There are patterns, and then there are PATTERNS! This is a blog post which is a big shout-out for the Jamie Christina Mission Maxi pattern. I LOVE THIS PATTERN! Did I mention I love this pattern? Yes, I do!!! Every couple of years there's a pattern that I can absolutely rave about it, and this one is it.
Here it is:
I was forewarned about too narrow straps and a low neckline from pattern reviews so I raised the front neckline about a 1/2" and made sure the finished straps would be 1" wide. I also lengthened the pattern several inches which probably wasn't necessary since I ended cutting off a few inches (I'm about 5'7"), but it's definitely better to be safe than sorry.
Let me talk about the binding technique for the armholes and neckline. I love the technique used, and it's like "Duh! Why have I never thought to do it this way???" So easy, and it produces professional results. I do want to note something that I always do to necklines and armholes like the ones found on this dress: I stretch the binding just a little while attaching to the dress and pin. My younger daughter asked how much (she's a beginning sewer). Can't tell you exactly, it's all in the "feel". When you've been sewing as long as I have, how much to stretch is instinct. Then I stretch as I sew the binding to the edges so both layers fit. This way, there is no worry about a gaping neckline or armholes.
I used a teal cotton/lycra from Spandex World in NYC (www.spandexworld.com) which was a nice weight--not too beefy, not too thin. Actually, it might be too heavy for 90+ degree days, but it's fine and comfortable for temps under that.
Shoes and accessories? Wow. I had nothing but black to coordinate with this pretty teal color so I googled a color wheel to find the opposing color which was a nice orange shade. I headed out to AC Moore and found some nice round, orange beads and made two stretch bracelets, then picked out orange ribbon to embellish some brown sandals I picked up at Kohls. Kohls did have some great orange, jewel embellished flip flop type of sandals, but of course, they were not in my size :( . Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and make her own. I'm showing off my bracelet and shoes in the left pic :) .
The back of the dress is a typical racerback. Boy, I sure had a hard time finding a nice racerback bra this summer. Don't know what happened to the one I bought last year, but I had to settle for one that isn't nearly as comfortable as my MIA bra.
So the verdict? A super comfortable, stylish dress that can be dressed up or down. It's relaxed, yet dressy. Great for a casual barbeque or a dinner at a quaint restaurant. I love this pattern, and am going to make a few more dresses from it as well as tops. I'll modify the back to create a regular tank style as well.
Stay tuned for my second Mission Maxi dress! I'm loving Version 2.0 just as much as this one.
Be happy, keep sewing!