Tuesday, August 20, 2013

one hour chevron maxi dress

i try, you know? i think to myself (actually it’s kind of jeremy’s voice in my head. he’s my jiminy cricket)…you have too much on your plate. you simply can NOT sew all the dresses your children need. in a week. and survive. and feed us. (jeremy’s voice, remember?) you have to accept that you are going to have to go to the store and buy some dresses.


okay. fine. guinevere needs a dress, and she wants a maxi. off to the store we go.

and then we return--frustrated, annoyed and dress-less. because it seems like everything is either waaaay to short for my leggy girl, or the maxi’s are those shear top layer over a mini underlayer pukeandnothankyou not appropriate and not cute anyway, and then when we finally find one that’s…okay…it’s $35. and in my head i’m tallying the cost of the yard and a half of fabric i’d need and the hour it would take me to make it…and, well.

dress-less we return. you know?

so i balance, carefully—a more involved project one day, a simple sew the next. and in that way i churn through my “to-sew” list, and my children do not have to wear paper bags out of the house, and everyone gets fed at least once a day. #winning


this was one of my simple sews—my answer to the overpriced maxi.


it’s based off of a design she found online here, which at a mere $209 is just a touch out of our league. <<insert giant shocked eye emoji here>> and okay well i’m just realizing now when looking up that link again that the waistband was stripednot a smaller chevron print. well. humph.

it certainly takes away a bit of the fist-pumping triumph i had in finding coordinating chevron prints: one large scale and one small scale. not that it was exceedingly difficult—both were ordered from girl charlee where they carry enough chevron prints to satisfy even the hardiest of the trend-watching fashionistas.. they really have the best selection of knits around.

i did have one teensy tiny issue. i was a Good Sewer and prewashed the fabrics. i’m learning. but--the smaller chevron print faded. a LOT. like enough that i was going to arrange to send it back. you can see in some of these pics how much less black the waistband is. but guinevere really liked the combo of small and large chevrons. so we kept it. (and take that vineyard vines and your $200 striped-waist-chevron-skirted maxi dress. she likes my mini chevrons.)



the technical stuff which non-sewers may skip: the top began it’s life as a $3 clearance strapless tube top from walmart. i cut off the bottom 5” and attached the shirred waistband and skirt. the waistband is made of two parts: a regular ungathered underlayer, and the shirred portion was attached over it. the skirt was literally a tube: one seam up the back, hem on bottom. the cut off portion of the top got cut in half and sewn into tubes to become the straps. done and done.


because the shirt was meant to be strapless there was elastic all around the top of it. it works nicely to keep the top flush against her chest. and that’s all i have to say about that. O.o


saying this dress took me an hour is probably being generous. i didn’t even measure (shocking, i know), just held up the fabric to guinevere’s body and eyeballed. spit-marked, if you will.


i need to invest in some more jersey knit. one hour dresses for everybody! ;)

and just for fun (and because i can’t think of a way to end this post), how about some outtakes? this is what happen when i tell neve to stop cocking her head to one side and giving me a half-smile for every shot.



whelp. that should keep the boys away for another few years. my work here is done.

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  1. Beautifully done!
    And your girl is adorable.

  2. I love it - she looks really pleased with it! I want to make something for my 12 year old but worry that she may not like it afterwards.


  3. Lovely dress! I like the mini-chevrons too. I don't know where designer companies get off charging $200 for something so simple.

  4. You are brilliant, your daughter is gorgeous and the dress is divine!!! Kudos!

  5. Hahaha! Nice.
    Also, she obviously has good taste, although the mini chevron IS much more fun than the original dress.
    Alsoagain, how do you do this without measuring? My non-measuring, 1 hour dresses do NOT turn out like this.

  6. Girlfriend girl!! All grown up and beautiful! Love the dress


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