutely lovely together? I can’t wait to see yours! =)

I am posting this in conjunction with Bonnie’s Winged blog tour. See Katie’s adorable post from yesterday here, and be sure to check out Holly’s post tomorrow!


Sewing Indie: Out and About Dress TUTORIAL by Dixie DIY

Happy Monday, friends! Last week you may remember me announcing Sewing Indie Month? And then we had a stellar interview with Sewn Square One. Well, TODAY the lovely Dixie of Dixie DIY is sharing a tutorial on how to convert the sleeves on the Out and About Dress two different ways and I am squealing with excitement about these tutorials!!

First, though, have you seen her amazing blog?? She writes phenomenal tutorials and has some pretty sweet patterns, too! AND she is a fellow Texan! :D

OK, so, take it away, Dixie!


Hey everyone! I’m Dixie from and I’m excited to be here to share with you a couple sleeve drafting alterations you can do yourself that can instantly change the style of a top or dress. You can use any pattern that has a sleeve piece like Sew Caroline’s Out and About dress for example (which I used for my flutter sleeve version).

It’s easier to do most of these alterations without seam allowances. All of these graphics should be considered “seam-allowance-free” to avoid confusion. If you don’t take off your seam allowances just remember to do all of your slashing and spreading from the *stitching line* not the cut edge of the pattern piece.

Oh, and if you do take off your seam allowances remember to add them back on before sewing!

Flutter Sleeves

Flutter sleeves are great for summer when you want to cover your shoulders from the sun but still need some air circulation (I know this because I live in Texas…). If you’re afraid this style will make your arms look big, no worries, making them in a knit jersey or a light weight fabric won’t be bulky.

To make flutter sleeves trace your sleeve pattern piece and transfer markings. We’ll use the Slash and Spread method.

Dixie DIY Flutter Sleeve Tutorial

Draw vertical lines from sleeve cap to hem along several points of the pattern piece. Cut the pattern piece into slices along those lines.

Dixie DIY Flutter Sleeve Tutorial

Spread out the slices at the BOTTOM of the pattern to get a nice curved hem shape.

I’ve found that on especially light or drapey fabrics all that the extra fabric likes to fall back and pool under your arm. To compensate for that I do most of the spreading at the *center* of the pattern piece rather than near the underarm sleeve.

Also, and this is totally optional, I like to add some gathering at the sleeve cap to balance the fabric out.

Dixie DIY Flutter Sleeve Tutorial

To add gathers you simply spread apart the slices closest to the center an even amount top AND bottom. Mark dots where you’ve spread the pieces so you know how far to gather the fabric up.

Unless you add gathers your sleeve cap length should be the same as the original pattern piece so you can sew up your sleeve like normal.

Dixie DIY Flutter Sleeve Tutorial Dixie DIY Flutter Sleeve Tutorial Dixie DIY Flutter Sleeve Tutorial

Tulip Sleeves

I rarely see shirts/dresses with tulip sleeves so it would be a pretty unique addition to your sewing project. They look cool and are simple to make.

Dixie DIY Tulip Sleeve Tutorial

Start by tracing your sleeve piece twice. Make sure to transfer markings.

On one piece draw a curved line extending from the left side of the sleeve cap to the hem. On the other piece do the same starting from the right side of the sleeve cap.

It’s important to start far down on the curve of the sleeve cap so you have enough fabric covering your shoulder. If you cut the overlap too high on the cap then the sleeve will just spread open and all the fabric will bunch up in your armpit.

Dixie DIY Tulip Sleeve Tutorial

Cut out your two pieces along those newly drawn lines.

Place one piece on top of the other to get the tulip shape and mark where the pieces overlap – that way you’ll know where to match your fabric up.

Dixie DIY Tulip Sleeve Tutorial

Now tape the two pieces together at the underarm seam. If that seam line is angled you’ll get an angled sleeve piece, which is fine. I like to smooth out the hem line.

When you sew your sleeve overlap the sleeve cap and baste the layers together.

Dixie DIY Tulip Sleeve Tutorial Dixie DIY Tulip Sleeve Tutorial Dixie DIY Tulip Sleeve Tutorial

Out and About Dress Blog Tour: Day FIVE

Well, here we are… the LAST day of the Out and About Dress blog tour! I hope you’ve enjoyed it- I have absolutely loved seeing all of these lovely ladies create unique and amazing Out and About Dresses. I love that this is an easy pattern to put your personal spin on! Have you purchased yours yet?

