Paint Me a Maxi Dress: The Reveal
This summer I’m sewing along with Ali at The Wardrobe, Reimagined; Alessa at Farbenfreude; Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones; and a bunch of other talented seamsters. We’re all making summer essentials, and this post marks my completion of the Sew-Along.
The wind was perfect. It caught the hem of the maxi dress, which caused the skirt to dance around my feet – an artist’s pallet at play.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my maxi dress is finally complete.
If you’ve been following along, you already know the lengthy saga of the “Paint Me a Maxi Dress” maxi dress. If you happened to miss it, here it is in brief, with links to the appropriate posts:
I found the fabric at FineFabrics.com, officially declared my plans, and then made a muslin to check the fit of Vogue V8182. After taking a bit of a break to make my baby niece a Christening gown, I got back to this dress only to be slowed by discovering that most of the pattern was cut on the bias and that the ruching was not as simple as instructed. After several failed attempts at ruching, I then had several failed attempts at inserting the zipper into the bias-cut skirt. The Lonsdale Sew-Along, a second honeymoon, and the trouble with the zipper pushed the dress into September. The purchase of an invisible zipper foot and several online tutorials solved the zipper issue, and then – finally! – all that was left was a bit of hand sewing.
The dress has a V-neckline and wide straps that have a bit of gathering at the top. The waist is highlighted by a band of what is supposed to be ruched fabric. As I noted above, I had a lot of trouble getting the ruching to work with the dress. It was at times too floppy, too puffy, too obviously sewn down. I finally just stretched it taut, while the top and bottom seams were already sewn to their respective matching partners, and cut off the excess fabric in the side seams.
The pattern didn’t come with a maxi-length skirt pattern, but it was easy enough to improvise.
The bias cut puts the stripes of fabric at an angle, which I was unsure about at first as I’d originally imagined them going up and down, but which I adore now. I made sure to match everything up so that the diagonal paint line that begins at the overlap of the V-neckline continues all the way down the dress.
The back diagonal line matches even more closely.
My husband and I decided this dress was worthy of a real photo shoot adventure, so we threw our camera into a bag and left the house with only a loose idea as to where we were going. We ended up stopping at a spectacular serpentine wall. We even threw in a silly magazine shot:
Oh là là!
This dress is my final garment for the Second-Annual Summer-Essentials Sew-Along. I finished it with one week left in the summer. Maybe it can transition into the fall with a colorful cardigan? Even if it doesn’t make it out much the rest of this year, I know it’ll get a lot of wear next summer.
I’ll leave you with one final shot. Though there’s nothing particularly special about this photo, I love how the movement implied by the curved wall is continued into the diagonal of the pattern.
It really feels wonderful to be able to make something unique from a plan and a piece of fabric, wouldn’t you agree? Of everything you’ve made this summer, what’s stood out to you as particularly special or unique? I’d love it if you’d add a link in the comments!