Friday, February 21, 2014

ikat maxi dress - self drafted

I'm always impressed when I see someone's make with the word "self drafted" in the title. I'm good at following  pattern directions, but always get a bit sloppy when I have to pave the way myself. I've self drafted a few kids clothes, but never ladies so this was a little experiment with a happy ending. I do have the Sewaholic Saltspring pattern and originally thought about using it but I didn't think the gathers at the waist would work for this fabric.

 For me, a maxi should be loose and flowing. I have a RTW maxi (Target, 2 yrs ago) that I liked the bodice of so I loosely copied it for this dress. I used a lovely ikat blue rayon from Spotlight. It has a lovely drape and is cool to wear. I used 2.5m and had to use a centre back seam to fit the pattern in. (So very little pattern matching too). A few more notes

  • Front is self faced. I used some slight gathers in the top neckline to give some shape instead of darts. I cut the facing to fit the front once the gathers had been... gathered.
  • The back facing is more like a yolk and includes a casing for the strap. 
  • The back has slight gathers where it meats the yolk.
  • I wear a strapless bra under this dress.
  • The hem is just a basic fold up twice & machine sew. 
  • I serged all the seams because this stuff frays!

I've been thinking a lot about sewing clothes for my lifestyle- and for me that is being a mum, and maybe a pregnant or breast-feeding mum. We are hoping to add another baby number into our family in the next year or so, and I am thinking ahead to maternity and feeding wear. I love sewing, and would love to see my (time consuming, labours of love) makes go the distance, instead of not being able to wear them for 18months or so. I love wearing dresses and find that they are hard to wear (maxi's especially) if you're planning to breastfeed. The prototype Target dress I used was modified by me to have clips at the front shoulder straps to allow for feeding access. I purposefully sewed this dress with a strap/tie that is separate to the dress. This means with some simple unpicking I can swap this strap for another which will be able to be used for feeding. I might use a strap similar to the Saltspring dress which ties up, or I might use some nursing clips. Either way, that's about a year away! I think I would be able to wear this dress during pregnancy for the first and some of the second trimester. I love the thought that this dress pattern will serve me well for the next few years. (Would love to hear if you've successfully made feeding-friendly changes to your patterns? I think the Saltspring dress could be a good option for feeding because of the straps. & I will definitely look into the Megan Nielsen maternity patterns too.)

I love that this dress can be casual, or dressy depending on accessories. I've worn this to the beach with flats, and dressed up with a belt & chandelier earrings for a fancy engagement party. 

If you're thinking a maxi is in your sewing future- I love this similar but simpler style from the Tessuti blog. That fabric is divine!!