Morning komondors, you dreadlocked, mop-impersonating Hungarian hunting dogs. I’ve got my eye on you. Two eyes, as often as I can spare them.

Today is an exciting day in snugbugland. Another reveal!! I feel like this is a cheater reveal, since it’s another maxi dress, but nevertheless, a reveal it is. With some goofy dress up attempts at the end of the post to make up for the fact that I’m currently down to three patterns that I’m making. Over and over and over….

Here it is, ducks mop-dogs. Another Maxi Dress from Kwik Sew (KS 3856)!

This one is ALMOST the same as my first version (the Cabana Dress.) I’d done a 1″ full bust adjustment (FBA) and added about 2″ of length to the bodice for version #1, but I the neckline was a bit gapey and the bodice was CLEARLY large enough without the FBA so when I cut this one I closed up the 1″ gap I’d added to the front bodice pieces. I left the length, though. For unfitted bodice styles like this surplice-kimono concoction, just adding length is a good cheater-FBA! If you’re bigger than a B-cup, you might need a bit of extra fabric to make it over the chest-parts. As anyone who has tried a RTW shirt with an empire seam can attest to.

ANYWAY – this, then, is a size XL straight out of the box, except for the 2″ length added to the front and back bodice pieces. The front bodice piece has a very nice ‘lengthen here’ line – it’s not straight across, which helps the crossed neckline not get wonky when lengthened.

I serged the whole banana, except for gathering stitches and the waistline elastic casing which requires a real, live seam. For that I serged the bodice to the skirt, then stitched them together using a 5/8″ seam allowance. The casing is created by edgestitching the seam allowance down, leaving 2″ unstitched to slide the elastic through.

For the neckline and sleeves I serged the edges to finish them, then used steam a seam to press under 1/2″. After turning and pressing I used the picot setting on my serger to finish the edges with my lovely chartreuse serger thread. You can see from this picture of the neckline my tendency to serge with the cutting blade set to a high width. I HATE loops sticking off the edge, so I always adjust it too high, which causes that little wrinkle in the fabric under the serged stitches (the green ones on the neckline.) The material is slightly wider than the width of the picot stitch.

I added a border to the skirt – this isn’t really part of the pattern, I just cut off the bottom 9″ or so of the skirt pattern piece, then used that to cut the border fabric. I ‘eyeballed’ a half inch or so extra material on the top of the border pieces and the bottom of the skirt pieces. I wish I’d made the skirt a bit longer. I think I wished that after version #1 as well, but forgot. Ah well, it’s probably best I not wear these swishy skirts with heels anyway. That’s a tumble down the stairs just waiting to happen!

I finished the hem with the rolled hem setting – or maybe the picot, I can’t really remember! This is one thing I don’t LOVE about my new serger – the shortest stitch length is 1, and I like my rolled hem stitches to be a bit closer together. Actually, there is a stitch length ‘R’ for the rolled hem, so perhaps those stitches are shorter, but I still think they’re too far apart. It looks fine in real life, but not so fine when photographed on the macro setting! I’ll have to stock up on lots of wooly serger thread to fill in the gaps….

That has to be the picot setting. I just finished the hem and cut it at the same time instead of finishing, turning, pressing and finishing again as I did for the neckline and sleeves.

Some pictures of the dress in action. Not as great as seeing you guys in action! I love seeing pictures of you guys jumping over things – you look like the flying spaghetti monster with  your doggie-dreds flying every which way! I read somewhere that it takes TWELVE HOURS for you guys to dry after getting a bath. I bet you stink to high heaven after a long, cold winter.

This is just a summer dress, right?

As promised, my goofball dress up photos.

Fashion challenge: Stretch a summer maxi dress into a fall wardrobe

Tools: boots, belt, denim jacket, safety pin and expert knot-tying skills

OK you reggae loving herding dogs, here’s the thing. Even though the voile is super thin, it seems like I should be able to wear this dress into coolor months. I mean, it has a long skirt, right? I decided to play with it a bit. First, boots. They make all dresses warmer. I’d likely wearing leggings too, but I took these pictures during our epic heatwave and I couldn’t face leggings.

Now, I HATE the look of super-long dresses and boots. Unless I’m playing pioneer woman on the wagon train. But I thought there might be a way to hike up the skirt a bit in a way to show off some boot and legging. For my first attempt I used a safety pin – in real life, I’d use something cuter, but all of my brooches are way too heavy to attach to a skirt. Maybe a pin on flower sort of thing, if possible to pull off without looking like Blossom?? Anyway, here’s the best photo.

Looking in the mirror, I gave this a thumbs down, but with the pictures I liked it a bit more. I think pinning SOMETHING there would make it look less strange! I think the dress looks awesome with the belt and jacket, though!

For attempt #2 I went back to my early 20’s when I lived in cheap silk skirts I bought at Global Village. I’d wear, like, 3 at once and tie up the upper layers. Like so.

Before I analyze, I just have to say that I REALLY want to call this kirtling a skirt. Doesn’t that sound like what I’m doing? But a kirtle is really nothing like this, though I just remembered that I wanted to make a ren fest dress this year. Am I source of constant surprise or completely predictable? Think I could get Mr. Bug to wear a doublet and fitted hose out of the house??

