I just absolutely love wearing maxi dresses. It’s probably something coming from the past, when I was this little girl being fond of long dresses and twirling skirts. It is quite funny, but not much has changed as I still enjoy skirts with a beautiful twirl and also long dresses! The problem with floor length dresses while being of particular height is that RTW rarely offer true floor length, unless one is of very much standard height. Which I am not. Up until recently I had a single maxi dress which I had bought many years ago. But hey – there is no problem any longer, as I am now capable of making a very particular floor length dress myself. This lovely dress was a fast project, and this was an absolutely enjoyable project, too. Love how my new very long dress turned out!
This fabric is beautiful floral liberty viscose, which I bought without having any particular plan for it. When the summer came, I started pulling all the summery fabrics out of my stash and carefully selecting patterns for all of them. By then I’d made all sorts of dresses, except for a long dress, and with this fabric I figured that the time had come to make one! I had to spend some time in search for the pattern for this fabric and for my specific idea, and I am happy I’ve settled on this McCall’s pattern. It was a relatively easy make, but it does not look so simple, which I like very much.
This pattern is M7381, it features the bodice that is tied a little bit above the waist, it has elastic at the back for more comfort and it has enough pleats in the front to make a flowy and very comfortable feel. When I studied the design at first, I was confused as to how the outer layer and the lining of the bodice will work out, but in fact, the design is very well thought through and falls into places nicely.
This design consists of only a good handful of pattern pieces. The bodice is lined. Since this is meant for a hot summer day, I opted for lining it with the same fabric, instead of unnatural lining fabrics. The key is to make the front bodice pieces right as they have three shoulder pleats each and the ties that are made of the same front pattern pieces. The front bodice lining consists of two pattern pieces and darts are used to accommodate the ease around the bust. When the bodice is made, there is actually not much left to work on as the skirt is in fact two pattern pieces and two seams. The front skirt is also pleated for more comfort. Whereas at the back, there is a need to make a channel for an elastic at the waist.
In addition to the designated design, I added pockets, which are the most important component of any dress! 🙂 And then I decided to make a slit on the right side of the skirt. I love this solution, as it is so pleasant to feel the dress being messed around the legs by the wind.
The last and most tricky part was to hem the dress. It was not really hemming itself that was a challenge, instead, I had a hard time determining an appropriate length of the dress. Floor length is very specific length indeed! 🙂 I tried the dress on barefoot, then with several pairs of shoes. I wanted the dress to be floor length, but just – it should not lay on the ground.
I used my 4 mm rolled hem foot to hem the dress. But then I figured that it ended up being a tiny bit too long, so I rolled the hem once more and stitched again. Then I realized that the length was not the same on both sides of the slit – the front was a touch longer than the back, so I cut a portion of the front to be a tiny bit shorter, ripped the seam where I had to level the hem out and stitched the hem again. But then, I guess, after hanging for few days, the dress became a little longer still. So I sweared and had to conclude that it became too long again! So I had to shorten the dress once more and hem again. Hopefully, this iteration is going to be the last one in the complex journey of hemming!
For this project I needed 3 meters of beautiful liberty viscose fabric that I bought at Guthrie&Ghani online store, the fabric is called Pavillion x Hudson. Pattern used was McCall’s M7381 and I chose to make view D. Other notions were – a bit of light weight interfacing, 0.5 m of 5 mm elastic, 2 small snaps for bodice front closure, and coordinating thread. This dress cost me 83 Eur, it is one of more expensive dresses in my portfolio as this fabric is of exceptional quality and a little bit more expensive than usual. I completed this dress in June, 2021.
Truly love it! It was an easy and very much pleasant project. This fabric feels so natural and cozy while wearing it. I simply love everything about this dress! 🙂 I had to figure what type of shoes I would be wearing with this dress because that was supposed to determine the length of the dress. I settled on flats – flip flops, or balerinas, or, like in above pictures, just random sneakers. I feel the best in this kind of relaxed outfit, it is the most convenient while just relaxing and enjoying summer. And I just love what happens with my dress when the breeze blows at the lakeside – that is what summer is about!
Let’s all stay healthy!