Just like the swimsuit I posted earlier this week, this dress has been in the works for a long time. Last summer as I was getting ready for a trip, I decided that I wanted to have a maxi-length x-back slip dress. I was inspired by a pattern that I bought in the late-90s and never made (at least never made successfully haha). Plus, all those styles are coming back in again. I’m sure that I swore to never wear bodysuits or overalls again yet here I am loving those styles.
So in one of those pre-trip creative marathons, I drafted this pattern. I used the Catarina dress by Seamwork as the base for the bodice and just made a few tweaks. First I changed the angle and placement of where the back straps meet the bodice so that it would be better for an X-shape. The I simply lengthened the bodice, flaring out at the hips to create a maxi length skirt. With all the drafting done, I ran out of time to make the dress before my trip and set it aside until this summer.
Again it was before a trip, I pulled out this pattern with a rather vague recollection of what this pattern was for. I bought some lovely rayons in Denmark this year and was thinking they’d look great as a maxi dress. But before I cut into my precious fabric I wanted to make sure that I liked the style. I found this leaf print mystery fabric in my stash and I had just enough to make this dress. I did have to add a seam at the back but it hardly shows at all. I used this fabric last year to make the Trevi Dress and it’s honestly a pain in the a** to sew with. I had bought at least 4 yards of this fabric from a store in downtown LA and it actually feels really great to use it all up.
I used facings (if you’ve sewn the Ogden Cami it’s the same method and style) to finish the top edges of the bodice and french seams for the rest. It was really fairly simple to construct making it ideal for a difficult fabric. The length is definitely maxi. I have to wear these with a slight heel to keep the hem off the ground and even have to hold up the dress for easier walking.
I took this dress with me to Hawaii last month and wore it out to dinner a couple of times. This style of dress requires a strapless bra and I have one that does the job with minimal discomfort. Even though I really like this dress (the drama of it!!), in day to day life, I don’t see myself wearing this style very often. So for now I’m not going to make another one. I was calling this version a wearable muslin but for now it’s getting upgraded to regular old me-made dress and I’ll be on the lookout for other designs to use with my fabrics from Denmark.