Fall for Cotton Practice: Maxi Elisalex

After doing some research on late 1960s and 1970s maxi dress patterns (my last post) I was really inspired by a 1970s pattern: Butterick 6409A – which shows a princess seamed bodice, slightly high waisted, with an a-line skirt.

I also looked at few other maxi’s from that period with similar style lines: a fitted bodice, high waisted, flared skirt. 

I then found a nice drapey cotton voile from Spotlight, a plain black cotton from stash for the lining and I decided to try combining the Elisalex bodice, which I love and I know fits me well after previously adjusting it.

Elisalex maxi

The dress came together really easily and well and will be perfect for what is gearing up to be a really hot spring and summer here in Sydney.

Elisalex maxi

A slightly crumpled back view after wearing it all afternoon.

Elisalex maxi

Side view showing my side zipper – I only had a navy invisble one in stash but it turned out completely invisible so I am very happy with that.  Its also my first zipper that opens up completely at the the armhole and it looks great, if I do say so myself.

The inside lining worked out really well and gives a clean finish.  It only goes to the knee.  Im looking a bit blah in the photos as I haven’t been well of late (edit: so I went back in and removed my head in most of them so I didn’t have to look at myself being all “pale and wan” – thank you for the angst Sir John Sucking) but I must say this dress has given me a real lift today and cheered me up. Yay, sewing.

For future reference here is a verbal description of the adjustments I made to the bodice pattern to get it to fit my very not-hour-glass top half:

  1. Shaved a good inch, possible more off the shoulder seams plus angled them for a standard forward shoulder adjustment.  This fixes the wrinkling at the shoulders/from the armpit up and adjusts for having very small sloping shoulders.
  2. Lowered the armhole curve 1/2″ otherwise the armhole was too small after taking up so much at the shoulders.  I could probably do with making this a smidge bigger as they still feel slightly too small. (I have tiny shoulders but larger arms).
  3. Took a good 1/2″ of the front centre pattern curve, starting at the armhole and tapering to nothing at the second notch in (the one closest the the bust apex)- this fixes the massive gaping at the armcyce.  It means the front side piece is joined to a flatter/less curved front piece – adjusting for being smaller in this area.
  4. Shaved off a wedge from the centre back piece, so that it goes straight up rather than angling outward to be wider at the neckline than the waist.  This fixes the gaping back.