About a month ago now there was a little meet up in NYC, and in the course of that evening I met Jenny and Jenny met me, as the story goes. She asked if I wanted to drop a line for the Curvy Sewing Collective, and I didn’t have to think twice about it. While I’ve pondered my own body image debate, as this past winter dragged on, the feminist in me says that—well—this is an issue that will always reside. How do we/I deal with it? Keep the dialogue alive, going, and healthy. Thus, when I told a friend of mine about it, the response was a winced face and “Um, you do know what curvy means?”
Folks, we all know what curvy means. And if you’ve read anything on my blog you’d realize that, well, I know where I stand on the curvy spectrum. Daily looks in the mirror aside, just the routine drafting and redrafting of my clothes makes me more than a little aware of my folds and curves. Jenny and I had this conversation in August, and . . . I guess my point is I’m not sure while people make such a fuss over linguistics. Of course, that really leads me to the analysis of the Mission Maxi and the making of a dress that does not hide those curves, folds, and bends.
Ahem, enter the Mission Maxi by Jaime Christina.
Deceptively simple. Deliciously comfortable. And, yes, a partial view from my fire escape.
So, I made versions A and C, the standard tank dress and the godet style! If you’ve read my blog, you already know I’m on the high end of most sizing scales and here was no different. I cut a size 18.
That being said, view A . . . you have a front, a back, and the arm hole and neck binding. I omitted the binding and went rogue and serged the edges and folded the hem over, then stitched with a double needle around the openings. Personally, I am beyond pleased.
My knit was a jersey from Mood, but it doesn’t have a terrible amount of stretch. To be honest, since well . . . I’m a bleeding heart and am always honest about these things, the stretch issue is really why I went rogue and removed the bindings. Either way, it worked. I had a fantasy of a purple and grey dress. I worked with what I had, will say that the fabric holds up well, but it remains a little stiff. It can’t be that bad, as the only reason I’m not in this dress now (after a tedious day and stressful weak) is because the barometric pressure dropped and Fall arrived with full on force and little transition.
Note: the Dude I married took the photos along the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach. I ran some filters to remove shadows. They are what they are, and I recently posted a full view of myself in my swimsuit, so these aren’t really a bother. We’d been bumming along the beach and Boardwalk with bikes and sand all day here. Worse for the wear and full of vitamin D.
In the end, this is a very comfortable dress. FYI, I wore this most of the summer. I even had it on that night of that meet up!
Onto version C, or if I may . . . two more beauties.
The fancy version was another size 18, and even with the train I love it. In all fairness, those variegated black and white stripes are not my best look . . . but, eh, I wore them weekly this summer. I did the old-school tie your dress in a knot to shorten the train and ride a bike in it. Scores of passersby seemed to like it! The black and white number got me more than a handful of compliments on the subway, in the park, and around the city all summer. And that blue number . . .
While walking the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach on Labor Day Weekend, a few young, middle aged, and older women stopped me to tell me they loved my dress. Me: I was DELIGHTED. Every sewists will freely admit we love to get complements on finished goods. I ran another half marathon that weekend, and after one of those (aside from being a bit on the Lupus rash side and pink from sun) a knit dress was welcomed relief.
Notice, though, on the black and white . . . I screwed up the middle back seam, and after unstitiching it twice I said screw it. I cut another piece of fabric, on the opposite stripe, about two inches wide. Folded each edge under ¼ an inch, and then I topstitched it. Covers my blunder, and I’m rather happy. No one knows and it adds a nice touch, I must say!
Yes, yes, I still will never love my rear view. Hence, enjoy the hanger side today.
On this view, both dresses have the binding.
The black and white is from Girl Charlee, my final purchase from them. While this is of okay quality, oh . . . let’s not got there and just move on. It stretches more with each use (as in it often feels like it is pulling down on me) and it is starting to wear thin. If you look close on the side of this dress you’ll see that the stripes do and even-odd match. What that means is my pattern had skinny and wide stripes. I didn’t have enough to match the stripes true on, so what I opted was for an optical allusion of matching glory.
Nifty, I know.
The blue . . . April Rhodes from Art Gallery Fabrics it is. I must say, Art Gallary knits might be a bit more than average but they are worth it! I say this as someone who has everything from merino wool to cashmere blends lurking her makes. The fabric has a nice drape, an even better hand, and it clings without sticking.
On the hem, every version is shortened four inches, as I’m short. On the blue one I went lazy and zig zagged the hem . Also, it goes well with the print, and calling myself lazy is a bit of an oxymoron as I did just make three dresses!
So, yea, I wore these most of the summer . . . I have no shame.
All total, with stripe matching and the basting that goes along with it, these bad boys take a max of three hours each. So, there is a huge factor of instant gratification here. The godet version is literally a V insert, that is seamless. Jaime’s patterns—in a booklet—are illustrated and discussed well.
All of that aside, these dresses—rather form fitting—work well. Why? Knits just kinda make you feel like everything is right . They are a nice comfortable look and feel. In fact, they’re almost as good as yoga pants. Almost. Of course, there is the hoodie factor. I donned a hoodie with these, as well, while lounging at home, at airport lounges, and on beach chilled nights. In some ways I call them the dressy version of lounge.
On that note, I’m off to go redraft the shoulders on my wrap dress pattern for the Wrap Along that Cashmerette is hosting! Happy sewing!