Maxi Dress

My daughter did that thing to me that kids have been doing to their parents since the invention of school.  She is doing a "decade project" in one of her classes and her particular group has the 1970's.  She wanted a maxi dress to wear for their presentation, since they were popular then and are again now.  "Great," I said, "I'll make you one.  When do you need it?"  She replied with a date about two weeks away.  I went to the fabric store, found an appropriate pattern and knit on sale so I ended up with everything I needed with plenty of time to go.  The very next day she comes to me and says "Oh, yeah Mom...I need that dress by Monday."  That was Friday.  Last Friday.  Kids. Honestly, I could have gone to Old Navy and bought her one without spending much more than I did on the pattern and fabric.  But I swore off sewing with knit years ago, and I felt like it was time to give it another try.  I don't remember what happened that traumatized me so much, but it must have been pretty bad.  I also proclaim I'm never going to sew clothing again about once a year when something doesn't fit once I've slaved over it, and it's been a while since that happened last.

We used Simplicity 2405, because she wanted a long knit dress with a halter-style top.  It also has pockets, which was a bonus for her.  I don't know what it is with my family and pockets.

I won't tell you the knit was a piece of cake.  With that long of a dress, it was a little like trying to sew sand sometimes, but it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated.  While I normally avoid pins whenever possible, I used LOTS of them on this dress.  I also avoided any of my machines fancy knit stitches, opting instead for a narrow zigzag.  I only had to pull out a couple of seams, and that was just because I (again) failed to completely read the instructions before barreling forward.

This pattern is part of Simplicity's "It's So Easy" line, but I would characterize it as closer to intermediate in difficulty.

The most traumatic moment for me was when I had finished the bodice.  I flipped it over and there was fabric, wrong side staring back at me.  I thought I had sewn the back on inside out, and I was several steps away from that point.  I would have to practically take the whole thing apart to fix it.  Luckily, I decided to step out of the room and take a breath first.  That's when I realized I just needed to turn the whole thing right side out.  Seriously.

I'm thrilled about this though - it fits her perfectly.  According to her measurements, the pattern recommended a size 14.  She wears a 6 to 8 in pre-made clothes, so I decided to just go with a 10 and  cross my fingers.  That's one of the reasons I'm afraid to sew clothes.  This one, though, was a success.

So, my happy daughter went to school this morning...in jeans and a t-shirt.  What-the-what? 

"I might need it tomorrow.  Thanks, Mom."