I've fallen hard for long, flowy maxi dresses because a maxi with a lot of fabric keeps you warm in the manufactured air...yet handles a nice breeze outside with a gently flowiness. So the desire for more flowy maxi dresses is why I ended up sewing this pattern.
Floral linen purchased from Joann's with a birthday gift certificate
Blue rayon suiting from Fabric Mart via the fabric collection
22" lt. blue invisible zipper
blue bias binding
Pattern Alterations ~
Before I talk about the construction of this dress, I need to say that I HATE the main front pattern piece for this dress. I have NO idea why it was necessary to make the center front bodice and skirt the same pattern piece. It's a recipe for disaster. Cause matching, cutting and clipping that front insert is a beast and not easy to do. Making separate pieces would have made it soooooo much easier to construct!
Construction Info ~
This is a cup size pattern so between that the fact that there is soooooo much fabric in the skirt, I didn't need to make any alterations to the pattern pieces. Seriously, I made NO pattern alterations with this dress. I sewed a size 22 straight out of the envelope.
So here are the deets for making my version of this dress ~
- The neckline was a little to low so I raised it an inch and added seam tape to both sides of the seam to reinforce the seam then I went and lowered it after I added a front facing.
- All of that fabric had to be gathered. I used my new favorite gathering method, zig zagging over dental floss and all of that fabric that had to be wrestled through my sewing machine. That was an experience in itself!
- Originally I had the front slit in the dress skirt but after trying it on, I removed the topstitching and sewed the front seam up. I think it didn't work as well because I used the linen and not a drapier fabric like rayon.
The pattern suggests that you line the sides of the dress front and back and then handstitch it to the center front and back pieces. You use those pieces to finish the armhole stitches.
However, I used the split neck version for my dress and I knew those pieces would flop open. I didn't want the reverse sides of the center front pieces showing. So I changed this. I cut another set of center front pieces and made a back facing piece.
I used those pieces to finish the neckline. Then I added some bias binding to the armholes to finish them off.
Also I always saw the top of the dress colorblocked. So I used two separate fabrics to make the vision I saw in my head come to life. I'm very pleased with how the two fabrics worked together and how the finished dress looks.
Pictures of the dress ~
Worn with a white sweater...
Halfway through making this dress, I thought why am I branching out and using different styles? The dress was baggy and it seemed to make my hips look really wide! And I thought I will never wear it alone, it will always need to have a cardigan over it.
Get to the end after making a few more fitting adjustments and I'm a little amazed at the dress. I guess it's okay to step out of your comfort zone every once in awhile especially since I got several compliments when wearing this dress.
I'm not the only one who's made this dress recently. Margo who authors the blog, Creating in the Gap made this gorgeous version. We chose different fabrics and Margo made the dress per the pattern instructions, however, I think we both ended up with great versions of the pattern. It also more than fulfilled my desire for a full, floaty maxi dress.
...as always more later!