Tropical Bliss

 

When I think of the tropics as a holiday destination, I automatically think of floating maxi dresses. So when we were packing for our two week trip to Queensland last month, this self-drafted maxi found its way into my suitcase. I made it a while ago, but still love the print on it and love to wear it on a warm sunny day.

Every time we go somewhere nice, I try to use the opportunity and pack something I have made so that I can have it photographed in a nice location and also wear it during my holiday.

The fabric from this dress came from Spotlight. It’s a cotton sateen with a bold green and brown flower print on it. When I first saw it, I knew it would become a maxi dress with a bit of a 70s look to it. I only bought about 1.5 metres of the fabric without any specific pattern in mind. The dress turned out the way it did because I ran out of fabric to make it almost any other way!

This was going to be a high-waisted maxi from the start. I first made the skirt using the complete width of the fabric, pretty much down to the ground. I pleated it in even pleats that folded in towards the centre front where there was an inverted centre pleat and the same at the back.

Then I got a bit stuck with trying to make the bodice because there wasn’t much fabric left. I cut the waistband and front halterneck part as a sort of scarf that just gathered around the neck. But still wasn’t sure about how to do the back part of the bodice.

I decided to cover up the back as much as I could with what I had left of the fabric. I found that when I had joined the front to the back, the front part of the halterneck was sagging somewhat in the cleavage area, because I had made it slightly too long. So I tried the dress on and was contemplating on how to fix the problem in front of the mirror. I was pulling the part around the back of my neck down with my hand and suddenly had an idea!

I would just loop a small strip of fabric down the centre back to pull down the excess fabric that was too loose and give the bodice a good pull and at the same time a perfect fit. I thought that was a pretty good invention to solve the problem! Well, it worked and the front part of the bodice sits and fits perfectly.

I only lined the bodice front and back of the dress and didn’t bother with the skirt or the halterneck part. It doesn’t appear to be see-through, even in stronger light, so it was a relatively quick sew. I inserted an invisible zip on the left side to keep the back in one piece and that was about it.

Originally, I thought to sew a few green and brown sequins and tiny beads in the centre of each flower pattern but abandoned this idea when I realised they could possibly cause staining during washing. In the end I decided to keep the dress more simple without the glitz. Sometimes more is more but in this case it was less is more :-)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a completely self-drafted dress, I am really happy with the outcome. I think maxi dresses are something that most seamstresses can make without a pattern. Of course that requires a lot of fittings to get the right fit. But I know that I try my self-made garments on many, many times in front of the mirror and tweak here and there even when I use a pattern, until the fit is perfect for my body shape.

Apart from wearing this maxi for collecting sea shells and corals at the beach (!), I’ve worn it to family gatherings, events and a Christmas get-together with friends. I hope to wear it more often this summer.

I think it can be both more casual and relaxed or dressier with the right accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day we took these photos, we spent the day at Horseshoe Bay in Queensland picnicking, swimming, walking and just enjoying the magical view from under the shade of one of the trees on the beach. We also found some beautiful washed-up sea shells and coral. What a beautiful little gem of a beach!

LOCATION: Horseshoe Bay, Queensland, Australia

OUTFIT: sunglasses – Margot by Tom Ford, ring – Apart Fashion

PHOTOGRAPHY: meggi-design

Tropical A-Line Dress – McCall’s M5583

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Hi everyone! I have been silent on the blog front, but behind the scenes, I have been very busy working long hours and also working on some garments that I wanted to take on holiday with me to Europe on our winter get away this year. Thus the long pause from blogging. But the long anticipated holiday is now happening and I am writing to you from a very tiny but special place on our planet – Capri. It has been on my bucket list for a while now and even though we are still here and have a few things left to see and do during our one week stay, it is safe to say I would love to come back one day and spend some more time on this little treasure of an island with it’s breathtaking views.

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I could write pages about Capri, but this is a sewing blog…

I made this dress a few years ago, but somehow it always lands in my luggage because it’s loose, colourful and doesn’t need any ironing. So all in all, a very travel friendly piece. The fabric is a soft polyester that I bought at Spotlight in two different patterns. I used the leafy one (sort of looks like leaves) for the dress and the stripy one for the edging.

I don’t find it easy sewing with very stretchy fabrics like these two because my sewing machine tends to jump a stitch or two here and there, but I loved the colour in teal and turquoise and the print on these two fabrics and bought a few metres of each. Years later I am glad that I did, because I still love the colour and print of both fabrics and plan on making a maxi dress out of the rather large remnants I have in my stash in the Australian summer.

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I used the same pattern for this dress as I have used for heaps of other dresses I have made in the past by just altering the width of the lower edge to make it a little narrower in version C. The sleeves are a slight bell shape and 7/8 length.

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The back of the dress has a middle seam going through it on the pattern, but I eliminated the seam and cut the back as one piece. There is also no zip or buttons and the dress slips on easily over the head because of the stretchy fabric.

I lined this dress in an off white soft polyester just to give it a bit more weight. The edging of the sleeves and the lower edge aren’t perfect, because the stripes don’t match up exactly and there is a bit of a wave in the fabric at the seam. However, despite the imperfections, I have worn it so many times and one day while shopping three ladies asked me where I got my dress from, so I guess it turned out OK. Nice to get compliments for one of your own creations!

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These days I am more into natural fabrics and don’t make much out of synthetics, but if I find an irresistible print or colour, I do find myself giving in!

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Do you have a favourite piece of clothing that you always take on your travels?

STYLING: shoes: Midas, sunglasses: Margot by Tom Ford, silver ring: Apart Fashion

LOCATION: Anacapri, Capri, Italy