It’s been a hot summer and even though we are well into March now the heat doesn’t seem to want to let up. The ikat I bought in Bali last time I was there is ideal for these sort of temperatures, apart from being a gorgeous handmade treasure.

There are, however, some design restrictions with this type of fabric, because it is made on a traditional loom and it is therefore only 100cm wide, with a border on both selvages. I opted for the same pattern as for my last ikat dress, a sleeveless empire bodice with a pleated long skirt, because it shows this gorgeous fabric off beautifully and the loose style is so comfortable in the heat.

I have had the pattern I used for the bodice for donkeys years, bought second hand for 50c and it is certain to be no longer available, so I can’t recommend a specific pattern. But any bodice without bust darts and with straight sides would probably do the trick. I have used the bodice of the Eva dress before, straightening the curved bottom edge and making it around 37-40 cm long, including the 4cm flange that hides the top of the pleats. I flipped it partially up in the photo below so you can see.

An undarted bodice generally has enough ease to get on and off without a closure, but if you are more generously endowed you might need bust darts, in which case you might also need to make the back of the bodice in two parts with buttons, or put a zipper in the side seam. The sewing details are on PatternReview.

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