Friday, March 7, 2014

Sometimes simple is best: Mission Maxi, dress and tank versions

See how I colour-coordinated my dress to our chickens?
Sometimes you just need a quick sewing fix. This Mission Maxi was cut out while I was waiting for dinner to cook and sewn up afterwards. It probably took 45 minutes all up (it isn't hemmed and I'm still deciding whether to  top stitch the neckline and armholes) but it's received more compliments of anything that I've made!    I wore it to work yesterday and received several nice comments, MMSTL loves it and LittleFB wanted me to leave it on to read him a bedtime story and went through my jewellery to find  necklaces that would go with it. It's pretty funny being  styled by an eight year old boy :)

I have actually made this pattern before when I first started sewing with stretch fabrics, in a drapey purple cotton knit and it was hideous.  The neckline and armholes were gaping and too low, the racer back was too narrow - hello bra straps!- and it clung to every lump and bump. Blergh. So the pattern was abandoned for a year or so.

Last week  I visited a friend  to whom I'd promised a homemade garment as a birthday present. She wanted a racer back top , in stripes, so I pulled out the Mission Maxi pattern, grabbed a size 20 maxi skirt  in a drapey viscose knit that I picked up in the op shop to test the pattern for her, and we had a little sewing session.

Her top version turned out so nicely that it's definitely a wearable muslin - look how great she looks!  The op-shopped skirt actually gave us plenty of fabric to work with (there would have been more if I hadn't stuffed up with the cutting) and we even almost managed to match up the stripes, pretty good considering we were using a regular machine, had no real idea whether they were on grain or not and the knit was pretty slippery.


Bit wrinkly at the back but possibly because I find it impossible to stand in a normal way when posing for photos
With a renewed enthusiasm for  this pattern,  I came straight home and cut out the maxi dress lenth in a size 6, adding 0.5cm at the bust as a cheat's FBA.  As this is more of an autumn version I used some heavier black double knit and did the neckline and armholes the way I usually do, by cutting a strip (in this case  1 1/2 inches), folding in half and over locking to the right side, stretching the band at the same time. This helped with the gaping and  because the bands are wider then the ones in the pattern, also made the neckline a bit less revealing.   I also raised the shoulder straps by 1cm.   You can see in the pics there is some wrinkling at the back, maybe due to the weight of the fabric, but it's not too noticeable in real life.  Also I should point out that it does still slightly show my bra straps; I've got them tied together with a strip of jersey in these photos.  Ha ha.

I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this dress.  It's perfect now for the slightly cooler days were are having, and I can see it working well layered up with a jacket or jumper over the top  for when it gets colder.  Confession: In may have worn it two days in a row... that's got to be a good sign.

See also:
Sew Brunswick
Very Purple Person
Cut Cut Sew

Pattern: Jamie Christina Mission Maxi (Used before = free)
Maxi fabric 1.5 m of black duble knit from Brunswick fabrics ($6)
Top fabric: recyled maxi skirt from Savers = $4
Total: $10 for both  and an extra win for  a bit of upcycling!


  1. Absolutely love this pattern, and yep, I can see this version being extra versatile & getting loads of wear. Simple yet so elegant!

  2. Such a classy classic!! I'd give you unsolicited compliments too ;) And perfectly styled - both the necklace & heels and the chooks ;) - extra 'yay's to selfless sewing - I love your friend's stripy tank too.

  3. This is effortlessly cool and chic and AWESOME! Loving the 45 minutes timeframe too! You look smashing :D

  4. Oooh, you are rocking simple here!