The End of Summer White Maxi Dress

white cotton drapey dress
This pattern has been on my “To Sew” list since last year.  I was determined to get it made this season.  And I did, in the nick of time!
<white cotton drapey dress
This pattern is Vogue 1305.  And it’s a designer one — Lialia by Julia Alarcon.  She was also profiled on “All on the Line with Joe Zee” last season. The description of this dress is as follows: semi-fitted, lined, pullover dress (fitted through hips) has draped right side extending into sleeve, left side slit, shoulder opening, and back opening with button/loop. Note: shoulder opening can be worn as neck opening.
white cotton drapey dress
I had two major decisions regarding this dress.  The first one was, what fabric?  I knew I was going to make this dress in white.  White fabric would just seal the deal on the beautiful Grecian design.  But it couldn’t be transparent, because this dress leaves very little to the imagination.  So I found this “perfect for me” fabric at Mood Fabrics.  It’s a medium-weight, cotton lycra jersey with a lot stretch.  With a dress like this, I didn’t know if heavy stretch would work for me or against me in this design.  I chose a medium-weight fabric because I wanted to be able to omit the lining… which was my second decision.  This is a white dress for summer, and I didn’t want it to be hot and heavy.  So where the instructions suggested attaching the lining, I just serged and used a 5/8″ hem to finish.
white cotton drapey dress
The only problem that I ran into was the right side and its draping.  I follow Cennetta’s advice and added pleats to create ruching and maintain the draped effect.  Because there was no other choice with the weight of my cotton lycra jersey.
white cotton drapey dress
Where I would normally lengthen everything, this dress is long!  So long that I decided to belt it so that I could blouse it and wear it with flats.  No lengthening alteration was needed; that really surprised me.  So I basically sewed this one straight from the envelope.
white cotton drapey dress
And the only alteration I made was to raise the back opening.  With the amount of stretch this fabric has and  as low as the back opening was — to the butt crack, it needed to be raised.  And I also made the side slit a little higher for walking ease.
white cotton drapey dress
All in all, this was a pretty simple pattern to cut and sew.  But I would be very particular about the side draping and forgo the instructions and create ruching. I don’t know if I’ll sew this one again. I’d like a short version in black.  I think it would make a great cocktail dress.  But this long version is definitely a one of a kind of your closet.

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Comments


  • Carolyn
    August 13, 2013

    This is just so A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! You did the dayum thing! Perfect dress, perfect fabric and photographed so well! Awesome!

    • Erica B.
      August 13, 2013

      Thanks Carolyn!

  • Karen
    August 13, 2013

    Amazing! You look so chic and I love your new haircut.

    • Erica B.
      August 13, 2013

      Thanks Karen! No haircut. Just an “updo”!

  • French Star
    August 13, 2013

    I so agree with Erica B. This is stunning on you! I’ve also had this pattern on my ‘must do’ list. It’s so nice to see that it works so well on a ‘normal’ body. You’ve inspired me to create mine! Not sure I will be daring enough to go with white. Thank you for the sewing tips too.

    I also agree with you about making different versions – a short dress, and I think it would look great as a VERY elegant T-shirt.

    • Erica B.
      August 13, 2013

      I agree about a fabulous t-shirt. Thanks!

  • Sarah Gunn
    August 13, 2013

    The word Goddess came to mind when I saw your photo! You look stunning in white and the dress is beautiful :)

  • Amy
    August 14, 2013

    You do look like a Grecian goddess! The dress is amazing, and those columns in the background just set off the whole look. Great sewing and photography right there!

  • Amanda S.
    August 14, 2013

    This dress is so you! Great job making that side gathering/pleating work. I, too, like the idea of making a shorter one for more casual outings.

    • Erica B.
      August 14, 2013

      Thanks Amanda!

  • Grace
    August 14, 2013

    Wow! You really pulled this one off! I was very suspicious of this pattern but it looks fantastic on you. I think your changes were very smart and worked well. I also loved your photo shoot location and lighting… the twilight by the g recian columns is very dreamy.

  • Lori
    August 14, 2013

    You look so beautiful in your Grecian-inspired dress. When I saw this, my first thought – that is so Erica. great job as always.

  • Dawn , NC
    August 27, 2013

    Great job!!! you look amazing in the dress. I’m inspired to start sewing again.

    • Erica B.
      September 7, 2013

      Thanks Dawn!

  • Mary
    August 28, 2013

    Fantastic! I’m especially pleased that you have the proportions of a “real” person and the dress still looks awesome. I do have a question, though. Where will you wear such a dress? Call me unimaginative if you will, but my life does not include an occasion where such a dress could be worn. Fun to sew, fun to have, sure, but wear it when….?

    • Erica B.
      September 7, 2013

      Thanks for your reply Mary, but I find your line of questioning very odd. If you’ve ever read my blog, you’d see that I have a pretty fulfilling life and plenty of opportunities to wear such a garment. But this is only a machine-washable cotton spandex maxi dress… worn with flat sandals. It really doesn’t take a special occasion to throw this on. Live a little…

  • Mimi
    September 4, 2013

    Wow! Stunning! I would never have considered that pattern, but it is gorgeous! This one will go in my 2014 summer sewing drawer.

    • Erica B.
      September 7, 2013

      Thanks Mimi!