Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Gillian Maxi Dress

So, the amount of unblogged garments is steadily growing (I think we're at nine, not counting this one here), as is the number of unread blog posts in my reader. Summer just isn't my favorite time to sit in front of the computer, I guess, especially now that I spend a big part of my workday in front of one, too... Plus, we're currently having one of the nicest summers that I can remember. :-) And I haven't even been swimming yet!

Anyway. You remember my Oonapalooza Maxi Dress? I feel so nice wearing it, it kinda convinced me that I should have more maxi dresses. Which made a few things come together in my mind. For one, you probably know Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, queen of knits an maker of multiples extraordinaire (see her awesome MMMay challenge this year)? We realized sometime last year that we go for very similar colour palettes and both favor comfy, uncomplicated but flattering clothing, so we conspired to do a "wardrobe twin" sewing challenge and sew an outfit inspired by each other. Fast-forward eight months and there have been quite a few plans but nothing concrete. However, Gillian wears lots of maxi dresses. *Knit* maxi dresses. And really cute ones, too!
Hi Gillian!
It also so happens that I had this subtly patterned and very drapey fabric from Girlcharlee in my stash that I never knew what to do with. It was advertised as a sweatshirt knit (which to me means French terry, a.k.a. the fabric you make hoodies with), so I ordered it to make a Lola, but it turned out to be an almost transparent tissue knit. Probably perfect for a slouchy kimono or batwing tee. Too bad that I don't really wear those kinds of garments.
It did make a really nice maxi dress, though.
Because of the transparency, I lined the bodice with a self-fabric shelf bra. And as the fabric is so thin and stretchy, I stabilized thr neckline with some regular white elastic. I should have used transparent elastic, since it turned out a bit bulky, but didn't have any on hand...
For the bodice I used the Verity pattern, because I like the bust gathers, although in this case I converted them into pleats. I also lowered both the front and back neckline for a more summery feel. The front sits a bit low now, which would have been eadily remedied by a neck band. But then I decided to do a lining instead... ;-)
This was a very quick dress to make, entirely constructed on my overlock machine. I didn't even finish the hem and the side slits, which go up to slightly above the knee. I just sewed the sideseams until about halfway, then stopped.
This dress is so comfy, I hardly want to take it off, ever. I like the feel of the fabric swishing around my legs! The only thing it doesn't do very well is riding a bicycle, so I've taken to knotting the left side of the skirt, just taking the left bottom edge of the front and back skirt and knotting them up to the top of the slit. It even looks only slightly ridiculous. ;)

Coincidentally, after the very exciting #Oonapalooza, the #Sewcialists named August #TributeAugust, to sew garments inspired by others. So thanks for the inspiration, Gillian! :D

Where are you taking your inspiration this summer?


  1. 1. Eeeeee! Wardrobe twins!
    2. You are working that dress! Hot! You need more. And now I need one with a lower neckline! ;)
    3. I have a dress inspired by you that is like, 2 seams away from being done, because I also figured Tribute month was the perfect reason to finally get on that project! It'll be up on the blog soon.
    4. I mailed your package last weekend... and then completely forgot to email you about it. I'll do that today!
    5. Love this dress!

  2. Wow - this is terrific! An excellent homage to Gillian's version!

  3. You look stunning in this dress! And I love that you added a lining and a shelf bra. Thanks for the summer knit dress inspiration. :)

  4. oh, so dramatically yet effortlessly chic! this is beautiful, and a perfect gillian tribute!

  5. Beautiful! You made really good use of that cool fabric. Lovely dress!

  6. What a gorgeous dress!! You're rocking the maxi, it looks a wardrobe staple too - what better tribute?!

  7. Lovely dress! I am inspired by hot weather, your maxi dresses and looking around me at what I see others wearing. I really want to buy some heresy for a maxi now. Xx

  8. I just LOVELOVELOVE this dress!!