Completed project: Maximus awesomus

Maximum Awesomus - New Look 6230

London has been a hotpot of scary looking rain clouds, biblical rainfall and the odd intermittent break of glorious sunshine (witness the pics!) over the past few weeks. There’s only one thing for it – a maxi dress of awesome-ness that keeps you cool, modest and removes the need for depilation. Hooray! The sun finally made an appearance in the back garden this morning so I hurried out to make the most of it.

I’ve never been a fan of maxi dresses as I find all too often they swamp my 5 ft 2 inch frame. But I’ve been toying with the idea of making one to suit my height and body shape after Mela made a really stunning version using New Look 6230.

Maximum Awesomus - New Look 6230

After I fell in love with the bodice on New Look 6864 I knew it would be perfect as a maxi dress. And finally, I could use my beautiful hand-blocked Indian cotton which Our Patterned Hand so kindly donated to me ages ago! Isn’t it perfect for the dress? Kind of Moroccan-y, terracotta pot-y, something-y… you know what I mean…

Maximum Awesomus - New Look 6230

Let’s get into the deets.

Pattern review: New Look 6864 View A+B+I+K.

Difficulty rating for StitchandWitter: 2 out of 5 – fairly straightforward.

Fabric and notions used: 3 metres of hand-blocked Indian cotton, one 20 inch zipper.

Total cost of dress (not including pattern): About £2.50 with gratis fabric.

Fitting issues: None actually – I cut out a straight size 10 in the bodice and a 12 for the skirt and it fit pretty much perfectly. There are only two darts under the bust; everything else is gathered so as long as you make sure the empire panel under the bust fits and the neck panel looks good you’re pretty much good to go.

Making issues: Um.. in my excitement to get this dress sewn up as quickly as possible I neglected to notice that the bodice actually calls for a lining. I only realised my mistake after I had attached the neck panel and thought to myself, “Hmm – those arm holes are unfinished… I wonder when the instructions will tell me to fix that… oh.. hang on… oh s*i*b*lls!” But all was not lost. I did a quick rescue job by turning the edges back a quarter inch and stitching, then another quarter inch and stitching. It’s not perfect, but it’s really not noticeable. The zip could also do with a better finish on the inside for the same reason (forgetting the lining)  but I can definitely live with it.

Skills learned: Continuing with my love of the French seam, pretty much all seams are nicely finished on this project. Makes such a difference knowing your seams are in order – it’s a bit like getting knocked over but knowing it’s alright because you’ve got fresh undies on, y’know? I also had my second ever attempt at a lapped zipper and I think for the most part it worked out ok. I still get a bit confused about how a 5/8  and a 1/2 inch seam allowance join together into a standard 5/8 seam allowance without some trickery going on but sometimes the magic doesn’t reveal itself to us because we are not ready to understand it.

How long did it take? Not long – I think probably about 6-8 hours in total.

Will I make again? This dress is a perfect maternity option as you can add extra width under the bodice and then just gather to add more room for the bump. I plan to make a shorter version using some petrol blue polka dot cotton (previously earmarked for another Simplicity 2444 – reluctantly shelved for now) and a magenta lining.

Maximum Awesomus - New Look 6230

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51 thoughts on “Completed project: Maximus awesomus

  1. You and the dress look beautiful. I love the look of the gathers on the skirt. It’s a such a giving dress in that you can wear throughout your pregnancy.

    • Years ago when I lived in Chicago we had the painted cows all over town. It was so cool to come across them in unexpected places! There are still some left around here and there, though I think many of them were sold. Other towns have done other similar things–I think Los Angeles had artist-decorated angels around town at one point. I wonder what Las Vegas could do? Hee hee. The possibilities are endless…

  2. Ah! You so perfectly expressed how I feel about lapped zipper 😉 they are indeed magical (and beautiful!) And the dress looks really fab on you. I’m starting to think I might need to try and sew a maxi dress to (I too have been scared of them due to my short length)

    • Do it Joelle – I think if you tailor it to your size it really works – shop bought ones just seem to be made for bean poles with huge bosoms!

  3. Very pretty dress – yes you look like you should be strolling through a Moroccan marketplace! I had to giggle because s**tb*lls happens to be my choice expletive when things go awry as well!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the pleaty bits under the waistband– what great details! I never would have guessed that you’re on the petite side– you look tall in photos!

  5. The print is to die for! so pretty! I love the cut of this dress. It turned out great! And well done for catching the few rays of sunshine! My friend even managed to get burnt!

  6. Gorgeous dress in gorgeous fabric. I’m only 5’3″ myself, but I always find I feel taller in maxi dresses…… how does that work!?

  7. I am loving maxi dresses at the moment being pregnant. They manage to accommodate the bump with making me feel ginormous. I am luck that in Australia we have very mild winters so I am getting away with wearing my maxi dresses with denim jackets or cardigans.

  8. This looks amazing on you! I think it’ll be even cuter with a little bump 🙂 Thanks for the pattern recc – I’m still looking for a good maxi pattern and I think this might be it (crossing my fingers that I have enough fabric)!

  9. Oh I love this dress – it looks so chic but also supe comfy, the best combo! And by the way, how beautifully glossy is your hair in these pics?!!! I am very jealous!

  10. Gorgeous dress! As a fellow short person, I’m pretty nervous around the maxi length but you really pull this off. Also, totally agree with Suzie, your hair looks lush! Now if only the weather would co-operate with your slammin’ summer look…

  11. Beauuuutiful! Good to know us little people can pull off maxi dresses – well, you can in any case! The colours in the fabric go perfectly with your gorgeous, glossy locks xx

  12. You do make me laugh Joanne, with your comparison of french seams to clean knickers. I too can’t resist the satisfying purity of a french seam, they do make you feel so gooood.
    It’s true, this is SUCH a lovely dress and the colouring of the fabric really is perfect for you. So excited to see that bump of yours growing, can’t wait to see it protruding more and more. You’re an inspiration to all preggers makers out there!
    Thanks so very much Joanne for the O.P.H. mention 😉 and for making such good use of the hand printed fabric you chose. xx

  13. I agree with all the other comments- this is so pretty & really dainty. I am also on the short side & havent braved maxi yet…but I am going to consider it now (gotta have something to keep your legs (hairy or not!!) warm!) It’s a perfect choice of fabric also Joanne – top marks all round I’d say

  14. Thank you so much for this wonderful inspiration. I have always stayed away from Maxi’s for the same vertically challenged reasoning. But it works fantastically on you, especially with the empire waist…. just gorgeous! I’ve got a fabulous 40s nightdress pattern that I want to make into a dress. Was worried about making it long but I think its just worked its way up the list! 🙂

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