The Last Gasp of Summer Dress (part IV!)

Lonsdale Maxi---Finished

She is finished.

And I must be out of practice taking photos, because I’m having a hard time getting good ones, but these will have to suffice.

So, thoughts…

I don’t regret the length (2″!) I took out of the bodice, although in hindsight I could’ve taken out less and just shortened the straps more. It’s comfortable as it is, though, and the bottom of the waistband sits right on my (ridiculously high) natural waist.

There’s not much more to say about the construction (check out other posts here). Tasia’s instructions are lovely and simple; her sewalong, on the other hand, gives you the super-couture version, and I really like some of the tips she includes like staying the upper edge of the bodice.

Inner waistband, slipstitched down at bottom.

The bodice seams are all enclosed (yay!). For the skirt, I added a light cotton lining, and used French seams for the sideseams and Hong Kong binding for the front and back seams. I bound the CF seam on the skirt before stitching. This was a Bad Idea. For one thing, I hate trying to stitch evenly along already-finished edges. Even if they’re just serged, the edges always try to scoot so they don’t lie directly overtop of each other (my tendency to use pins as little as possible may be a factor here, too), and it was way worse with the binding. For another thing, after carefully stitching and trimming, I realized I managed to put the HK binding on backwards, so the un-finished edge is visible on the inside. *headdesk*

CF seam with backwards binding

After I had the entire dress constructed except for the back seam, I did a fairly thorough pin-fit to figure out where I wanted the zipper seam to fall. I wound up trimming a bit from the CB top, narrowing to nothing at the waist.

CB zip on inside (K-Line, this one

I waited until the zipper was inserted to bind the back seam. This creates a lovely finish of the sort K-Line would (I hope) approve, but when/if I ever have to replace the back zipper (which seems more of a when than an if, given how much trouble the invisible zip has going over the waistband), it will really, really suck.

Bodice side

All right, let’s see. Syo took some photos for me, only half of which came out hopelessly blurry.

Back: nice and smooth, wonky bow.

Some of you may recall that I traced the skirt pattern to the full length of the size 16 (about an inch longer than the 6 I used for the rest of it), and then added another inch or so when I was cutting, plus a little more at the CB of the skirt, to make up for the 2 cm I removed above and below the waistband for swayback adjustment. This was all I could squeeze out of my 5m of 45″-wide fabric (that bodice is a fabric hog) but was still a pretty minimal length (for me), reaching my ankle but not brushing the tops of my feet, which is where I like a maxi to fall.

Hem with facing

For the hem, I wanted to keep as much length as I could, so I made a nice, wide (4″) bias facing. I really like this as a method for hemming A-line and circle skirts. Just iron the bias in a circle first (basically pull on one long edge and shrink in the other, to get it into a curve) and you’re good to go. It also satisfies my tastes for nice, wide, satisfying hems. I think I only lost about 1/2″ of length here. Although that’s still more than I would’ve liked.

The Knot (photography by Syo)

All right, I think I ran out of things to say before I ran out of photos…

Full front (photography by Syo)

So let’s just look at pictures


Hmm, I could’ve sworn I adjusted the exposure on this one. Bleh. I like the picture, though.

So, fall arrived last week: Monday (Aug. 29) the high was 30C, Tuesday it was 13. It’s finally creeping up again and the forecasts (which I trust about as far as I can spit) are promising highs in the upper 20s for later this week, including my birthday on Wednesday. So this dress is truly ready for summer’s last, last gasp.

Note: we are out on the river enjoying summer’s actual last gasp so I’m just going to hit publish! I’ll edit later to finish up links and stuff…



Filed under Sewing

22 responses to “The Last Gasp of Summer Dress (part IV!)

  1. This is a gorgeous dress and I love the fabric – so fresh for summer!!

  2. Shams

    It sounds so hot!! I wish I could send you some of my pea soup fog and chilliness. If you want it, that is. πŸ™‚ That dress is beautiful! I particularly like the side view photo with the light source peeking from behind. It will be perfect for your hot days to come!

    • Hehe! While we don’t get much fog here (except ice fog) I can probably count the number of “hot” days left this year on my fingers. We’ll have plenty of chilliness to go around very, very soon…

  3. Turned out just wonderful!

  4. Looks fantastic! Nicely done.

  5. Joy

    It turned out very pretty and the fit looks excellent. When it warms up again 8 months from now, you’ll be glad you made it.

  6. That is so beautiful on you! I like the length, it might not be quite a maxi but it’s not going to trip you up either. Syo is a far better photographer than Youngest (possibly because I’m always taking the camera away from him….oh well).

    As for the Hong Kong mistake — I always make at least one colossal blooper per project. If it doesn’t show on the outside, I call it good!

    • Thank you! The length really is fine, just different from what I had in my head beforehand. Funny how we get that way.

      As to the mistake—yeah, I didn’t even consider unpicking it. I was just “ah, crap, that’s why I don’t do it this way!”.

  7. Love the long version! You did a great job, it was worth the wait to see the finished product. Hope you enjoy looking at it in your closet through the looooooooooong winter πŸ™‚

  8. I guess I wasn’t really reading your previous posts properly, because I didn’t realize this was a full length dress! After I got over that little surprise, I have to say that I love the look! There’s such a stigma that long dresses = evening, but this looks like such a fun summery day dress!

    I just hope you have a chance to enjoy it a few times before the snow comes. Which I’ll put in for it arriving on a Thursday this year.

  9. That’s a cool looking summer dress, I think that length works well. I love that photo showing the ties at the back too!

  10. Gorgeous and sunny- great job!

  11. I was in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago and picked up the Lonsdale (and Pendrell) @ Spool of Thread….so don’t feel like you did it too late in the season: I’ll probably have my Lonsdale done just in time for the snow!

  12. Love this dress!!! You look spectacular in this style of dress and color!

  13. Oh that’s so pretty. It’s a great print for the full length dress.
    I hope you enjoyed that last day of summer.

  14. I lurrve the dress Tanit-Isis! The neckline and bodice shape really suit your figure very well – I think a couple of tops from the top-half would look fab on you with your jeans :)!

  15. It looks absolutely fabulous as a maxi, and the print is so fresh and summery! Just like the sort of thing I should be thinking about ’round about new, hehe…
    You’ve done a beautiful job with the finishing off too… I reckon the HongKong seam binding is well worth the extra effort in a special garment, yes?

  16. Woops, “now”, not “new”

  17. Scruffybadger

    Wow! And wow again! I think the fabric choice is
    perfect in terms if colour, scale and suiting you. But the dress ? It is as if it was designed with you in mind- the halter neck just looks amazing and you totally carry off the length. As always it fits you perfectly. Almost too sad to put it away for next year?!

  18. Oh I love it! I hope you wear it non-stop until the fashion police issue you a citation for off-season dressing.

    I tend to have at least one “D’oh!” moment per project, which I’m guessing is akin to your *headdesk* moments. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  19. Pingback: That slinky summer dress | Tanit-Isis Sews

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