The Mission Maxi


I am not actually as sun burnt as I look

I’m going to a big work party soon to celebrate a special occasion and the dress code is ‘dressed to impress’, now if I worked for a bank or a law firm or something like that, I’d take ‘dressed to impress’ as formal cocktail gear but I work in social media, so I don’t think dressed to impress is quite that formal and possibly / probably is a bit more trendy. Either way though, I don’t do cocktail gear and I don’t do going out clothes beyond going to the pub, so I was a bit ummmmm. I did go out and look for something and ended up buying a top – short sleeve jumper combo from Fat Face which I now consequently don’t like that much (darn you impulse / desperation shopping) but at the same time I bought some black jersey because I was remembering a certain pattern I’d had in my collection for quite some time, the Mission Maxi by Jamie Christina. I had plenty of time to sew but of course half term holiday got in the way, so by the time I even remotely had time to cut out the fabric, the party was mere days away. In the meantime I had been letting my subconscious mentally rummage through my wardrobe and had come up with a top and skirt combo I could wear that I’ve had for a while (darn you desperation shopping again, I really didn’t need to have bought that Fat Face jumper) if I ran out of time to make the dress or the dress was a disaster.

Well yesterday I traced out the pattern and cut out the fabric ON THE PATIO (it was literally the only place I had space to do it) and today I made a start on the dress …. and finished it a few hours later. I was literally gobsmacked, I really thought it would take longer and I would run out of time and I’d be wearing the top and skirt combo I had got out of my wardrobe. I had initially (before half term) planned to do a sort of muslin by making the tank top version of the pattern, just to check it fitted ok as I was unsure which size to go for (and to practice with the binding) but due to lack of time I had to go straight for the black jersey. Luckily the size I went for was ok, although it is a little loose on the shoulders and armholes, I think because upper body wise, excluding my boobs, I’m probably a size lower than I cut but as I had to allow for the aforementioned boobs I had to go more generous. Good thing I’d gone for the lower of the two sizes I’d been pondering between, the next size up and it’d have been slipping off!

Most of the dress went together easily, although I had problems with the binding (on the neck and arm holes), I am to be honest not that good at binding but inaccuracies with cutting due to having to do it on the bloody patio did not help.

Overall I quite like the dress, this is now my third black jersey maxi dress in my collection, the other two are shop bought. I have a 3/4 sleeve plain black maxi dress, which the kids call my choir / funeral dress, which I wear honestly to more things than just choir concerts and funerals (I actually think of it as my parent consultation dress) and a short sleeved, more gathered black maxi dress, which when I had to take it off one morning this week because Girl Lacer had spotted a stain on the back, Boy Lacer protested “but awww you look pretty!”, awwwww. The kids quite like me in black dresses I think. But whoever said black was slimming, they lie.

So I will wear this dress to the party, probably with a scarf to try and hide some of the evidence of my recent misadventures in the sun, I have a grey with white dots scarf that I think would go quite well. And I’ll wear my black buckled DMs with the extra thick soles as well I think, as they’re some of my favourite shoes. But overall I still wish in a way that I was going to wear something different, I don’t know what though and I think really that feeling is more the mismatch of temporarily having to shed my mummy layers and actually go out with adults, wow!

And long term, as long as that binding holds up, I can see me wearing the dress quite a bit, it’s a bit more casual than the choir / funeral / parent consultation dress and less countrified that my gathered black maxi dress and I can see it going quite well with the cardigans (I am such a mummy) I live in. And I definitely think I’ll be making the pattern again, it has a nice godet variation and I could also see myself adapting the pattern to make a number of just above the knee dresses, I could live in those all summer (including another black one). But due to the space problems with cutting the fabric, if I plan to make this again, I really need to find somewhere where I can go and cut the fabric on a big table, it would make all the difference to the finished dress.


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