Today we have Rachel of House of Pinheiro- I love seeing her sewing skills and all the amazing thing she has up her sleeve. She is a TRUE talent at the sewing machine! Did you see her on Project Sewn this season?

Next up is the adorable Lauren from Lladybird. Her unique style is obvious in everything that she makes, so when I asked her to make this dress, I knew she would but her amazing spin on it. I love what she did!

I hope you loved seeing these amazing ladies participate this week! If you haven’t already, go through the past five posts and check them all out- you’re sure to find one that resonates with you! xo



Out and About Dress Blog Tour: Day FOUR

I truly hope you guys are enjoying this blog tour as much as I am. It is SO amazing to me to see all the different versions that these gorgeous ladies created for this tour. I love their unique twists on each and every dress. This is TRULY a year-round, versatile dress that everyone can wear! I hope that you can see that through the tour!

Today we have to special ladies, Mie from Sewing Like Mad and Bonnie from A Golden Afternoon… I LOVE the creations they made.

First up we have Mie. Have you visited her blog, Sewing Like Mad? It is fabulous and always full of tons of sewing inspiration! I LOOOOOVE the contrast neck band and arm bands that Mie put on her dress– so fun + perfect for a day “out and about” ;)

Next up is the beautiful Bonnie of A Golden Afternoon. I met her at the Cricut Launch Party in January and she is just a doll. She mentioned to me that is is one of the first knit projects she’s ever done.. but the pictures don’t say that at all! Isn’t her dress lovely? It looks magical paired with the Peter Pan lace collar ((insert heart-eyes emoji here!))

SO, I really hope you guys will head to their blogs and see the amazing dresses they sewed for this blog tour!


Out and About Dress Blog Tour: Day THREE

Can you believe we are already to day THREE of this amazing blog tour? These ladies are really blowing me out of the water!

Today we have the GORGEOUS and oh-so-talented Alexia from Lexi Made + Kelli from True Bias.

I LOVE Alexia’s style, and highly admire her talent. Have you seen her gorgeous blog? Head over and check out all the adorable projects she’s made + see her precious twin daughters! This striped Out and About Dress she sewed looks like something from Anthropologie, right?!

Next up today is Kelli from True Bias. I admire her impeccable taste and feminine style. She is just a beauty! Have you seen her blog? I especially love what she did with this concert tee. This simple, yet elegant Out and About Dress is perfection!

Head over to Alexia + Kelli’s blogs and tell them hello! :)


Out and About Dress Blog Tour: Day TWO

Hi y’all. Today we are back with two more amazing Out and About Dresses… ah! I can’t wait to show you!

First up is Alida from Alida Makes. Y’all she is SO talented + even competed on the latest season of Project Sewn. Have you seen her amazing blog?

Next is the lovely Karly from Paisley Roots who sewed her Out and About Dress into a CIRCLE dress! I love the fabric she chose- it is so cheery. Be sure to head to her blog for loads of inspiration + DIY projects!


Out and About Dress Blog Tour: Day ONE

Hi Friends! This week I have asked some blogging friends of mine to share their Out and About Dresses with you on their blogs..

Today I’d love for you to head over to Andrea from Four Square Walls and Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking.

I “met” Andrea last year when we both competed in the very first season of Project Sewn. She is SO talented in the realm of sewing, so I just had to ask her to be a part of this blogger tour. Check out a sneak peak of her Out and About Dress and be SURE to head to her blog, Four Square Walls to see more photos!

Suzannah, from Adventures in Dressmaking writes a lovely blog full of garments she’s created. Her space is full of inspiration and DIY goodness. Her blog was one of the first “garment sewing” blogs I ever started reading! Here is a sneak peak of HER Out and About Dress.. and be sure to head to her blog to see more photos and to hear what she has to say about the pattern!


The Out and About Dress TOP

I know it isn’t typical for me to post on a Saturday, but this past week was a slow one on the blog, next week is going to be chock full of Out and About Dress inspiration (we have a PATTERN TOUR happening!) and then the week after that I’m (hopefully!) releasing The Tank Dress pattern, so I thought I’d share this post today!

Hopefully by now, you have seen yesterday’s post where I showed you how to turn your Out and About Dress into a SLEEVELESS dress for Summer. Today, I’m showing you a sleeveless Out and About Dress that I made into a TOP! Man, I love this pattern. It truly is so versatile!

