Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Bold 2 in 1


I didn’t wear the hat but I did wear the knickers!

I have only one photo on my camera that I’m in: isn’t the bridal party beautiful?

And I wasn’t the only one wearing homemade clothes – the bride’s mother made the dresses!


It was a perfect day.

But living in a castle, being waited on every minute of the day and night and eating and drinking for 12 hours solid  has to come to an end some time so all the glad rags are washed and packed away silently waiting for another grand occasion.


There aren’t too many gaps in my wardrobe – that’s the benefit of making your own clothes – but there are two styles of dresses that were missing – a shirt waister and a maxi. I’ve been avidly reading about shirt waister dresses and researching patterns and various styles and settled on Vogue 8829. V8829 V8829I believe this now OOP but it must be quite recently as I think I only bought the pattern in the one before last Vogue pattern sale. There is a multitude of options on this dress – long, short, A-line, straight skirt, sleeveless or any length of sleeve you want. It’s great.

I’ve avoided the maxi dress until now because – I don’t know why – just have.  Anyway, I combined the two into one…….


The fabric is an bold African cotton seersucker by Julius Holland and a meagre £16 gets you an amazing 5 yards (albeit only 45″ wide); a black and white geometric embossed wax print from Middlesex Textiles. I also purchased a few other black and white designs while I was there. The cotton is not a soft drapey fabric but  remains a little stiff even after washing, however  this means it keeps its shape. Just be aware that most of the prints are large motifs which is not always clear from the website photos. As you can see, I went for the maxi view C – this is achieved by sewing a band around the bottom of the skirt so easily removed if I change my mind about the length.

The fabric necessitated a bit of headache inducing pattern matching – want to see some good chevrons?


The dress has a centre back pleat for ease of movement and I just made a self-fabric tie belt. The pattern calls for only 8 buttons on this maxi length but I put on 14! I felt I needed the extra security and thought the last button was just too high – creating a crotch view split!




All in all – I’m happy with the length and the dress itself for summer wear. This is a kind of muslin as I have some delicious wool and linen mix for autumn workwear and it’s going to be this dress. I’ll make the collar a little smaller, make the straight skirt (turning waist pleats into darts), add some in-seam pockets and stick in some sleeves.


Are your thoughts turning to autumn/winter wear already too? Or spring/summer if you’re in the southern hemisphere? Regardless, happy and successful sewing to you all!



33 thoughts on “Bold 2 in 1

  1. Great looking shirt waist maxi dress!

  2. Adorable! It looks extremely comfy and practical for summer.

  3. Wow, wow, wow!!!! Love the new dress. But… hat????? Bummer. We can’t see those tiny little knickers ;), but we would be able to see the hat! Well, hat or no hat, you look gorgeous.

  4. What!! No hat??! I see someone else in that photo with a large and well decorated hat!
    Love the chevrons.

  5. Love this dress. Looks so comfortable yet so sophisticated. I have several shirtwaist patterns and now want to reconsider them for my fall wardrobe. Love to see what you are making!

  6. I love this! I’ve never seen a shirtwaist maxi before. This is really a nice silhouette. Love your chevrons!

  7. I’m so sorry you didn’t wear that hat but the picture you provided is a wonderful one! Your new maxi shirtdress is just awesome!!! Awesome! Great print and a great dress on you!

  8. That has to be one of the funniest opening lines I’ve read in a blog! Love your shirtwaister and very impressive chevrons:)

  9. The wedding looks like it was a fabulous occasion! But no hat? I’m in the southern hemisphere but not thinking about summer sewing just yet.

  10. Ok, I’m not much for shirtwaist dresses, but you’ve put such a lovely spin on this with the hem border, I love it!

  11. This worked out so well! Love it …. J

  12. I’m sitting on the couch, sifting through my blogreader on my ipad and I come across your blog entry. I’m clapping my hands in delight as I scroll down view the different pictures of the maxi shirtdress. It’s an absolutely gorgeous geometric stripe, and you used it to great effect. Lovely!

  13. You got a beautiful day for the wedding. I was watching out and wondering how it was going.Pity about the hat but glad the knickers got an outing.
    Sorry to go off piste, but-
    I once saw a patient , an elderly lady, getting ready for theatre in the hospital . She put the paper knickers on her head thinking they were a hat . No one had the heart to tell her , but we all made an excuse to go into the room for some trivial matter just to have a look. Hilarious. Still wondering what the thought the 2 extra holes were for. Her ears perhaps?

  14. Beautiful wedding party photo-thanks for sharing. You look great! I love the shirtdress (as we say in the US) especially as a maxi. It really plays to your gorgeous height and figure 🙂

  15. Looks like your wedding outfit was a great success and you had a fabulous day. Love your shirt waister maxi dress. Great use of the stripes. Very sharp.

  16. How fun to live the ‘Downton Abbey’ life if only for a day or two! Your maxi dress is wonderful, too! I love all the chevron matching going on.

    • Thanks Angela – I could become very accustomed to that life in those surroundings! I’d need more maxi dresses to waft around the gardens and by the edge of the lake in….

  17. I love your new dress! The fabric suits the style of the dress perfectly.. And I love how you placed fabric on a band at the bottom. Great summer dress!

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