It is hotter than hot here. As someone from the arid West, I just don't know how women in the south do it. After an hour of this humid heat, I very closely resemble a soggy washcloth. How to the Paula Deans of the world survive the summer with their hair and makeup looking like it came straight from a debutant ball? The only way I know to cope is dresses. And lots of hair rubber bands.
This maxi dress is perfect for hot days. It's basically as comfortable as wearing pajamas, and the flowy skirt means nothing is sticking to my legs. This is the second time I've made this dress. The first time, it fit okay except for the bust. See?
There was just too much fabric, and the cross over panels flopped open every time I sat down. I tried to fix it by running some elastic along the neckline binding, but that was only minimally successful and maximally frustrating. (I never get frustrated with my knitting, but working on that neckline made me want to padlock the sewing room door and forget the whole thing even existed.)
So I found this most excellent Small Bust Adjustment tutorial from The Slapdash Sewist, and I'm pretty sure it's changed my life. This is why I want to sew: I want to have clothes that fit well and make me look great. Yes, there are things about my body that, in a perfect world, might be nice if they were, well, more perfect. I'll still hold out hope that maybe someday I'll look a bit different, but in the meantime, I just want to feel great in my clothes. So while I'm sort of 10% annoyed that I have to do a SBA in the first place, I'm 90% thrilled that I figured out how to do it successfully. There is hope for all future garments!
Half an hour later, my pattern piece looked like this:
The finished garment looks like this:
I look so annoyed! Remember, that's heat and humidity all over my face. Inside, I'm still beaming that I fixed a pattern so it fits me well. I used a zig-zag print from Gorgeous Fabrics, which I've since seen at Joanns, although in a different colorway.
I love the detail of the elastic at the shoulder seams. The pattern also has elastic in a casing at the waistline, which supports the weight of the skirt. I added about 3 inches to the skirt, and I haven't hemmed it.
Look at that bodice! And the mostly matching stripes!
I think I'll be living in this dress for the rest of the summer.