Ode to the Parasol Dress

In DIY, Teaching by Shannon3 Comments

I am eight Parasol dresses in right now, and there is no sign of my stopping. It (along with the Shirt No. 1 hackadress that I’ve made 3 times) is the pattern that re-kick-started my sewjo, and I’m not mad about it. I love this pattern, so much so that I’m running a ShannaJean Summer Camp workshop on it in a few weeks (check it out here, and think about joining us, because it’s going to be SEW FUN!)

I’m sharing all of the Parasol dresses I’ve made here, with some details that might help if you are making one.

My measurements are: 5.6″ tall / 41″b / 42″w / 47″h, for reference.

For all of the ones shown, I used the full width of the fabric for the skirts, AND instead of measuring for the skirts, used the remaining fabric after cutting out bodice, facings, and pockets for the skirts. I halved what I had left (so, for my 2.5 yard cuts, the skirts are just under my knee, and for the 3 yard cuts, they are maxi dresses).

My first Parasol! This is Paintbrush Studios Organic Double Gauze. I followed the directions pretty religiously, and used 2.5 yards. I ended up sewing up the front/back center bodice another 2″ since this photo was taken. Patch pockets per the pattern instructions.
Parasol #2! I used 2.5 yards of Ruby Star Society Rayon Rise Bloom in Shell. I’ve done some tweaking to this one since the photo was taken, but for this one, I did inseam pockets instead of patch, and sewed the bodice center front and back a bit higher. (I’ve sewn that even higher since then and ruched the top of the shoulders to pull the whole thing up a bit more.)
Parasol #3! I used 2.5 yds of Rifle Paper Company Primavera Citrus Blossom Orange Rayon, For this one, I narrowed the bodice pieces by 2″ and used patch pockets. It’s much more fitted than any of my other ones, and is definitely more dress than caftan.
Parasol #4! This is it, folks! This is where I found my sweet-spot, fit-wise.
Fabric is from The Delhi Store on Etsy, and is a cotton voile (oooh, lala, seriously). I used 3 yards, and the maxi length is amazeballs. I narrowed the bodice pieces by 1″ each, did nice and deep inseam pockets placed at 2″ down from top of skirt, sewed the bodice center front and back to 5″ instead of the 3″ the pattern calls for, and of course used the full width of fabric for the skirt and halved the remaining for full maxi loveliness.

For all of the remaining ones, I’ve used (and will continue to use) the following modifications:

  • Bodice pieces are cut 1″ narrower than pattern suggests;
  • Bodice center front and back AND underarms are all sewn to 5″ instead of the 3″ the pattern calls for;
  • Deep inseam pockets placed at 2.5″ from top of skirt;
  • Skirts are full width of fabric;
  • Skirt length is leftovers after cutting all bodice, facings, and pockets halved.
Parasol #5. Dream dress, for real. The fabric is a rayon: Figo Rayon Sangria Flowers in Pink. 2.5 yards.
Parasol #8. This is a cotton/rayon blend that feels a lot like the cotton voile, and I love it in this dress. It doesn’t feel as dressy as the rayon; definitely something to wear to the beach. I used 2.5 yards of this Telio Verona.


  1. So glad I found this when searching inseam pockets for this pattern! It looks like you didn’t do ties on any of your versions – do you feel like it slips off the shoulders at all? All of them are so fun – beautiful!

    1. Author

      So sorry I didn’t answer sooner – I stopped doing the ties and sewed the front & back centers up a bit higher, and they stay on really well. I also sewed the underarms a bit higher (and ended up making the body panels a bit narrower from my initial measurements/the pattern explanation). I love this dress, and have made so many of them!

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