Saturday, 5 August 2017

Cross Front Maxi Dress

Many years ago, I bought myself a maxi dress at Target in Melbourne.  This was the most comfortable, easy to wear dress.  It's a stretch fabric with an empire waist crossover top, and a shirred skirt.  Over time, despite very careful handling, the neckline became a little stretched.  I made a tuck in the front to fix it, but it's not perfect. 

I like this dress so much, I decided to have a go at copying it.  I started by tracing off a front and back bodice pattern.  I didn't bother with the skirt as I just needed length and width measurements.

I then visited Chinatown and picked up some 150cm wide stretch fabric at the bargain price of $3 per metre.  I bought three metres just to be safe, and ended up having enough to make Samantha a dressing gown as well.

What does it look like on? Very nice, I think!

To make sure the neckline didn't sag and stretch, I carefully sewed a small channel around the edge, and threaded 1/4" elastic through it.  Overall I was quite happy with the fit of this make.  I think the cross-over panels are a little bit long, so I adjusted my pattern before starting on my next make.

Now that I'd tested my pattern, I popped into Chinatown again and bought another stretch fabric.  This one was $12 per metre.  I only bought two metres this time and had plenty for my dress - it helps to be short!

I'm happier with the fit of this dress, but I still think I can take out a bit more fabric from the cross-over panel.  I also messed up slightly with the join between the bodice and the skirt, and will add in an extra row of shirring above the join next time.  By not having a row of shirring above the join, the seam has stretched and gone a bit wavy.

Overall I'm very happy with my two dresses and they get a lot of wear.  I've already bought one more fabric for a fourth attempt.  Hopefully I'll get it perfect this time.

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