Monday, February 11, 2013

Rectangles and Maxi Dresses

Yeah! More Maxis.  I am seriously obsessed and since they are so easy to make, I just can't stop myself.  Maybe I'll have to keep myself from going back to SAS again.  I always find something fabulous when I go and it's so cheap, I just can't resist.  I guess it's a good thing it's about 35 minutes away.  This latest piece I found is so fun and funky.  I love the pattern and colors.  I really didn't have to do much to it to make it a super cute maxi dress.

Unfortunately there's this seam through the middle, 
but fortunately it fell right where my waist would be anyway.
It made joining the top and the skirt easy peasy.

This is that pattern I used again for the skirt.

 For the top I cut two rectangles.
I measured my waist and added about 4 inches, then divided that number in half. 
This will be the width of the rectangle.
The length is up to you.  
I added an inch at the top for the casing, 
and an inch to the length so it would be a little poufy at the waist.
Fold the 2 pieces in half and cut an armhole like shown.  I cut it a little deep
since I'll always be wearing a shirt underneath.
Just my modest style, but you can cut it wherever you're comforable.

I cut two more rectangles for the top ruffle.
I used one in the front and one in the back.
Then one long strip of the folded fabric to make the neck band/straps.

Sew the side seams for the top, then sew a rolled hem for the arm holes.
For the top create a casing of about 1 inch like shown.

 For the ruffle I did a lettuce finish with my serger, pulling both sides of the fabric as it fed through the needle.  Do this for the 3 sides of the ruffle pieces.

Pin the ruffle right sides together and sew in place at the casing stitch line.
Do this for the front and back of the top.

Flip the ruffle down and the top is done.

Next lets finish the skirt.
Sew the skirt into a tube.
Repeat the lettuce ruffle on the bottom edge or hem like normal.

I added 3 elastic thread stitches at the waist because I wanted it to be a little gathered,
 rather than straight down from the top.  
Elastic thread is kind of tricky to get wound around your bobbin and sometimes your machine might not like you for using it, but just play with the tension and it can be a dream for gathering up stuff.

Turn the skirt inside out and pin to the top making sure the seams are in the right place.  
You don't want the back seam somewhere in the front.

Stitch the skirt to the top.

Now for the shoulder straps.  I folded the long thin rectangle sides into themselves, kind of like an M and stitched down the out side.

Using a safety pin, thread the strap through the casing of the front and the back. 

Now go try on the dress and figure out how long you need the straps to be.
Since I was alone, I just tied the straps together where I wanted them.

Sew both ends together and cut off the excess.
Slide the joined ends into the casing and you'll never see it again.

When I tried it on, it seriously needed a belt.  
I have a skinny and a wide black belt but it just didn't work.
Then I remembered I had some left over T-shirt material from my scarf I made recently.
Luckily I didn't throw it away.
I cut up the sleeves, joined the ends just like the scarf, and made one long strip.
I wrapped it around my waist a few times and knotted it.
Love it!

 Another Happy Maxi Day!
You betcha I'll be wearing this all the time when it actually goes back to normal Arizona weather.
It was rainy and in the 50's all day today.
Almost like I'm back in Seattle.
I just wish I could have the warm weather and the Pacific Northwest trees at the same time.
Ahhh... wishful thinking.

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