The long and short of Adelaide

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.  

2018-07-08 15-51-24.jpeg

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.

 hip width extended to the hem to create a column

hip width extended to the hem to create a column

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!  

 Full lengh of the pattern +11 inches added for maxi length.  I think I had 3 yards of fabric but ikats are so narrow it was barely long enough. 

Full lengh of the pattern +11 inches added for maxi length.  I think I had 3 yards of fabric but ikats are so narrow it was barely long enough. 

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.

 Slash and spread adjustment to neckline and about 1/8" trimmed off the straps.

Slash and spread adjustment to neckline and about 1/8" trimmed off the straps.

 I couldn't find any snaps in a color I liked so I opted for buttons instead.  These cheapies that come 8 to a card for $1 were the perfect color.

I couldn't find any snaps in a color I liked so I opted for buttons instead.  These cheapies that come 8 to a card for $1 were the perfect color.

 Buttons stop just above the knee to allow for free movement.

Buttons stop just above the knee to allow for free movement.

 Fish eye darts at the back waist are brilliant!  In this case they layed flat without cutting into them.  The finish is much nicer this way too.

Fish eye darts at the back waist are brilliant!  In this case they layed flat without cutting into them.  The finish is much nicer this way too.

 Self bias bound armholes are the only way to go.  I recently realized I've been skipping the understitching part of this process but it doesn't seem to be a problem here.

Self bias bound armholes are the only way to go.  I recently realized I've been skipping the understitching part of this process but it doesn't seem to be a problem here.

2018-07-08 12-55-39.jpeg
 The pattern does instruct you to make belt loops but It's tricky to get them in the right place and I found them unnecessary.  I ended up leaving them off.  

The pattern does instruct you to make belt loops but It's tricky to get them in the right place and I found them unnecessary.  I ended up leaving them off.  

 Just enough ease in the skirt to be comfy, not so wide that it's frumpy.

Just enough ease in the skirt to be comfy, not so wide that it's frumpy.

 Kept it real by taking these photos on a 100 degree afternoon.

Kept it real by taking these photos on a 100 degree afternoon.

 I love how the cut of the straps and neckline cover my bra AND that chunk of flesh that chubs out between the arm and chest.  The neckline still doesn't lay completely flat but it is much better with my adjustments.

I love how the cut of the straps and neckline cover my bra AND that chunk of flesh that chubs out between the arm and chest.  The neckline still doesn't lay completely flat but it is much better with my adjustments.

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.

 Adjusted patern peices.

Adjusted patern peices.

 I had enough gold linen/rayon left from my first Adelaide hack to whip this up as my first #sewingleftovers project.  Shauni is so inspiring and I’m really motivated to make good use of all my leftovers.  This top can be made up in about 24 inches of 50” wide fabric.  Waste no more!

I had enough gold linen/rayon left from my first Adelaide hack to whip this up as my first #sewingleftovers project.  Shauni is so inspiring and I’m really motivated to make good use of all my leftovers.  This top can be made up in about 24 inches of 50” wide fabric.  Waste no more!

 Really loving this swing shape.

Really loving this swing shape.

 So glad I made those pattern changes before I cut this top.  The neckline sits so much better!

So glad I made those pattern changes before I cut this top.  The neckline sits so much better!

 Can't say enough how much I appreciate that underarm chub being tucked in.

Can't say enough how much I appreciate that underarm chub being tucked in.

 The length of the crop works perfectly for mid-rise jeans or trousers.  It's also long enough to be tied which looked better when I tried it with a skirt.

The length of the crop works perfectly for mid-rise jeans or trousers.  It's also long enough to be tied which looked better when I tried it with a skirt.

2018-07-11 16-26-26.jpeg
 The structure of the linen really suits the shape. 

The structure of the linen really suits the shape. 

2018-07-11 16-38-26.jpeg

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.

xo