Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Mission (Maxi) in Life

I present you with my Jamie Christina Mission Maxi:

And while I'm at it, let me tell you something about getting older and birthdays.  They're better.  Much better!!  And here's why:  instead of just buying my kids birthday presents, my grown kids actually get me birthday AND Christmas presents.  Well, one does because waitressing in college can be fairly lucrative.   She'll graduate on time this May WITH a job so I expect those presents to keep coming lol ;) .

Toward the end of last year, I was gifted with this awesome purple/grey snakeskin ITY from Spandex House in NYC by my oldest daughter.  So pretty and funky!   I loved it but couldn't quite decide what to make with it.  It sat around for a few months aging gracefully until I saw a pic of my daughter with her friend who was wearing a RTW ArdenB dress shown below left.  I fell in love with the style and color blocking and knew exactly what to do with the snakeskin print.

The question, as always, is determining the best way to approach making a RTW knockoff.   First thing to do is to either draft from scratch or modify a pattern.  My go-to pattern for this cute little number is my beloved Jamie Christina Mission Maxi dress pattern shown at right.  I've made this dress so many times for myself and my daughters in various styles, lengths, as tops, etc.  It is a workhorse of a pattern, truly a must-have for me.  I can't say enough good things about it.

Pattern Photo Source:
The second question is to determine what modifications are necessary to recreate the knockoff style.  The only true modifications were to add princess seams and determine a hemline.  (Psst:  Always make your vertical seam allowances 1".  It allows for easy tweaking and is especially helpful if you are using a knit that  isn't as stretchy as you'd like.)  The neckline was already round and scooped which works for me. It is the best choice given my facial shape.  V-necks are not as flattering as scooped necks (for me) unless the V is particularly low highlighting the "assets" if you KWIM.
Photo Source:  ArdenB website

In addition, I chose a hemline near my leg "indent" as well as pegging the side seams to create a more flattering and slimming silhouette.

Overall, I love this dress.  It's great for a night on the town in the summer, or I can wear it to work with a flowy, long-sleeved cardi to avoid showing an excessive amount of skin.

And while on the subject of knockoffs, I'll leave you with a dress I made for my oldest daughter which was inspired from a Balenciaga dress she pinned on her Pinterest board.  Which pattern did I use to recreate it?  The Jamie Christina Mission Maxi dress, of course!!!  Told you it was a workhorse :) .  Here it is.   My daughter's Balenciaga-inspired dress is on the left (Spandex House fabrics again--love that place!) and her friend with the ArdenB RTW dress which inspired me. 

Stay tuned for changes in my sewing life.  Happy Sewing!!!