The Billowy Maxi: A Modified Staple Dress for Perfect Pattern Parcel #3

Staple Dress Main
I am so excited to be able to join in the Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 tour today! 

Pattern Parcel #3
If you have never heard about PPP before, here is what they are about.
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised almost $4,500 towards eliminating educational inequality.
Pretty amazing, right?  Each parcel contains a group of fantastic patterns, you choose your price, and profits go to charity.  If you’d like to partake as well, click on this button to go through to the sale and get your hands on this awesome bundle of patterns, including the Staple Dress!
Buy Pattern Parcel #3
Before I made this maxi, I made two other Staple Dresses and they turned out so beautifully I just had to make more!!  There is a casual version, a slightly dressier version, and now a maxi.  I can’t wait to share the others next week.  This pattern has such a classic cut and is just so flattering.  It’s very appropriately named: It’s a wardrobe staple, for sure.  I was really excited to play around with the pattern a little bit to give a slightly different look while building on such a great starting point.

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At first glance the most obvious modification is the length.  But I actually put a little more effort into getting the top portion just right.  Read on for the details.
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I wanted the top to have a billowy drape around the waist and under the sleeves, so instead of cutting out my dress with 2 pattern pieces, I did 6 pattern pieces, so that there was a skirt (front and back), a bodice outer (front and back), and a bodice lining (front and back).  
If you’d like to know how I put it together, read the steps listed below.  If you just want pictures, feel free to scroll past the numbered steps. 🙂
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1.) I cut the front and back pattern pieces at the line where they should be shirred, so there was a separate bodice and skirt pattern piece for the front and back.  Then I cut 2 front bodice pieces  and 2 back bodice pieces.  Once these were cut, I set aside one front and back piece to use for the lining, and cut them both 1 1/4″ shorter than the outer bodice pieces.  
2.) I cut the 2 skirt pieces using the skirt pattern piece as my starting point for the waist width, and then just drew a line gradually flaring out a A-line shape until I reached the bottom of my fabric.  I got 2 meters of 60″ wide fabric.  
3.) I attached the outer (front and back) at the shoulder with a 1/2″ seam allowance, pressed the seam open, and attached the sides with a 3/8″.  I did the same for the lining pieces.
4.) I put the lining and the outer  bodice right sides together, pinned around the neckline, and stitched the necklines together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/8″, flipped the bodice right-side out, gave it a good press, and topstitched along the neckline.  
Maxi Staple Dress at Our Family Four 8Maxi Staple Dress at Our Family Four 125.) Next I attached the lining and outer bodice at the hem, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  
(This is the magical part!  Since the outer bodice was slightly longer than the lining, once I attached the two around the hem, it left the outer bodice puffed and with a nice billowy drape.)  
6.) I marked about 20″ up from the hem of the skirt with pins for my side slits, and then sewed the skirt sides together with a 1/2″ seam allowance stopping and securing the thread at the pins.  I then put the skirt inside the bodice, right sides together, and attached the skirt to the bodice, also with 1/2″ seam allowance.
7.) Next I serged the edges of the bodice hem,lining hem, and skirt top (okay, I zig zagged them) which created a casing inside the dress, leaving an opening which I threaded with 1/4 inch elastic.  An invisible casing!!
8.) I finished the edges of my sleeves, the slits on the skirt, and the hem with the tried and true fold 1/8″, fold again, and stitch method.  I ended up trimming the sleeves of the bodice lining off and zig zagging the edges to finish since they are completely hidden.  

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So, what do you think?  Have I made this sound overly complicated, because I promise it was not!
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I still can not believe that I made this dress.  It’s the sort of thing that I would have seen in a store and obsessed over because it would likely be out of my price range, but I wouldn’t be able to get it out of my head.  But it is such a strange thing to sew for yourself because you can choose fabric that you are crazy about and then just wait until you find just the right pattern for it.  I’m loving it.
Maxi Staple Dress at Our Family Four 1Regarding the fabric, I’m really sorry to say that I found it in a local shop in London’s fabric district in Shepherds Bush, so I can’t really direct you to somewhere where you could find it for yourself.  I’m sorry!!  Luckily for me, London has such a diverse demographic that there are tons of people here who make clothes for themselves and their families not because they want to, but because it is their custom to do so.  This is awesome for random sewers like myself (and students at London’s College of Fashion) but not great for online sharing.  Again, sorry. 
Maxi Staple Dress at Our Family Four 6I’ve made 2 other Staple Dresses in addition to this one, (it’s an addicting pattern, okay?) that I’ll be back to share next week, in addition to another pattern.  So please stop by or follow along with me on Bloglovin’.
Poppy Tunic by Make it Perfect
Water Bottle Tote by Radiant Home Studio
Jorna Tank Dress by Jenna Brand
Staple Dress by April Rhodes
Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files

Bonus Pattern:
Pattern Parcel #3
Choose a price of $28 or greater for Parcel #3 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made with Moxie. This shorts pattern has a retro trim, loads of pockets, two inseams and are so comfortable you won’t want to take them off. Includes sizes 0 – 24. Exclusive launch on Pattern Parcel. Be the first to own this pattern!

There are a host of other bloggers helping to promote the patterns in these bundles which you can see below. Click around and check them out.

Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour Schedule:
Friday, May 30 Sew Busy Lizzy || Pienkel || SeamstressErin
Saturday, May 31 Design By Lindsay || the Brodrick design studio || Cookin’ and Craftin’
Sunday, June 1 Diary of a Chainstitcher || a happy stitch || Disaster in a Dress || sew Amy sew
Monday, June 2 Idle Fancy || Casa Crafty || Kadiddlehopper || Dandelion Drift
Tuesday, June 3 Our Family Four || Casa Crafty || Cookin’ and Craftin’ || a happy stitch
Wednesday, June 4 Lexi Made || The Quirky Peach || Stitched || a happy stitch || Casa Crafty ||
Thursday, June 5 verypurpleperson || Casa Crafty || sew a straight line || Sewbon
Friday, June 6 Shawnta Sews || Mama says sew || a happy stitch || Cookin’ and Craftin’
Saturday, June 7 Casa Crafty || sewninestitches || ‘So, Zo… What do you know?’
Sunday, June 8 oonaballoona || A Stitching Odyssey || Sew Charleston
Monday, June 9 Sew Sweetness || True Bias || Ozzy Blackbeard
Tuesday, June 10 Welcome to the Mouse House || Sew Caroline || Adventures in Dressmaking
Wednesday, June 11 Peneloping || YoSaMi || sewVery
Thursday, June 12 la inglesita || La Pantigana || Sanae Ishida
Friday, June 13 Seamster Sewing Patterns || Paunnet
**I received these patterns in exchange for my participation in this tour, but my enthusiasm for this pattern and the Perfect Pattern Parcel as a whole is completely genuine.**

8 thoughts on “The Billowy Maxi: A Modified Staple Dress for Perfect Pattern Parcel #3

  1. Everything about this is absolutely perfect, including the gal wearing it! Those pictures of you are all so amazing, you look awesome. Love the dress!

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