I had actually cut out another dress prior to this but a sudden heatwave in the UK exposed a gap in my wardrobe for serious hot weather wear so the Southport got bumped to the top of the queue. I was always unsure about Maxi’s before I started sewing again. I tried one on once but the image in the changing room mirror just made me look even shorter, as I was completely swamped by the length. It was only when I made a shirred Maxi out of a border print that I realised just how comfortable they were. It’s the first thing I reach for when the temperature hits the eighties so I knew with the heat I needed another ( I’d been washing and drip drying the other overnight so I could wear it again the following day!)
I’d seen a few Southports during Me Made May so the pattern was already on my list. I really wanted to make view B, the maxi version, but only had a metre and a half of drapey viscose which I bought at the Leeds meet up. The maxi version is a lot fuller in the skirt and no matter how hard I wished the fabric fairies to make it fit there was no way to squeeze it out of my limited fabric. The only thing to do was to Maxi View A. To try and conserve fabric I omitted the button placket and just cut the front on the fold at the centre front. I also used some contrasting fabric for the pockets.
I cut the size 14 and as this is my second True Bias pattern (the Sutton Blouses are here) it does seem to run true to size. I must confess that I didn’t staystitch the neckline, I don’t know if it’s just me but stay stitching on finer fabrics seems to do more harm than good, on a couple of occasions I’ve thought the fabric has stretched out because of it. Instead I barely handled it and when I did took extra care. For this reason I really took my time with binding the neckline and armholes, ironing and shaping with each step
I made the skirt with all the fabric I had left after cutting the bodice, luckily being short worked in my favour as I had just enough to make it full length (another couple of inches would have been preferable but I don’t think it matters) One thing I’m particularly amazed at is having the foresight to see if I’d actually be able to walk in it. The circumference of the skirt was around 50 inches and so I poddled around the dining room with a tape measure around my ankles. It proved to be a little restrictive, I could walk but if there was ever the need to increase my pace or maybe even run I would struggle. I added six inch slits at the side just to free things up a bit.
I am more than happy with the finished dress, it was a dream to sew and for once no mistakes! It’s cool and comfortable but still looks pulled together. I really want to make another, especially the fuller skirted Version B but I’m not sure I’ve got any suitable fabric in my stash (a thinly veiled reason to go fabric shopping) I think it works on my figure because of the amount of drape in the fabric and Maxis are meant to be floaty. The shorter version would work ok in something with a bit more body though so I might give that a try with some Lawn. As soon as I started sewing this the Sun disappeared and the temperature dropped by ten degrees. At least if it does warm up again I’ll be prepared with my pair of alternating Maxis!