Now, back to my attmpts. I like this better, partially because it have a tulip shape to the skirt that I like, but mostly because this hiked up the skirt a bit higher (see? my leg-skin is visible??) which eased off my eww-boots-with-long-skirts issue. Look to see me wearing something along these lines, come 50 degree fall days!

The last word (part II) – Kwik Sew 3856/3868, the Green Goddess dress

Main fabric: cotton voile from Tula Pink’s Prince Charming collection (Snail Scallop in Olive, available online)

contrast fabric from Tula Pink’s Prince Charming collection (Box Hexagon in Olive, available online)

pattern: Kwik Sew 3856 (XS – XL), Kwik Sew 3868 (1X – 4X)

notions: thread, 1/2″ Steam-a-Seam 2

time to complete: 20 minutes to cut, 1.5 hour to sew, 10 minutes to hem

likelihood to make another?: I’m PROBABLY done for the season, although I am teaching this as a class in a week or so – perhaps I’ll break down and make this in the aqua colorway as well…

curvy girl score – (this is a word-for-word repeat from the first review!!) 8 The long skirt is fun to wear and is nice and cool while providing coverage. I really like the empire waistline and the kimono sleeves as well. The neckline is trick for a larger bust but is easy to fix right out of the envelope by pairing with a tank or tacking as I did. Kwik Sew gets double gold stars for releasing a woman’s version going up to 4X 


  1. malia says:

    this dress is amazing! I love the cut, and the fabric! Its great!! thanks for sharing!
    malia recently posted..logging outMy Profile

  2. Lynne says:

    Patti, it’s great. Love the knotted version. I’m so excited to make one of my own…finally got the pattern! I’ve so enjoyed your analyses of the finished garments.

  3. Mary says:

    With your rolled hem, try setting the stitch length to R and dropping your differential below 1 in addition to the bulky/wooly nylon in the looper to give you more thread coverage. The dress is just lovely and looks really comfortable, too.
    Mary recently posted..A Quilt for TeacherMy Profile

  4. Debi says:

    LOVE this!! What a fantastic print to turn into a maxi dress!!
    Debi recently posted..Sneaky Peek: Alfred Hitchcock ChallengeMy Profile

  5. Megan says:

    I love the contrasting border! I’m really tall and I can never find maxi dresses that are long enough for me. This is a fantastic idea to make them work for me!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Megan recently posted..Breakfast With ElvisMy Profile

    • I did the first contrast border because I cut exactly what the pattern envelope said to cut, washed the voile, then added 2″ to the bodice length. Oops! I was about 4″ too short on the fabric left for the skirts, and 2″ per skirt means showing off more ankle than I wanted! happy coincidence – i really like the border on the skirt!

  6. Debra says:

    Love the side-seam channel bustling concept! Could you also fudge something similar to a knee-length bubble skirt with a discreet hem channel? Not certain how one would secure this—envisioning a shorter petticoat worn underneath with rigging options. Keep up the good work!

    • That’s a good idea – I did pickups on my maid of honor’s dress last year and it really helps to have the under layer to secure to – otherwise the skirt will warp oddly where the pickup is…

  7. Alessa says:

    Cute dress, I like the look with belt and jacket, although I’m so-so on the boots… :)
    Hehe, I first read Kiwi instead of Kwik. A Kiwi dress would be fun!
    Alessa recently posted..Giveaway Winners & A TreatMy Profile

    • Kiwi dress would have been a better name. Green goddess is sort of too close to green giant, but I just read a book that had a green goddess character. what can I say? I’m into YA fantasy fiction.

      The boots were MAINLY for warmth, but also the belt and jacket are so heavy, I wanted something to balance that out! Sandals or flips would make me feel exposed! I liked better with my BROWN boots, but, alas, I don’t own any brown belts and don’t really like mixing black and brown leathery things!

  8. Laura says:

    I love a floor length skirt or dress with boots! Especially motorcycle boots. I feel like it just toughens up the elegance. I love this green eversomuch.
    Laura recently posted..Park Ramble WrapMy Profile

  9. Clio says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! It definitely works for Autumn!

    LOTR reference?
    Clio recently posted..Next Two Projects: Part 2 or How Fashion Decisions are Made at Casa ClioMy Profile

  10. Debbie Cook says:

    I love the different looks (and the original too)! So creative. :-)
    Debbie Cook recently posted..Wednesday RamblingsMy Profile

  11. two birds says:

    simply gorgeous! i love it…and you know how to rock a maxi dress, so keep making them!
    two birds recently posted..curious birds: it’s about to get personalMy Profile

  12. Tanit-Isis says:

    Ooh, nice! I like it with the belt and jean-jacket for fall. It might be fun to make one with drawstring channels down the side-seams so you could bustle it up at will…

    I made my last maxi dress WAY long and had to hack off about four inches of length to get it to something wearable… which killed me because I love superlong skirts, but lets face it, if I can’t wear it except with four-inch heels, I’m not going to end up ever wearing it, and that would suck.

    Also I think playing with the different looks you can get out of a pattern is just as informative (and fun!) as trying lots of different patterns. That’s my story, anyway… ;)
    Tanit-Isis recently posted..Fitting SerenaMy Profile

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