Susan Sews a Pareo Dress, the First of Many

The weather Is warming up, and soon it will be too hot to move.

I will swim before sunrise. Retreat to my sewing room with the AC cranked and sew and write.

After lunch and before my siesta I will take another swim. Since the heat of the day keeps everyone inside, I can swim naked. But I always keep a pareo nearby in case someone comes, and I can quickly wrap up. I swim late at night as well and when it is really hot,  I’ll jump in the pool during commercials while watching TV, then I’ll come back inside wet, and will cool down quickly.

This is a pareo. I took the photo from a great place to buy them online. It doesn’t have fringe like mine does, they are all a little different.

Clever people make pants and dresses out of them and then hawk them on the beach. I bought a yellow pareo that had elastic smocking on the top to make it into a sundress. But, the Baja sun and my body heat degraded the elastic. The fabric was still good. Sew I cropped the smocking off. Opened the side seam, and re-cut the pareo into a dress. I used the bodice from the dress I made for the wedding. The bodice is lemon yellow linen lined with a soft Egyptian cotton(only the best against my tender bosoms). I lightly gathered the pareo to fit the bodice width.

There was a nice border down each side. I cut one section off and attached it on the outside to the bodice seam and it hangs freely. You can see it on the side in the photos. the wind was blowing, but it would not pick up the border stip and fling it about. I hope you can see that detail. I wear it with thin-strapped orange metallic flip-flops, a big hammered brass cuff and dangling tropical earings.
It is not  floor length, the fringe starts at the knee. It feels so  free, light, cool and tropical.

I love it. And I have received many compliments on it. Don’t forget to add your compliments below!

I love it so much, I am going to make another with one of my many other pareos. Watch this space for later!

And as I have said before, my mother was the Queen of “reclining” and she loved muu-muus and caftans.

I have been bitten with the bug. And the climate here at the beach lends itself to soft, cool, loose garments.

Sew I made this Vogue wrapper. The short  white one with the Mandarin collar. I found this lovely batiste fabric with the fresh and springy embroidery.

After a hard day collecting shells, or swimming, or sewing, I like to take a relaxing bath or shower. The last thing I want to put on is anything close fitting or structured. And sew I have adopted caftans and other lightweight, stylish and cool wraps.

Here is my finished wrapper.

Then next one I make will be about four inches longer.

The sketch on the pattern envelope shows it to be almost knee length…not so! It is much shorter. And for proper reclining, a little more length is required.

And here is a beach photo. Well the beach is in the background apropos of reclining, I decided this was a good photo, I call it Tranquility Defined:


  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply April 30, 2010

    The yellow Pareo dress is beautiful–makes me want one for the beaches of Long Island Sound. The wrap looks cool and light and perfect for the heat. And that green Pareo on the lovely woman walking away from us down the beach–I'd take one of those, too!

    Lovely work. Bet there are lots of women who'd love these designs.

  • The Sewing Loft

    Reply Reply April 30, 2010

    Very neat sewing projects. A great idea to make a sundress from a pareo. It looks cool and refreshing. The wrapper is so pretty, I love that fabric.


  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply April 30, 2010

    Thank you Barb and Ms Anonymous, my darling sister!
    I love both garments…and I love you rcomments!

  • gwensews

    Reply Reply May 1, 2010

    Both of your garments look so comfortable and cool. Love the yellow dress! You live in a beautiful place.

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply May 1, 2010

    How lovely — your dress and the beach. nancy2001

  • drudge

    Reply Reply May 1, 2010

    Lovely, lovely. I'm starting to sew again, much fun.
    Your yellow dress is perfect, and the wrap looks so comforable. Hope you survive summer hell. Your beach looks great.

  • Kathy

    Reply Reply May 2, 2010

    I love them both…the yellow and the printed wrap….beautiful work!!

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply May 4, 2010

    love the dress and picture. I love reading your blog.

  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply May 6, 2010

    thank you all for your wonderful comments!

  • hasanahtex

    Reply Reply April 27, 2013

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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