Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Missoni Maxi Madness




This is an example of total fabric inspiration!

I would never have pictured myself making this project on my own.

Prior to making this dress, this was my mental picture of a maxi dress:


Pretty much a tube of fabric (which I don't mind, I love fabric!) except that maxi fabric is usually ugly and clingy and sometimes the stripes don't match up and really the only good reason I could think of for wearing one was if you forgot to shave (...actually, that's a pretty good reason).

And this was my mental picture of a Missoni dress:


....And I was like eeeeeeeegh I'll just wear jeans.

And then Elliot Bermann had a promotion, and among my mom's haul from the sale was this gorgeous swath of textile.


Disclaimer: I got permission from my mom to steal this fabric.

This was totally different from most of the Missoni fabrics I'd seen. For one, the colors were bright and vivid (lime green and magenta next to each other? Sign me up!). Plus, this is not a sweater knit. It's a super lightweight wool-viscose blend, and it has one of the best drapes I've seen in a fabric! It moves beautifully, gathers effortlessly, and is actually really flattering in the way it drapes across the body. (Seriously, Plan B was a toga.)

I decided that my kaleidoscopic fabric really needed a full-length skirt to show off its full varicolored jagged glory. So I went to what has become my go-to repository of interesting categorical patterns. No matter what sort of garment you're looking to make, from a t-shirt to a cape, Burdastyle is sure to have an intriguing twist on it.
Burda Printed Maxi Dress 05/2013 #123
And thus my conceptions of the maxi dress were reinvented.

To be honest, I didn't really follow the pattern instructions that came with this design because I didn't want to bother figuring them out Smiley  so I just sort of put things together on my own and it all came together. If anyone is out there right now (like I was a couple months ago) looking for more details on how to put everything together in the right order, please feel free to use me as a resource by commenting!



This dress wasn't too hard to assemble, but some of the details were time-consuming because I wanted the details to actually turn out  nice. For instance, there are no shoulder seams on the straps (though I'm sure you could add them if you wanted to), so you have to sort of pin, baste, and tenuously hold the bodice together on yourself before sewing it to make sure that it sits right on your body. I think I ended up taking something like 5 inches out of the straps!

Also, I was really careful to make sure the chevrons on the skirt lined up as precisely as possible. The front and back pieces for the skirt were almost identical, so I was able to do that by first cutting out the skirt front. Without removing it from the pattern piece, I flipped the entire thing over and positioned it on a new length of fabric so that the design perfectly lined up. Here's a bad phone picture.

If you look really closely, you can see the outline of the pattern piece!

I then cut around the edge of the pattern to get two virtually identical pieces of cloth, which I sewed up along the sides.

Since the skirt is A-line, there is sort of a V-shape on the side seams, but it really doesn't show that much!



I lined the bodice in this really exciting silk with parrots and flowers that I think may have at one point been destined for a Hawaiian shirt for my dad...because why not.


Here's a close-up of the ruching on the bodice.

Clearly, the print-matching on the bodice wasn't as meticulous as on the skirt...haha ;P
 Wearing this dress has really inspired in me a greater appreciation for the virtues of maxi dresses. The light fabric and ventilation really comes in handy in Southern California in the middle of summer. Also, it's kind of nice not having to worry about having a ladylike posture while sitting down!

This is what happened when I tried to take some pictures sitting down. What is my dog doing, you ask? He's chasing a water balloon. My puppy is OBSESSED with harvesting, chasing down, and then tenderly coddling freshly-made balloons. Does he think they're his babies? His prey? A hostile invader? We have no idea.
This dress is actually holding up pretty well for all the abuse it's already endured. I wore it to a barbecue at my cousins' house the other day, and halfway through the meal we had a freak thunderstorm in the middle of drought-stricken SoCal. I spent the rest of the day playing in the pouring rain with my baby cousins, and my dress doesn't really look the worse for the wear! (So much for a sundress, right?)

Got a little bit of wind-action there...

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