Well, I'd better get this one posted while there is still a little summer left (though the weather here in Washington, DC has been very un-summer-like for the past few weeks). I am usually seriously behind the times. I might really like the look of the latest fashion trend but by the time I actually get around to sewing it, the fashion world is off to something new. It is pretty hard to ignore the popularity of maxi dresses these days. I see them on every corner, at the playground and the grocery store. They looked right up my alley -- comfortable and cool, wearable with sandals, easy to re-create. I did a little online snooping and checked out what fellow seamstresses were saying on PatternReview. The go-to pattern was clearly the Mission Maxi by Jamie Christina Patterns. (Google Mission Maxi and check out all of the possibilities under Images!)
As is usually the case I did not have the right fabric for this dress (what good is my stash, anyway?) so I headed to the fabric store and picked up two pieces, one a deep discount number that I could use to mock up the pattern. As it turns out, the fit of this pattern is so forgiving that my mock up was easily wearable. This dress works up in a flash. The pattern comes with a tank or haltar top; I made the tank version. I took the shoulder seams up which also raised the neckline which many found too low when reviewing this pattern. I also shortenend the overall length by 5". I changed how I attached the neckline and armhole binding. The pattern has you sew on the binding flat with the adjoining seam left open, sewing the seam afterwards. I chose to sew the seam first and apply the binding in the round. I think this creates less bulk as you can offset the binding and garment seams just a bit.
The black and red stripe was my "muslin" and the blue graphic print my second attempt. I used black binding on that one and made the finished width a little wider for added contrast. The pattern also includes a version with a center back godet. I would love to try this style -- maybe next summer.
Others on PatternReview have noted this dress is as comfortable to wear as a nightgown, and they are not wrong. There is something fantastic about summer dressing when you can slip a garment on and be done. This dress works up so fast you still have time to make one and wear it before summer ends. You won't be sorry.