True Bias Southport dress

This was another last minute make for our holiday. Strangely I only have one maxi dress (a BHL Anna) and the need for another was calling me.

This is the Southport Dress from True Bias. I was a bit skeptical at first. I thought the tie in the middle would make me look like a sack of potatoes tied up. I’m not a big fan of blousy things, so there was a quick discussion with the girls first.

The fabric is a border print which came from Fabric Vision in Christchurch. It’s a really fine cotton with a beautiful drape and is so soft. It took a bit of cogitating and ruminating to decide how I might lay out the fabric.


As always when making something new, I searched around to find reviews. What did we do before this? Oh and there’s a few of these around – be warned! I made a number of changes following the reviews. I raised the front neckline by around an inch, I also raised the underarm by around an inch and then trimmed it back by around ⅜”. I lengthened the bodice by around 1.5 inches and shortened the skirt by the same amount. I omitted the buttonholes and stitched the buttons through both plackets. There’s no need for those buttons to open! The buttons are from stash. I rarely need green buttons, so was definitely happy to find these. Oh and note I pattern matched on the front button placket! 🙂

I also removed the drawstring waist, added a casing to the inside and inserted elastic. So much more comfortable and I can add a belt that way if I want to. I shifted it to the inside mainly because an additional casing on the front with this already busy print didn’t look good.

The final change I made was to move the front slit to the side seams, so that I could cut the front skirt on the fold and eliminate that centre front seam. I actually prefer these two side splits. It was this version by Jenny which convinced me this was the way forward.

The deets
Fabric:  A border print cotton voile from Fabric Vision in Christchurch
Notions:  Thread, buttons, interfacing and elastic
Pattern:  True Bias Southport dress, size 14
Changes made:  Lots! Raised the front neckline, shortened the armscye to make the underarm higher, lengthened the bodice, shortened the skirt, omitted the button holes, moved the waist casing to the inside and inserted elastic, shifted the front slit to the side seams and cut the front skirt on the fold.

Another one/Recommendations:  Definitely recommended, but with some reservations. I would check the following before making up: the armscye, the front neckline, the bodice length and skirt length. I often have to lengthen the waist, but this I lengthened considerably. I’m also 5’6” and the skirt was way too long for me!

Saying all that, I love this dress. I lived in it while we were away. So comfy with the elasticated waist, I felt so girly and even dressed up in it. I think this is going to get a lot of wear when our summer comes. Thinks, what can I make another in? Not sure yet whether to make another maxi or the shorter version. Oh and it has pockets – big pockets! 🙂

These photos were taken at our hotel in Fiji. There was a bridge to some fancy overwater bures (no we didn’t stay in one!)

3 thoughts on “True Bias Southport dress

  1. What gorgeous fabric, I love how you placed the pattern- I can see why you lived in it! I am making one atm, and will put the seams on the side as well I think, it’s a good idea👍

  2. I definitely prefer the seams on the side. It also means one less seam for the centre front. 🙂 I’m now waiting for the summer weather to start at home, so I can wear it more!

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