a quick vacation maxi


[ swish ]

This dress is of vacation, by vacation, for vacation. I bought this fabric on a weekend trip to Chicago and sewed it up weeks later for a two-week trip to South America.

(I think we all can agree on this much: The best souvenirs are sewing souvenirs.)


[ swish some more ]

I was way short on time when I decided to make this, so I cut every corner I could. I loosely traced the bodice part of this Burda dress, which was my first-ever pattern purchase. (Ask me about the time I made it in quilting cotton — twice! HILARIOUS! No, stop laughing.)

I skipped the yoke in favor of a drawstring neck; I clumsily folded the neckline over and stitched it down to make a casing. The string is a self-bias strip left over from binding the armholes.


The belt’s just an interfaced tube, turned and pressed. The skirt is a rectangle made from the entire width of the fabric, with the seam down the back and a handful of pleats to make it fit the bodice waist seam.

I planned on turning the waist seam allowance into a casing for a bit of elastic, but I stopped short when I saw how nicely the fabric folds under the belt.


I skipped belt loops, as I often do, but I think I’ll be making some quick thread loops after all. The rayon tends to slide around under the belt; loops would help anchor the waist at my actual waist.

I knew pattern-matching would be a beast, so I deliberately used a design with a minimal number of seams. Good thing, too. I really enjoy this print, but I don’t see how on earth you are supposed to match wavy lines of varying widths:


The downsides to hastily cobbling together a not-quite-pattern? The drawstring slides around and skews the neckline in back and front; I’d like to stitch that down. The gathered-tube skirt is great, except it’s so narrow at the bottom that I generally hitch it up with one hand when I’m walking anywhere. I’ll probably split open the back skirt seam to the knee and topstitch around the opening.

But I don’t regret the sloppiness of this process, because it epitomizes the breeziness of the dress itself. It’s a dress that doesn’t take itself too seriously, because it’s summer still.


I wore this dress, with my new Panama hat, for the journey home. It was my way of saying, “I’m still on vacation, guys. ”


P.S. Can I just say how much I loved Vogue Fabrics in the Chicago area? If I had a store nearby that sold cute rayon challis for $4/yard, I’d be lost. Lost! I also pounced on a cute, rando fabric shop in the middle of Chicago and scooped up some delightful yardage. Total Chicago fabric haul documented here.

Fabric: 3 yards wide-ish rayon challis, $12 at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, Ill.
Pattern: some mish-mash that I threw together at the last minute (and it shows)


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