Pattern Reviews

The perfect sundress. Bra friendly too. 3 Tempo dresses (Love Notions)

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The newest pattern from Love Notions is the gorgeous Tempo sundress and it’s the perfect sundress for summer that we all can wear with a great neckline and bra coverage.

In this post, you will see my 3 versions of the Tempo sundress (including a peplum hack) and I am so happy with these projects. This style of dress is very much my style and mashes well with my year long hot climate.

The Tempo sundress comes in sizes XS-5X, has a standard & full bust option. Get yours HERE with my affiliate link if my sewing inspires you and the content helps you with your own sewing. It’s $5 (60% off) on Friday 24th of June 2022. Thank you for supporting my work through my affiliate link: ) Use the Code LPN10 at checkout for 10% OFF every day and even during sales.

Features of the Tempo dress: perfect sundress

The straps of the Tempo dress are wide and provide great cover for any bra strap. This is great because it means that we can also feel comfortable an supported in our favorite bra, while wearing a cute sundress. The V neckline is soft and not low and the cover under the arms is great. No side bra will show. The neckline is finished with facings.

The back has a shirred panel in the center back that makes the dress unique and also very comfortable because this panel stretches well. This means that we can pull on the Tempo dress over our head and bust without needing a zipper.

As for the skirt, it is A lined with subtle gathers and the dress can be above the knee or longer if you add the second gathered tier.

For pocket lovers, there are great waist-anchored inseam pockets that don’t wiggle around, are stable and secure inside the dress.

Best fabrics for the Tempo Sundress

In the graphic above you can see different options. The more structured fabrics like cotton and linen will be easy to handle, sew and press. The skirt, however, can look more voluminous.

With drapier fabrics like rayon, rayon/linen & crepe, the skirt will flow nicely but the bodice may need some extra stabilization with interfacing and lining the bodice will elevate the look of the bodice and provide structure. The straps would also need to be interfaced.

My choices: light 100% rayon, light poly crepe and linen/cotton blend. The first two are light and drapey and the last type is stable and structured. I lined the bodices of the dresses and interfaced the neckline partially for both the main and lining pieces.


The sizing of the Tempo dress is available from XS-5X. The upper hip measurement is 59.5″ but if your hip circumference is slightly more, you could still make this dress because the hips have plenty of ease.

You will find some negative ease and a small amount of positive at the bust for the standard bust and full bust option, respectively. This is because the shirring panel on the back will stretch and keep the bodice snug without feeling snug.

Personal fitting

You can see some photos of my 1st muslin with the pattern made “as is” in size XL, based on my boy measurements. It is difficult to do flat pattern measurements with this style, so I sewed this up real quick to see what adjustments I would need.

  • I like the cover under the arms.
  • The strap has the perfect length for my body.
  • I need extra length on the bodice. It is not at my waist.
  • The bust dart is too high. I need to lower it by 1.5″
  • I need the skirt to be about 2.5″ longer to be above my knee.

Below, you can see the shorten/lengthen line on the bodice pieces. It’s below the bust dart. For my own fitting, I need the extra length above the bust dart. This allows me to add the length that I need, whilst also lowering the dart. I also lowered the dart by 1/2″, but in reality it’s been lowered 1.5″, which is what I needed.

If you shorten or lengthen the bodice, you also need to adjust the shirring template and panel pattern pieces. I decided to add 2.5″ to the hem of the skirt piece because this would fit on the width of my fabric and I wanted my hem a little wider at the bottom.

Sewing considerations

  • The seam allowance is 3/8″
  • The facing pieces are interfaced. I like block fusing to ensure they end up being the same size & shape as the neckline of the bodice pieces.
  • The shirring template is a wide piece. When shirred, it will result in a narrow panel.
  • Good practice is to stay stay stitch the neckline as soon as possible, trim seam allowance, snip where needed and the facing under-stitched to keep it inside the garment.
  • Only the front skirt is gathered onto the skirt. The back looks gathered because of the shirring in the center.
  • If you want to line the bodice, all you need to do is cut the bodice pieces twice. The sewing is the same. Pretend the lining is the facing, but longer.
  • My dresses are made with lightweight wovens and to have a stable and add structure to the bodice, I interfaced the neckline area for both the main bodice and lining. I am self lining. I also interfaced the straps. See it below.

Inseam pocket video tutorials

I have filmed two videos about sewing inseam pockets. No shortcuts and great tidy results. You can sew them traditionally or if you want extra finesse, sew them with French seams. See below.

Video tutorial with shirring in detail

In the video below, you can see how to shirr in detail and with all the practicalities you will encounter.

The video on my YouTube channel

In Up close and Sew Personal you will see:

  • How to sew the bodice with facings
  • How to sew the skirt onto the bodice
  • How to line the bodice: recommended for light fabrics

Also, a full review and lookbooks.

Let’s see

Special print placement short Tempo in 100% rayon

I took my time to cut all the pieces of this Tempo dress in a way that the print would make sense. The bodice is fully lined and the skirt and inseam pockets are French seamed for extra finesse inside.

I wanted to add a little extra detail to my second Tempo dress. See the line art below 🙂

I sewed a faux button band in the center of the bodice and skirt for an extra fun detail. This is not functional but looks very realistic. If you are a member of my Patreon, you can see the exclusive video all about this hack HERE. I have also lined the bodice here.

Linen peplum top hack

For my third one, I chose a pretty print linen/cotton blend. This time, the skirt pieces are 10″ long and voila: the cutest top. This is stable fabric, so I used the facings to finish the neckline, as per the pattern design. A few weeks ago, I transformed the original bust dart from the front bodice into princess seams and I was excited to finally sew this version.

More helpful videos on the channel

To see how to sew the Linen peplum top, see the video below.

To see how to transform a side bust dart into princess seams, see the video below.

Final thoughts

I really ha a lot of fun sewing my 2 Tempo dresses and have a fun idea I want to materialize in the next few days. I’d also like to make a little black Tempo dress too. I am sure I will be making the Tempo dress many more times. I feel great, fresh, and covered, which is not easy to accomplish with a sundress. The wide straps are gold.

Get your Tempo sundress HERE with my affiliate link if my sewing inspires you and the content helps you with your own sewing. Thank you for supporting my work through my affiliate link: ) It’s $5 (60% off) on Friday 24th of June 2022. Thank you for supporting my work through my affiliate link: ) Use the Code LPN10 at checkout for 10% OFF every day and even during sales.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t have a fabric sponsor. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you, with my own investment of time and resources. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly, nor I intend to replace instructions found in your patterns. I don’t provide a paid service for pattern brands. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.

How to support my work

I spend a lot of my time sewing, filming/editing videos, writing and taking photos for both my Youtube channel and blog and if you love what I do and consider my work valuable for your own sewing, you can support me financially in a non-committal manner by purchasing me a ”coffee” through Ko-Fi here.  $5 gets me one cup of “coffee”, or how I call it: a zipper!

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