Handmade and Fabulous: The Handkerchief Dress

It’s almost that time of the year again, when cardigans slowly fall off the shoulders and ballet flats surrender to toe-baring sandals; when hemlines get shorter as the days grow longer; when cosy dinners in give way to scorching barbecues. Yes, summer is almost here!

When I lived in Ireland, I lived for the summer – and by summer I mean a few weeks of sunshine, on and off. Here in Singapore, summers come and go unnoticed. Every day is almost the same – hot, humid, and rainy. Which is fine by me, given the tropical rut I’m in.  In this sweltering heat, wearing dresses – of any kind, shape, or length – is the only way to survive (though, I have to admit, wading in the rain in a floor-length dress can be a bit tricky). Even my go-to tunics and shorts become uncomfortable after a while. And so for my very first project after settling in Singapore, I made what any maxi-girl worth her salt would make: a maxi dress. A handkerchief maxi dress to be exact.

A handkerchief dress, I think, is one of the sexiest styles a woman can wear. The floaty silhouette suits most body shape while the uneven hemlines create an illusion of longer legs. It is effortlessly elegant – you can wear flip-flops with it and it would still look sophisticated.

The material I used for this project is gray polyester satin stretch fabric with black and white paisley prints.

Loved the print and texture of this fabric!

It has a nice sheen to it and the slight stretch makes it very comfortable to wear. The dress itself was easy to make, so easy actually, that I could have made 5 of them and still have time for my afternoon tea. Here is the finished dress.

Handkerchief Dress, Front
The straps form an ‘X’ at the back when worn

If you want to make a few of these dresses to see you through the summer, here is a nifty tutorial to guide you along the way. All you need are some fabric, matching thread, a sewing machine, needle, scissors, and an hour (or less!). Happy sewing!

You may also like:

Handkerchief Dress Tutorial


2 thoughts on “Handmade and Fabulous: The Handkerchief Dress

  1. Wonderful!! Exactly the same material as one I’m about to whizz up on the sewing machine… (I chose it ages ago & it’s been gathering dust waiting for me to rustle up clothes for a sun filled holiday!!!)
    I’m adding a twist… a line of ribbon on the inside just under the bust for threading a drawstring through for a gathered empire line & loops for halter-neck tie straps =D

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