The End of Summer White Maxi 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.