Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My first Maxi Dress: Simplicity 3803

I long held back from making a maxi dress because I was afraid of looking completely swamped in one. But when my eye kept being caught by maxis while browsing pattern catalogues at Tissus Reine with my good friend Julie last June, I remembered Trena sported a maxi dress with success almost a year ago (Trena and I are about the same non-height). And I decided to give it a try.


I settled on Simplicity 3803 because I liked the shaped midriff (it isn't a mere rectangle as in so many dress-with-midriff-band patterns). This is a neat pattern, which provides you with a nicely finished inside, too (the bodice is fully lined).

I'm a bit disappointed you cannot see the lines better. You really can see the bodice shaping IRL, but the small floral print here gave the camera a hard time, I'm afraid.
This is another Liberty piece I bought at Shaukat on Old Brompton Road when I last was in London.
I wanted to add a ruffle at the bottom, as in view C, but I didn't have quite enough fabric - and I was determined to use this Liberty print.

Another reason I chose this pattern over others maxi dress patterns is that I found the keyhole opening in the back really classy. I loved Pirouette's version of this, and I'm a little disappointed mine doesn't show that well in the picture. Probably because I have a small back and I should have fitted the bodice back even more than I usually do? (I always go down two sizes in the back).
Hopefully it shows better when I'm wearing the dress in action, though, and moving in it, instead of pausing for a picture ;)
Oh, and I promise you the upper edges are actually even. Must have been the way I was standing in the picture.

I made this dress for a picnic I had with friends at the Buttes Chaumont late last June (just a couple of weeks before I left Paris). I figured a very long dress would be both pretty AND practical to sit down in the grass - and it was. Besides, the Liberty lawn gives the dress a fresh feel against the skin.

It's been 30-32°C here this week (mid to high 80s Fahrenheit), so you bet I'm still wearing summer dresses!

28 comments:

ViRginiE said...

Très jolie ta robe!
J'aime beaucoup le liberty que tu as choisi!

Cathy said...

I have the same problem with my height and the maxi dresses. I would love to have one for the cruise, I can just see myself walking around the ship in one. Unfortunately, they really don't make them in petite!

Karen said...

You definitely chose a good pattern, scaled to your height. It looks lovely and summery, I especially like the picnic picture. And I always love a Liberty print!

Lisette M said...

Very pretty maxi. I made the short version and like you I love the keyhole in the back.

verobirdie said...

Très jolie robe. Tu vas en profiter encore longtemps ici!

Krystal (aka Pirouette) said...

Hey, there, Isabelle! Your dress looks great! This pattern is a favorite of mine.

cidell said...

You look so summery! I love it :)

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

What a wonderful dress you've made! Love it on you!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Such a pretty dress! And it looks lovely on you

Shashi Nayagam said...

A lovely dress Isabelle. Isn't it great to have the right weather as well to wear it.

Laura Gerencser said...

Looks good! Love the last picture!:):)

gwensews said...

That is a lovely dress. But, you would look absolutely beautiful in a sack!

Jennifer said...

What a great dress. I love maxi's! Of course the sleeveless thing does me in, so I don't make them for myself. My 11 year-old niece is begging me to make her one.
Actually worked a bit on a new doll dress today. A challenging, heavily draped and pleated design from the 1870's. Hope to post some photos soon.

Anonymous said...

I think you are very beautiful in long dresses too...have a nice day! Ann

Lindsay T said...

Lovely! A perfect combination of fabric, pattern and fit. Well done.

Gina E. said...

Isabelle, your maxi dress is lovely! I feel so comfortable in a full length dress like this in our hot summers, as the fabric swirls around my legs creating a gentle draft which is cooling. I think this length suits all heights. I'm only 5'2" and I feel dowdy in a skirt that is below my knees but not floor length.

Su said...

It looks lovely! You've finally persuaded me to try a maxi too.

I'm also vertically challenged. :)

Summerset said...

Very well done! I think the fact that you used a smaller scale print really made this dress work for you and your height. You look cool and comfortable and pretty.

coffeegrounded said...

Beautiful print, beautiful dress!

Karoline said...

Your dresses are gorgeous, congratulations

Tracy said...

That is a wonderful, summery dress, Isabelle...love length, and the fabric you chose. It looks so comfortable to wear. 32*C still...heavens, it's been sweater-weather here! Happy weekend, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Isabelle...how lovely you look in your maxi-dress! Being petite brings on some challenges (I am barely 5' tall), but you have a wonderful eye for proportion.
Being young and as pretty as you are helps....I remember those days...

Vicki said...

The dress looks lovely on you! Very pretty. The navy floral dress is really cute too. I like the contrast on the neck. It does add that something extra.

Cindy said...

I love your version. It is actually my favorite that I have seen. The fabric is perfect! Very well done for a petit--you look fabulous!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

So pretty! And I had never noticed that keyhole opening in that pattern before. I'm going to have to give it a second look!

Nancy W. said...

Glad to see all the things you've been making lately. The maxi dress is very pretty, and I especially like the blue dress from your last post. I wish I could stop working such long hours and get some sewing done.

supermollio said...

Hi Isabelle!
This is ridiculously cute on you! I love the fabric, the shape, the length--it's just darling.

Hope the beginning of the school year is treating you well.

sylcaron said...

Bonjour, vraiment très jolies toutes vos réalisations...
Mon coup de coeur: la robe maxi
simplicity 3803
Bravo
Bonne journée
Sylcaron (ravelry)
www.caronaime.blogspot.com