Maxi Dress

August 26, 2010

I made this a few weeks ago, when we had that pocket of hot ‘summer’ weather, I thinks its manufacture can be blamed on the dreadful turn the weather has made. I have only worn it a couple of times (mostly with a cardi),  – still there is always next year.

It is of course a complete cheat – a long skirt attached to a vest top. I had been on the look out for a nice maxi this summer, but at 6ft tall was struggling to find one that was a proper maxi on me! Also I wanted an empire line, to cover my post babies tummy. So I came up with this, went shopping for supplies and got the sewing machine out.The skirt is made from a light cotton sheeting (almost muslin) in 3 shades of blue/turquoise to go with the top I already had (from Uniqlo £3 in some sale or other). I bought 1/2 a meter of the turquoise (top colour) and a meter each of the two blues, cotton and shirring elastic I think the lot was less than £9.

Starting from the bottom up, the skirt is made by cutting the desired length (see picture) and stitching together the required width. The skirt graduates in widths to form a soft ‘Ra Ra’ effect. Then hem the bottom and gather the top (a straight stitch all the way round then pull on the bobbin thread to gather the fabric up), to the width of the next skirt panel. Sew the next panel together to form a tube and stitch the bottom panel to its ‘hem’ and repeat the gathering stitching process for the next skirt panel. At the top of the skirt I used a shirr stitch to ‘gather’ the skirt up. This is where you fill the bobbin with shirring elastic (hand wind this) and sew a straight stitch all the way round and magically, it makes it elastic. Then I attached the skirt to the vest, again with a shirr stitch. This was to maintain the stretch in the vest top so that I would be able to put the finished dress on comfortably and so that it would nip in a bit under the boobs to give the whole thing some shape. The final picture above is me pining the skirt to the vest – what you can see is the bottom half of the vest and the wrong side of the top of the skirt – if that makes sense.

I think it worked pretty well, I will post a picture of me in it when the weather allows it to come back out of my wardrobe (and I have lost a few more pounds!).

If you want to make one too, let me know if you need any more info, and how you got on.

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