Some gals project such effortless versatility to the world and Adelaide babe, that's you. I first fell for her early last summer when my sewing momentum was just beginning to pick up. She had me at snap front, bra-strap coverage and discreetly body skimming silhouette. If you haven’t heard me go on about this before, I’m talking about the Seamwork Magazine Adelaide Dress. I loved my classic version so much it wasn't long before I dreamt up a hack with a waist seam, pleats and loose patch pockets. In December I stumbled on some gorgeous ikat cotton and Adelaide came straight to mind. My shopping partner insisted it should be a maxi and it was all settled. **Brigada, Fer por me convencer xoxo**
Of course that wasn't the time for sundress making and I wondered if come summer I would chicken out on the maxi and settle on a length I'm more comfortable with. Crazy, I know... Who in their right mind is not comfortable in a maxi?! My thing is, I like my bum either solidly supported in a structured garment, or else completely lost in a fuller knee-length skirt. I worry that draped under a long, looser-fitting skirt there may be some unsightly jiggling going on. Or that in the words of my hero Clairee from Steel Magnolias it would look like "two pigs fightin' under a blanket". I also don't have much height working for me, and didn't want to end up looking as wide as I am high. Despite my fears and in the spirit of adventure I decided that I would take my own advice and do what I could to make the style work for me.
Drafting-wise, turning the pattern into a maxi was very straightforward. I found the widest part of the pattern pieces (just above the hip) and measured the width. I re-drew the hip curve to end in a straight line all the way to the hem keeping that same width measurement. This ended up looking pretry much the same as grading from an 8 at the hip to a 2 soon thereafter.
The pattern pieces from my original dress had been cut to use the length of the largest size, and from there I added an additional 11 inches to create the maxi. It wasn’t until I had taped on the additional length that I realized there was some shaping at the hem, and so I just did my best to replicate that. The shape of the skirt is basically a column and proportion-wise I think this is the way for curvy ladies to go. Since the dress closes in the front it was super easy to leave the lower portion open for ease of movement. No need for slits!
I made two other pattern changes on this version based on observations from my first two. First, I had a bit of neckline gaping that I hoped to correct this time around. Wearing the original dress I pinched out about half an inch excess from each side. On the front pattern piece I slashed just inside of the neckline curve all the way to the horizontal line at the high hip. Pivoting in, I removed that half inch. Second, I had found the straps a tad long, and just snipped down from a size 6 to a 4. Both of these adjustments helped the fit significantly.
Because it has been so incredibly hot and since you can never have too much of a good thing, as soon as I finished up my maxi I started thinking about a cropped top version. Seems like everywhere I look I see inspiration for adorable button up tanks and again my darling Adelaide was the obvious choice for the hack. The drafting was super simple. I measured on myself where I wanted the hem to hit and marked that on a traced copy of the pattern with seam allowance. Mine ended up being 12 3/4 inches down from the bottom of the armscye. From there I added about 1 cm to the width at the hem and drew a line at the side seam to straighten out the waist curve. The back length was adjusted to match. At this point it was looking a lot like an A-line skirt at the bottom so I did the traditional shaping to smooth everything out and eliminate any pointyness at the sides. Gotta give credit to this tutorial for skirtmaking I've been using for years. The rest of the top was sewn up just as is instructed for the dress, minus the fisheye darts.
A special thanks to you if you made it to the end of this doozy! I’ve got one more double-make post in the works and then I hope to stay caught up for a while.