Out and About Dress TOPOut and About Dress TOP Out and About Dress TOP Out and About Dress TOPsunnies: Burberry (similar) // top: Out and About Dress pattern + this tutorial, fabric: Briar Rose knit // shorts: Gap // necklace: c/o Simply Livly

To figure out how long to make the “skirt” I measured from where the bodice ends to the length I wanted the skirt. Then I added 1″ for the hem and 1/2″ seam allowance for sewing the bodice to the skirt piece (mine ended up being cut at 10 1/2″– just for reference :)). And completed the top as I showed you how to do in yesterday’s post! SOOOO easy!

Happy Saturday, I hope you all can enjoy the Spring weather where ever you are!


Tutorial: Sleeveless Out and About Dress

Hi friends! Well, Spring has finally made an appearance around here (hooray!!!). In fact, I had a long coffee date with a friend yesterday where we sat outside for nearly two hours and my arm got sunburnt… oops! Totally worth it, though, getting all that vitamin D!

TODAY, I’m pumped to share with you a little D-I-Y on how to turn your Out and About Dress into a perfect sleeveless dress for Summer. It is really simple + I hope you enjoy!

Sleeveless Out and About DressSleeveless Out and About Dress Sleeveless Out and About Dress Sleeveless Out and About Dressearrings: c/o cents of style // necklace: c/o caroline g. shop // dress: Out and About Dress, fabric: Valori Wells c/o // shoes: lucky brand

Before we jump into the tutorial, though, I wanna talk a bit about this amazing knit designed by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman. Its so soft + luscious + all kinds of amazing. Great quality, great color, and great drape. It’s not too heavy, not too light, and even though it is a lighter color it is NOT see through one bit. I love it + definitely think you need some in your life. Looks like you can snag some over at Hawthorne Threads (you’re welcome! ;))

So here we go!

First of all, you’ll need to purchase the Out and About Dress pattern (if you haven’t already). You’ll need significantly less fabric, because you won’t be needing the sleeve pieces so you can go ahead and deduct about 2/3 yard from the amount needed. And I’ll go ahead and tell you that on this maxi dress above, I had limited fabric, so I used the width of fabric and cut the  maxi length, and then cut that piece in half for my two skirt pieces. It’s not QUITE as wide as the pattern calls for, but it definitely worked! So for this maxi dress, I only used 2 yards of fabric!

Since this pattern is a super loosely fitting dress (a lot of people have said that the sizes run big) I would suggest going down one size in the bodice if you want to make this dress sleeveless. If you are an XSmall, I would just cut about a 1/2″ off from each of the sides (of the bodice) before starting.

Next, you’ll want to download and print THIS pattern piece. You’ll print at 100%, or “no page scaling”.

You will sew your dress, but stop at STEP SIX (since we aren’t putting in any sleeves!) and go ahead and sew up the side seams with out the sleeves. Make sure the seams align where the bodice and skirt match.

Next, skip down to STEP TEN where you sew on the neck band.

Then, you’ll follow the steps pictured below (text instructions underneath that) to complete your dress.

Sleeveless Out and About DressA. Starting after STEP TEN this is where you should be.

B. Cut off 1″-1 1/2″ of the arm hole. When we put the arm bands on, it will stick out about 1/2″ so if you that is the look you’re going for, you can leave them as is, but I prefer to have sleeveless tops hit a little further in on my shoulders.

C. Take one of your arm band strips and fold it in half so that the short sides are matching and the right side of the fabric is facing. Sew along the short side. Flip this piece so that the two raw edges are matching. Set this piece aside. I have found it easier to work with a small strip of knit fabric if it is sprayed with starch and pressed. 

D. Find the “four corners” of your arm hole and arm band. Match the raw edges of these two pieces together.

E. Sew (note: I use my serger on this portion of the dress- totally optional!!) at 3/8″-1/2″.

F. Press the sewn or serged edges towards the inside of your garment and press. Then topstitch around the edge with a longer straight stitch about 1/8″ from the seam.

Repeat this for the other arm hole and your’e good to go! I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous dresses you make for Summer!



Out and About Dress Instagram Contest Featuring GIRL CHARLEE!


Today I’ve got an exciting announcement! We are teaming up with our friends over at Girl Charlee (have you checked out their amazing knits?!) for an Out and About Dress Instagram Contest and giving YOU a chance to win $40 shop credit PLUS a copy of my newest pattern (The Tank Dress.. sneak peek here) that will release in April.

Out and About Dress Instagram Contest with Girl Charlee

So, head over to INSTAGRAM to enter. The secret 10% off code will be emailed to you after we receive your purchase for the Out and About dress PDF pattern.