Summer maxi – bittersweet…

 I love this print! It’s from Cotton & Steel, their hatbox design. And it’s all cotton, a lovely calico, not sheeting like my Art Gallery disappointment

But purchased from Craftsy, on clearance. Watch their sales! I got 3 yards of this cute fabric for $13.17… I wish I had bought the turquoise colorway as well.

This is my go-to franken-pattern hack. smile A simple darted bodice with a waistband and gathered skirt. And big ole patch pockets centered across the side seams. They’re a little over 10″ wide and 9″ wide. Love them.

So – the particulars…

My bodice finished at 5.5″ long below the armhole, several inches above my natural waist. At the bottom, it’s 40″ around. Plenty generous to let me pull this dress over my head.

The ‘waistband’, which is raised, is finished at 1.25″ wide. I just cut a piece across the fabric, 2.25″ wide, 42″ long, which allows for .5″ seam allowances. And it’s lined in cotton/poly broadcloth, cut to the same dimensions (I have this broadcloth in so many colors, love it for linings and facings).

And I’m such a cheater – since this fabric is 42″ wide after selvages, I just cut 2 pieces across the width and 43″ long, to make the skirt.

 I’ve used this ‘formula’ over and over in the past couple years – it works for me.

Check out the selvage on this fabric – so detailed! I wonder that Cotton & Steel would expend so much dye and so on, on a selvage that will be discarded…maybe I should have sewn it in somewhere inside my dress 🙂

Bittersweet – because I made it sleeveless, anticipating continuance of the diminished inflammation in my arms. Well, too soon. I’ve developed new lesions on my upper and lower arms, lots of swelling – I just hate this. My morning trip today was to my local medical supply house for hydroderm, which can be very helpful for healing. But my experience is that time – lots of it – is the healer. I need to be patient, once again. I see my rheumy every 4 months – he is starting me on two new meds in October, for the scleroderma and the osteoporosis. Fingers crossed.

But I can enjoy my new makes at home, or out and about with a shrug or cardi.

Truth time – I photo-shopped all the pics in this post so that the lesions went away. I don’t usually do this, but I wanted to share this nice little dress and adorable fabric.

 Check out that hair – I’m going gray, but it’s a light blonde mixed with gray at the moment. And I love it. No more hair dye!!

Cheerful – a couple poses. This is such a happy dress, and I’m a pretty upbeat person.

Ciao! Coco

29 thoughts on “Summer maxi – bittersweet…

  1. Oh, you're so sweet. I just found your comment – Blogger has gotten very bad at notifications when a comment is posted. So I missed this. But – the timing is perfect, you really picked up my day. Thank you!


  2. Coco, I've been catching up on your blog, reading new to old, and I have to tell you you that I love your hair! It's just beautiful! Lovely dress in this post, let's hope maxis never go out of style, ok? I'm sorry to hear about your new arm lesions, and hope that by now (September) they are calmed down.


  3. Hi Pamela! and thank you for the compliments. The waistband – I use one because it breaks up the long look of a dress, maxi or not, and adds a little detail interest. I've often used a contrast print in the waistband, perhaps echoed in the binding on neckline/armholes. It's also functional – because it's lined, it supports the weight of the skirt, adds a structural component. Let's see – another application, if I use a bodice that gathered under the bustline, it sews nicely into a band and benefits from that structural help as well.

    Construction: I sew the bodice into the top of the band, sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining pieces, and I sew the skirt into the bottom of the main fabric piece only. Then I hand-stitch the bottom of the lining in place. Hope this helps!


  4. Can't wait to see it! Your makes are so inspirational – my latest fav is those outrageous, gorgeous 'harem' pants. I'm drooling and have the pattern on my wish list.


  5. I recently found your blog. I love your style and have purchased several patterns after seeing your take on them. I enjoy making and wearing dresses like the one you're showcasing today. I am curious about the waistband. I just sew my skirt right to the bodice. Could you tell me why you use a waistband and how it is constructed? Thanks. Best wishes for your health, too.


  6. I'm almost finished my Burda hack. I also shortened the bodice and I narrowed the shoulder seam and I really quite like the finished look. Then I added the waistband and gathered skirt like your dress here! I have another maxi that has the same proportions {minus the waistband} and it works well on me. I'm going to try the pattern again with an attempt to more closely mimic the silhouette…I think the fabric might be key; something like a linen perhaps.


  7. Oh, Kathie, you really got to me – such nice things to say. And I agree with you, the blogs and bloggers I enjoy most are ones that share a bit of their daily lives, ups, downs, celebrations. Messages and friendships like yours are a real boost, all the time, but especially when it'so needed. A hug…


  8. Love your pretty new dress… and those pockets!!!! Your hair is graying beautifully and with your face shape and features, you will look so lovely when all is done. I let mine go natural a few years ago, and it is so nice to not worry about hair color anymore. I do use a shampoo for silver hair from AG that helps the gray/silver sort of shine. And I sincerely hope your doctor is able to help you feel better and get on the road to recovery soon.


  9. I love this dress on you, such a pretty shape and beautiful fabric. So sorry about your inflammation and will be thinking of you and hoping for healing.


  10. What a perfectly wonderful summer maxi! Adore it and you certainly look great in that style. Love the hair BTW, I thought it looked lighter on the last post. I bet that dress would look almost as sweet with maybe a little linen shrug, just enough to cover what's sensitive. Or a soft lightweight little knit thingie. Sending healing thoughts and lots of cyber hugs.


  11. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy every one of your posts, Coco. I love the clothes you make as well as the way you write about them. Thank you for all the effort it take to produce such well-crafted posts. And thank you for sharing your health battles with us. The best part of my favorite blogs is getting to know the people who write them…and I feel as if I know you. Best, best wishes for a swift recovery from this bout.


  12. I forgot to talk about the Burda pattern! I modified it and have sewn it 4 or 5 times for myself and Ashley. Shortened the bodice and attached a gathered skirt with a patch pocket. I LOVE the idea of the pattern, but it didn't work in my muslin. The top half of the bodice, however, is great. Go figure!! I keep all my patterns, success or fail, so I can rob from them….


  13. My favorite 'inside' had for photos! From Ann Klein. But I don't wear it outside, I have about 6 that do that duty. This one resides on top of my camera tripod. Love it!


  14. Thanks, Sue. I do get discouraged 🙂 I've found that the Art Gallery prints I've purchased have been on cotton sheeting. And the fabrics I buy on the bolt from JoAnns have been calico. All the Alexander Henry fabrics, and many more from Hancocks of Paducah, have been calico. hmmm. Most batiks are printed on PFD (prepared for dying) cotton lawn, which makes them wonderful! I need to do a post on this…


  15. Oh My Goodness! This is such a pretty dress Coco! I love the print too!

    Your timing with this dress post is serendipity. I've got Burda 7513 at hand and I really want to sew it, but the reviews haven't been favourable. It was a complete fail in your books too! I totally understand the cons of the dress and was wondering if I could tweak it somewhat. Seeing your dress here has given me lots of good tips. Thank you for sharing!

    So….how do you discern between quilting cotton/sheeting and calico for example? If I'm in the store, I can feel the hand somewhat but do you have other suggestions?


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