Before this blog fills up with autumn makes and lush wool fabrics, I need to share this last summer make with you! I made this dress for our honeymoon in Sardegna, Italy.
Although this dress is far from perfect and not exactly how I envisioned it, I’m really pleased with it and loved wearing it on holiday. Since we’ve been back from our trip, it has been hanging in the closet, though, waiting for summer to return next year.
I drafted the pattern myself by copying a RTW mini summer dress I liked the fit of. Copying the pattern was quite easy and the cut was rather boxy and simple. I had this really beautiful and delicate bird print chiffon in my stash. I knew it would be quite see-through even with the lining, so I decided to use a lot more fabric for the skirt, cutting a wider skirt and thus, adding more gathers. This helped with the transparency, but I have to admit that it’s not the most flattering silhouette – and it’s a lot warmer, as well.
Apart from this, I really love it, although the sewing process didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped. By copying the pattern, I somehow lost about 5cm of shoulder strap length – I have no idea how that happened. And I didn’t notice until I tried the fully-constructed bodice on – lining understitched an all. The fit was horrible and it took me a while to get behind the reason for this. The bodice was sitting way too high, too tight around the bust and the armholes were also too small! There was no way I would’ve deconstructed the whole thing again and I would’ve lost a lot of skirt length by cutting out a new bodice. I was forced to get creative, which is how this awesome criss-cross shoulder strap detail happened. I basically cut the bodice at the shoulder seams and inserted the missing 5 cm of length by adding four tiny straps to each side.
The dress is lined with some ivory tricot fabric. The skirt a very simple shape, no gathers or even darts. It hits mid-thigh, with is a lot shorter than I usually wear, but the long layer of chiffon keeps it quite decent-looking.
The chiffon skirt is basically just two large rectangular pieces sewed together at the side seams and gathered into the waist. I used my rolled-hem foot to hem the skirt. Initially, I wanted to make a floor-length maxi skirt, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric so now it’s a midi rather than a maxi length.
You see, there have been a lot of changes and some frustration in the process of making this dress. In the end I somehow managed to turn it into something wearable I really like.
So all’s well that ends well.
I wore the dress on a little trip through town, shopping at the local market. They even had some really lovely haberdashery on display!
These rather bumpy projects can be the most valuable! Mistakes don’t have to become failures. They can push us to be more creative.
Do you have any sewing fails that you managed to turn into something beautiful?
Stay in touch!
13 thoughts on “Honeymoon Maxi Dress”
Nice work! Necessity certainly is the mother of invention.
One of things I often forget to consider when drafting a pattern off another garment is the ease of the fabric used in the original. Perhaps that’s why your new version ended up feeling a lot smaller? I don’t imagine that chiffon has a lot of ease.
But pffffttt because it’s delicious fabric, your rescues have made it all the cooler, and it looks gorgeous on you.
My latest disaster I made beautiful by giving away to someone else 😉
Thought that as well at first. But the original RTW was chiffon as well. I guess I just wasn’t careful enough when I traced it, chiffon is just too slippery.
Giving things away is a great strategy!! I sometimes try to find someone if the fit just isn’t right. There’s always someone who looks great in it!
Really pretty! I love that shoulder detail. Looks like a beautiful place to visit ;o)
Thanks, Colette! It’s was sooo beautiful – I would’ve loved to stay there 🙂
Your pictures are gorgeous! I love this dress. Super chic. Goodbye summer, indeed.
Thank you, Carmen! x
The dress is really beautiful on you. It’s very feminine and I love the shoulder detail. I agree, sometimes problems in sewing result in something amazing.
Thanks, that’s so nice of you to say! x
Stunning dress, it looks gorgeous on you and you would never know that it didn’t go to plan.
Thanks, Lynsey! That means a lot to me! x
You are quite clever and it is a truly beautiful dress. You have done it again. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Hahahaha Sometimes I feel like all of my sewing is just the result of fails and laziness to unpick things! That shoulder detail really makes the dress something else though. So pretty and flowy! I would want to twirl and “swish” around in it all day if I were you.
This summer dress article is so hot, if you can check some of my collection that would be so much awesome, thanks!