Blooming Blues Maxi Dress in Cotton Voile

blue cotton voile dress

If ever there was a time where the fabric led in the creation of a garment, this maxi dress is it for me. When I saw this “Blooms Cotton Voile Print” in Mood Fabrics’ online collection, it just screamed, “Make me into a summer maxi dress – right now!!” Well, maybe it’s a bit too dreamy and romantic to actually have done any yelling, but you get my point. In my mind it was a maxi dress even when it was just a small square of digital fabric on my computer screen. Editor’s note: Lots more cotton voile prints and solids at MoodFabrics.com

blue cotton voile dress

When it came time to choose the pattern, I went to one I’d made earlier this summer, the Sewaholic Saltspring dress. The pattern recommends using lightweight wovens, but none of the examples given are cotton voile. Even so, I forged ahead, trusting that this fabric would blouse and drape just as I wanted because of the loose fit and the clever design of the bodice lining. And, I have to admit, I’m quite pleased with the outcome.

blue cotton voile dress

The fabric was a breeze to work with, which gave me the confidence to change up the pattern just a bit. My first change was to the straps. Instead of having two straps on each side that tie at the top of my shoulders, I cut each side as a single strap. First, I measured the length of the tied straps on my first Saltspring dress and added seam allowances (10 1/2″ + 5/8″ + 5/8″, if you’re curious). Then, after sewing the strap onto the front bodice, I carefully wrapped it around to the back and pinned it in place, making sure not to twist the strap in the process.

blue cotton voile dress

The second big change I made was to eliminate the zipper in the back. After figuring out I could easily put my first Saltspring dress on and just as easily take it off without messing with the zipper, I decided all future makes would be zipper-less. But, when I was cutting my fabric, it didn’t occur to me that going zipper-less meant I could also eliminate the back center seam. Thankfully, this print hides the unnecessary seam pretty well.

blue cotton voile dress

Though it was made by total accident, that little white squiggle on the left strap (above) makes me really happy. I found that one of my favorite parts of making this dress was seeing what crazy abstract patterns appeared as I was turning the tubes to make the straps. It’s always the little things, right?

blue cotton voile dress

One final change I made was to grade the pattern down to a zero below the waist since I don’t have the pear shape that Sewaholic patterns are designed for. I’m not sure I notice much of a difference though. The skirt if full and flowy either way!

blue cotton voile dress

Hidden in the skirt is another favorite feature of mine: the side seam pockets. I really like having a place to put my hands and keys and such.

blue cotton voile dress

Though I have begun to think about my fall sewing, I’m not ready to let go of summer sewing just yet. Thankfully the Seattle weather seems to be cooperating with me. Here’s to a few more weeks of strappy summer dresses!

27
By:

Comments


  • Lauren
    August 9, 2013

    I think this might be my favorite thing you’ve ever made! I am biased because I really love that fabric (I think I have it pinned to multiple Mood boards, haha), but I never imagined it as a maxi dress. Those colors look soooo good on you, and the dress itself is just perfect floaty maxi goddess. Awesome job! 🙂

    • Amy
      August 9, 2013

      Hahaha! Yeah, I seem to have maxi dresses on the mind this summer. You should definitely get some of this fabric. I feel like I’m covered in painted flowers when I’m wearing this dress. And, it’s cotton, so it’s easy peasy to work with.

  • Sarah Gunn
    August 9, 2013

    First of all you look divine in that beautiful shade of blue! A maxi was a great choice for the voile and d r e a m y is certainly the word that comes to my mind 🙂 Smart move to leave out the zipper too.

    • Amy
      August 9, 2013

      Thank you! I am a sucker for blues. And, the zipper construction on this dress is a little bit of a pain, so leaving it out was an easy and obvious choice once I realized I didn’t need it!

  • Corinne
    August 9, 2013

    Oh, I was just eyeing up the voiles on Mood Fabrics! Your dress looks great – I have the pattern and have been madly finishing up other projects so I can finally get to this one. Your post has convinced me to go with the maxi version. Thanks for helping me make up my mind! 🙂

    • Amy
      August 9, 2013

      I like both versions actually. I made the shorter version first, but once I was done, I had to have the maxi version as well. You can’t go wrong with either!

  • Hazel
    August 9, 2013

    Love this! The blue really suits you as does the shape of your dress 🙂

    • Amy
      August 9, 2013

      Thanks. It’s a comfy, cozy maxi. And, I always have my eye out for blues and greens. Not to mention that I love fabric with a painted look to it. This voile is a win-win all around!

  • Kelly
    August 9, 2013

    This is really beautiful, and thanks for the details on the straps- I am planning to make this dress soon, but wanted to eliminate the ties. And also the zipper, yay!

    • Amy
      August 9, 2013

      You can definitely eliminate the ties. I might baste the straps on and drape the top around you if you don’t make a muslin first. Maybe you’ll need them longer or shorter? I likely could have gotten away with slightly shorter straps since my ever expanding belly keeps pushing the elastic around the waist up right now!

  • Peter
    August 9, 2013

    So cool and summery looking. Beautiful fabric choice!

    • Amy
      August 9, 2013

      Thanks! I was quite pleased with the fabric when it arrived. Oh, how I’d love to live near NYC and be able to shop at Mood in person!

  • oonaballoona
    August 9, 2013

    this reminds me of that gorgeous maxi you did last year– the one with the cool photoshoot? because i was just as jealous then…

    • Amy
      August 10, 2013

      One of my favorite dresses. Both used fabrics with a painted look. I like my ‘painted’ fabrics! In fact, I search Mood nearly every month with the words like paint, watercolor, etc. just to see if I can find anything new and inspiring!

  • Liza jane
    August 9, 2013

    Beautiful!!!

    • Amy
      August 10, 2013

      Thank you!

  • Lori
    August 9, 2013

    Gorgeous dress, love the fabric and the pattern. You look stunning.

    • Amy
      August 10, 2013

      Thanks. Your daughter was a hard maxi act to follow though!

  • Ginger
    August 10, 2013

    Oooh, what a dreamy dress! This looks amazing! Great eye– this print looks fabulous as a maxi!

    • Amy
      August 10, 2013

      Thanks! Somethings things don’t work out when you’re shopping online, but this time was one of those times where everything came together just as I hoped!

  • Kay
    August 12, 2013

    It is lovely, and you look great wearing it.

    • Amy
      August 14, 2013

      Thanks Kay!

  • Cissie
    August 12, 2013

    Perfect summer maxi dress. Poolside, in the garden, on the beach! Love the voile and the print. Great marriage of pattern and fabric!

    • Amy
      August 14, 2013

      Thanks. I’m hoping to get to wear this dress to all of those places and more with what’s left of this summer. Here’s to a bit more warm weather before fall hits!

  • Amanda S.
    August 14, 2013

    Very pretty and LOVELY color on you!

    • Amy
      August 21, 2013

      Thanks Amanda!