Just made a black maxi dress--can it work for fall?
I was hoping so when I finally started sewing this new maxi dress. I got the fabric from my mom a couple months ago now, and cut it out last month, but hadn't sewn it yet! This is one of those excellent free fabric dresses--my mom got this awesome black/ivory patterned knit for free from her supplier as a sample or bonus or something. They do that when you make huge bulk orders all the time, I guess! But it will never work for her historic clothing sewing purposes, and she gave it to me at a time when I was seriously bored with my fabric stash. Which I still am. A little uninspired, really.
But, I've been very into funky black and white combos this year, so was excited to try this one. I've also been doing so many maxi dresses, and this knit was too heavy for a short, full skirt, and I didn't need a knit sheath dress. But it was too bulky for the gathered bodices I'd been doing, so I imagined a very simple bodice, no extra midriff piece or anything, but still pretty plain on top. I ended up digging out Simplicity 4531, a seriously dated pattern (literally, my mom bought it for me in 2005 and it was looking old then). Spaghetti straps, natural waist, any skirt you want to put with it. (I also used it on this vintage fabric dress and this Kate Spade-inspired dress.)
So I used almost all of the fabric and made it into this!
Pretty cool, huh?
- Choose darker colors and heavier fabrics
- Wear lightweight layers on top--not heavy, long-sleeved jackets or sweaters because you could end up looking shapeless
- Swap the gladiator sandals for flat booties for a slightly edgier, seasonal look
- Try wearing your hair down instead of in the top bun you've (I've) been wearing on hot evenings with my dresses!
- Add a big, floppy infinity scarf at the neck with the lightweight cardigan
- Get creative and try layering a long-sleeved tee underneath!