It isn’t everyday I get to make a pretty dress. In fact, it’s fairly rare that I get to make anything fancy for my wardrobe. So whenever an event comes around, I love getting to challenge my sewing skills. A friend’s wedding was the perfect excuse to pull out the most beautiful print in my stash and make this gorgeous piece.
I had been seeing so many floral maxi dresses around Pinterest and I thought it would make a cute look for the wedding and a great use of the gorgeous print I picked up in the Bahamas. I spent a lot of time researching a pattern to try to get something close to what I wanted the dress to look like. This was a major task and honestly, a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. The major features I wanted were a crossed bodice, something like you would see in a wrap dress, but sewn closed, and a straight skirt with a front slit. I also wanted spaghetti straps. When I began looking, there were so many tops with the front style I wanted, but they all had sleeves. I already knew I would have to do alterations, and wanted to do as few as possible so changing the sleeve detail was out of the question.
I found McCalls 6961 in my search and it was like the heavens opened up. It had all I wanted in a top, I would just have to add my own skirt. Easy enough..right? I had to make a muslin version because I only had so much fabric, and could not leave anything to chance. After I made the top, it was obvious the back of the bodice would not work. The top came up way too high so I cut it about 3″ lower than the original design. I also decided that the back could use a fun little detail so adding a criss cross back was a spur of the moment decision but I love how it turned out.
I was having a serious brain block when thinking about drafting the skirt to add the front slit. I wanted it to sit in the front, but needed to have a clean edge on each side, so just cutting into the fabric was out. I found this tutorial for making the front slit. I didn’t make a gathered skirt like the tutorial, as I didn’t have enough fabric, but was able to divide my skirt into thirds and put in the front slit. Genius! Seriously, I was so blown away with the logic it was one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments.
I started with a simple A-line skirt but realized there just wasn’t enough room to walk so I drafted a skirt sloper with no darts and added fullness. This skirt gave me enough room in the bottom without adding any extra fabric to the waist area like a gathered skirt would do. There’s also a side zipper and the bodice is lined.
This was the dress I pictured in my dreams. It came out so perfect. I am thrilled with the result and it fits like a glove! The wedding was beautiful, and while the only people I knew were my boyfriend and the groom, we had a great time.
We’ve been to five weddings in the past few years, three I’ve been in, and it’s still crazy to think that we are at the age where everyone is getting married. Drew and I have been together for almost 5 years, and I’ve definitely dropped the engagement hints. My ultimate sewing goal is to make my own wedding dress and I think I’m totally ready to make it- but we will just keep that between us haha (he doesn’t read my blog).
I also wanted to apologize to anyone who has commented on my blog the last few weeks! WordPress wasn’t allowing me to respond to comments in my usual way, but I think I’ve gotten a way around it. I read every comment, and very much appreciate those who leave one!