Wardrobe Builder: Love Notions Tidal Top, Dress, and Maxi

There is nothing I like more in summer fashion than a comfortable knit dress. Can I tell you all again that I am 5’10”? This doesn’t make clothes shopping impossible, but it often means that I am missing the perfect fit. If it is a hair shorter than knee-length, I can’t comfortably bend or crouch to care for one of my small children. If it is a maxi, I must wear flats to avoid it being awkwardly short. Throw in the dilemma of different bustlines and backsides that every women regardless of height can relate to, and shopping for a simple knit dress is really not actually that simple.

Tidal Dress 4

It is becoming rarer, but I do this thing that my husband calls catch-and-release shopping. That is when I try to find the perfect article of clothing to meet a need. I live in a rural town without many shopping options, and far away from a city with more but still limited retail options. As my sewing skills have increased it has become far easier to find fabric that I love such as the Crimson Paparounes available here and turn it into the dress I have in mind myself.

The Tidal Dress and Top is the PERFECT dress for my summer needs. One of the things I love about testing for Love Notions is that Tami, the designer, is very responsive to fit feedback from her dedicated group of testers. I am sharing pictures today of my final version (after sewing 3 in testing).

I have been sewing for several years now, but it’s only been in the past few months that I’ve felt more confident in sewing for myself and wearing my creations proudly. I feel beautiful and proud in my new Tidal knee-length dress.

I sewed a size Medium based on the size chart. My hips are a bit smaller than the medium size chart, but in my early versions of testing this dress, I didn’t see a need to grade down with the fit and flare style.  It is fitted through the bust, then with ease at waist and hips. My waist is actually just a bit larger than the medium measurements on the size chart, but I prefer to have my dresses more fitted at my waist so I left it alone.

Back view Tidal Dress 2


The front princess seams very flattering, and there is also a center back seam that makes this dress very easy to adjust to get a great fit. The tutorial also includes instructions for a full bust adjustment if you need one.

The pattern includes top, dress, and maxi length options. There are shorten and lengthen lines. I added 2″ length to my dress to get it to knee length. Overall, assembling the pattern pieces was very quick as Love Notions uses trimless layers for their PDF patterns. The rest of the dress comes together very quickly. While I rarely make a muslin when sewing for my children, I have started making muslins for my own sewing since women’s patterns use so much more fabric than children’s! If you are uncertain about any fit issues, you can make the top version very quickly to see if you need to make other adjustments.

I am sharing the tank, knee-length version of the dress, but to summarize, the pattern includes a top (sleeveless, tank, and short sleeves), dress (sleeveless, tank, and short sleeves), and maxi (sleeveless, tank, and short sleeves). The pattern is tiled out well to save on printing and time assembling as well. I also found the instructions very clear and included options for bands or binding. I wanted to have a bit of extra coverage in my tank version, so I chose the bands. It also added a nice extra pop of Crimson Paparounes by Art Gallery against my pink cotton spandex that I used for the front bodice piece.

I highly recommend this pattern for ease of construction, fit, style, and a quick sew. From start to finish, I was ready to wear my dress in 2 hours, including taking the extra steps to pin my hem on my dress form.

Tidal Dress by Love Notions
The sidewalk is my runway.


I actually wore my dress to our homeschool group’s graduation ceremony and received several compliments on it. As I rebuild my wardrobe after a major post-baby purge (yes, she’s 2, and yes, I’m behind), I know this pattern will be a great basic that I reach for frequently. Head on over to Love Notions  to grab your copy and stock up on other great patterns today!

I am a financially compensated member of the Love Notions Promo Team and I receive a small payment plus affiliate sales through links on my review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. Shopping through links at Sew and Tell helps support the operation of the site.





  1. sorahart | 28th May 16

    You look fantastic! I love your honest review. I am 5’9″ with long legs and I completely agree with your tall girl dilemmas. I love the hourglass illusion you get from the color blocking on the front of your dress!

    • MadebyEleri | 28th May 16

      Thank you so much!

      I’m glad the review was helpful. I agree that it is a flattering sew!

  2. Mother's Day Sewing: Love Notions Tidal to the Rescue! - The Sew and Tell Project | 12th May 17

    […] can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I made my first Love Notions Tidal Dress! Recently, the generous people at Art Gallery Fabrics sent me some of their beautiful new […]

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