Make a Garment a Month – My December Challenge
I decided I’d join in on the Make a Garment a Month Challenge for a little extra fun. For December I challenged myself to…
Draft a Maxi Dress pattern from a RTW Garment
The RTW (Ready to Wear) I based my pattern from is just a simple maxi dress (Crossroads Brand) and it’s nothing flash but OMG it’s so darn comfortable to wear and it’s one of my favourite go to garments for cool casual comfort for around the house and perfect for our hot summers. Below is a pic of the RTW maxi dress next to the fabric I chose to make my first maxi dress.
My RTW maxi dress wasn’t the perfect maxi dress as it had things about it that I really didn’t like including the bust cross over section which never sat right and gapped too much and had to have a tacked for modesty and the ties under the bust… I think it was probably designed with a B cup in mind and not my D cup. Also when you have a bit of a tummy that has bulge above the waistline like mine does the ties under the bust really didn’t help hide things and actually accentuated my upper tummy bulge which made me feel a little self conscious… hence the reason why I mainly only ever wore the dress around the house.
So my plan was to take the basic concept of the pattern from my RTW and with the knowledge I have about drafting patterns trace off a pattern from the RTW and then made the alterations necessary to create my dream maxi dress….
Here’s my Make a Garment a Month Challenge completed
And the best thing of all is it’s exactly what I wanted in a maxi dress 🙂
What I wanted in the bodice of my maxi dress
I decided for the bodice I wanted it fully lined and I didn’t want to have to add any facings or binding, I also didn’t want to have to do any hand no hand stitching… not a huge fan of it at all and will try and do just about anything I can to get out of it.
So with my pattern drafted and with the sewing plan I came up with I only needed to use my overlocker (serger) so this was going to be a super quick and easy maxi dress to sew… Perfect! The bodice only comprises of 1 back piece cut on the fold and 1 front pattern piece cut on the straight of grain for the outer fabric and the lining, I just needed to cut the same again for the lining. To make life even a little easier and because I had enough fabric I just used the fashion fabric as the lining. Here’s what the pattern pieces look like when they’re pinned together.
Would you like to know how to add a self lining to a bodice without any hand stitching?
If you do let me know as I’d be more than happy to do a blog post to show you how. It’s so quick and easy and saves a lot of time having add facings or binding to the neckline and sleeves. Here’s a close up of what the bodice section is completed with the lining sewn in and ready to be added to the skirt. I didn’t take a pic of my 1st maxi dress at this stage but here’s a progress pic of the 3rd one I made.
Sometimes you just can’t stop at one..
After making my first maxi dress and loving the result and the fit I thought why stop at one maxi dress when I’ve got some fabric in my stash that I think would be perfect for my pattern and ideal to wear to Bali for our Christmas vacation… so two more maxi dresses were added to my collection.
Finally I was able to get my hubby to take some pics for me… here’s the results of our fun little fashion shoot. I kinda felt like a real model running in and out of my dressing room doing a quick change while we still had enough lighting outside… hey just call me “Elle” hahahaha
Maxi Dress No 1
Here’s a few fun pics of my first maxi dress
Where we live we only have a wire fence separating our duplex from the neighbours next door… luckily they’re a great bunch of guys and are the perfect neighbours… here’s what happened just after we started the photo shoot and while I was playing super model hahaha
“Oh NO Grant… the boys next door have just busted us doing the photo shoot”
Grant of course didn’t stop taking pics of me laughing with the neighbours… he just kept on laughing at me along with the boys and clicking away at the camera. Luckily the boys told me to just keep going as I looked great… so I thought what the heck let’s just do this and get the photo shoot underway or I’ll never get any pics done.
“Ok.. that’s a wrap… I’ll go and get changed into my next dress.. stop clicking Grant!!!”
Maxi Dress No 2
Thankfully when I came back out for the next photo session the boys had gone inside and I could do this modelling thing properly… well I tried to but as you’ll see the flies decided they to wanted in on the action.
Next up is a little fly swatting action that I didn’t realise Grant was capturing hahaha…. We have soooo many darn flies here and they almost drive me crazy especially when it’s stinking hot!
“Ping off flies… I’m trying to work here… I’m in the middle of my fashion shoot”
“Oh NO you didn’t take pics of me fly swatten did you?”
“Grant I’m going to get you for this one”
As you can tell we tend to have a lot of fun when it comes time to taking pics of the clothes I make… I don’t think I could find a better photographer to do my photo sessions with. I do have a remote and a tripod but it’s just no where near the same amount of fun when I can have my hubby take my pics for me.
Maxi Dress No 3
This one is a little different as the stretch in the knit fabric went against the stripes in the fabric so I decided to have ago at going against the main stretch and thankfully I still got a great result. After I finished making the dress and before hemming I let the dress hang for a couple of days to get as much of the hemline drop as possible then true up the hemline… I haven’t hemmed this dress yet and might not either… will see how it goes. After all it’s a stretch knit and doesn’t really even need it. I’ve never not hemmed something before so I’ll see how I go with it as it is.
“Oh NO… here we go again with those bloody flies!”
“Finally no darn flies… now we can get back to business… one last pic please Grant”
So there you go… that’s my maxi dress and December Challenge completed, Maxi Dress No 3 is also the last garment to be made for 2013. Something tells me this won’t be the last time I use this pattern and there’ll be a few more variations of this dress added to my wardrobe.
We’re heading off to Bali on 22nd of December for 2 weeks staying in a beautiful 1 bedroom pool villa. We’ll be enjoying daily massages.. Grant said it’s a must so who am I to argue with that… so it got the OK from me. There’ll be fabulous food enjoyed on a daily basis, a little shopping, a bit of sightseeing, and who knows what else we’ll get up to while we’re there. We’ve made no plans for this trip and we’ll just be taking each day as it comes. This vacation is all about chilling out and relaxing and just enjoying ourselves.
What ever you’re doing over the Christmas holiday season I hope you have a wonderful time and I look forward to sharing my sewing journey with you in 2014.
I’d love to say thank you so much for supporting and encouraging me throughout 2013 to continue to share my sewing journey with you and for the wonderful comments you leave for me to read and enjoy.
PS… Don’t forget to let me know if you’d like to know how I did the self lined bodice with no hand sewing as I’d be more than happy to share how I did it.