So, first things first. I bleached my hair and now it’s red! I was bleaching it with the intent to dye it a more vibrant shade of purple, of course. Once I bleached it, though, I really liked the gingery color that resulted, so I decided to do red for a little while. Even though I liked this color a lot, it’s a little too light and orangey for my skin tone, plus it was uneven because I didn’t listen enough when people online said your roots would bleach a lot faster than the rest of your hair because of the heat from your head, so my roots turned out bright yellow. I ended up dyeing it a much darker and more vibrant red, and I think it looks better with my skin and more natural. I mean, it’s still pretty obvious that I’m not a natural redhead, but at least it doesn’t clash quite as much. I think I must have been inspired by Tasha’s recent transformation, which I love! I finished a Grainline Alder last week and already have some photos, so if I can get my act together and write up a post, you should be able to see the new red soon! Once my roots grow out, I’m going to use hair dye remover, bleach out whatever red is left, and actually do teal first. Once that fades, I think I should be able to put purple over top without too much interference. Yay colors!
Now on to the actual topic of this blog! Today I have a fairly altered version of McCall’s 5893, a maxi dress. The two substantial changes I made were to make this a little bigger so I could sew it in a woven, and to make the dress out of a single piece in the front and a single piece in the back rather than having a separate bodice. I didn’t really like having a seam line breaking up the length of the dress. I’m so short that I thought a continuous piece of fabric would be more lengthening. I don’t know how much of a difference this makes in a busy print like this, but it was especially important for the second one I made, which was a border print with stripes along the middle of the fabric. Keeping those stripes intact made the dress look a lot better than it would have broken up. Unfortunately, my darts are all kinds of wonky on that dress, and I really don’t want to wear it. They were super pointy and I couldn’t do anything to fix them. When I tried, the points actually turned from single points to these weird elliptical bubbles. Ugh. I really liked the fabric I used, but at least it was only two dollars a yard at Vogue. It’s a poly and wasn’t taking a press very well, which I think is part of the problem.
Another thing that making the dress all one piece did is allow me to eliminate the gathered skirt. I didn’t feel like a long gathered skirt would be a good look for me, so what I did was just leave the vertical bust darts open at the bottom so the dress would still give me some ease through the stomach and hip area, which makes me feel much more comfortable. I really like how this turned out. I think it’s flattering, and I have plans to use this construction method on tops and other dresses.
In that photo, I was trying to smile at the voluminousness of the skirt, but I ended up looking skeptical, which I think is actually quite appropriate! I’m not sure maxi dresses look that great on me in the first place, but the volume in this skirt especially made me worry it was too overwhelming for my short frame. I’m still not sure if I should take it in at the side seams. The width of this skirt was another thing I altered, come to think of it. I was worried it wouldn’t be wide enough based on the pattern as drafted, so I used a maxi skirt I have from Target as a guide. However, the skirt is a rayon jersey and has awesome drape, whereas this skirt doesn’t drape quite as nicely. I thought it might because it’s a nice cotton lawn, but it’s just not as good as jersey.
So you might be wondering why I decided to make a maxi dress if I was so uncertain of how it would look on me. I had kind of been wanting to try a maxi dress this summer, but my hand was forced about a month ago when I stupidly fell while out for a run and got a huge disgusting scrape on my leg. It was truly gross and had to be covered with a huge bandage, and there was no way I was going to go out with it or even the bandage exposed. So I pulled out this pattern, which I think was one of the first ones I bought back when I started sewing! I also went to Target and bought a bunch of maxi skirts because I just didn’t have enough clothes to get me through the week and couldn’t sew up everything I needed quickly enough. One of the Target skirts is so ridiculously long that I’ve actually hiked it all the way up and have been wearing it as a dress. I know I’m short, but come on, Target! These skirts are made for 7 foot tall women!
So my foot looks a little pale and dead in this photo, haha. But this photo captures what’s constantly happening as I wear this dress – I have to hold up the skirt to go up stairs, get in cars, avoid getting the dress in puddles. It’s actually one of my favorite things about this dress. It makes me feel like a princess!
Not much to say here, but I like to include a back shot because sometimes what looks good from the front looks hideous from the back. I’m happy with this one, though. I do think I’ll make the back narrower at the arms, though. This extending pretty far out onto my arms, which happened because the neckline is really wide on this dress.
Not much to say about the side, either.
I’ve definitely been inspired by Oonaballoona’s maxi awesomeness, and I did sew this during Oonapalooza month, but I didn’t get my act together with photos. So I’m going to say this is my contribution for the Sewcialists’ Tribute Month, and it’s a late tribute to Oona! I only wish I would have caught on to her low-to-the-ground style of photography, because this just-shy-of-five-feet girl needs all the help she can get. I’ll definitely try it next time.
So with all that being said, I’m sort of thinking of chopping this dress off at the knees. A maxi just isn’t that wearable for me, and I would kind of like to wear this into the fall with tights, boots, and a cardigan. On the other hand, this is a really summery print, so maybe it would look weird in the fall. What do you think?