Maxi Sewalong-My Dress (By Hand London-Orsola Dress)

Maxi Sewalong-My Dress (By Hand London-Orsola Dress)

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but #maxisewalong2017 wraps up tomorrow!!! Get your makes in by noon Eastern time for a chance to win a pattern from By Hand London or a $50 gift card from LA Finch Fabrics. Speaking of those lovely folks, let’s talk about my dress…

I took these early in the morning, pardon the puffy face.

As I mentioned last week, I opted to use the Orsola dress pattern (lengthened) and some very lovely rayon from LA Finch Fabrics. I toyed with the idea of changing up the skirt portion, to kind of of give it a similar shape to last year’s maxi, but opted to keep the original shape. I’ve been sewing a lot of 70’s style wrap dresses recently (you’ll see those soon), so I kinda wanted to switch it up with a more modern look.

To get a maxi length, I added 23″ inches to the skirt portion. There are no guidelines for where to lengthen the Orsola, so use your best judgement. Anywhere between the notches and where the skirt curves should be fine I’d think? It was a bit difficult to measure myself for this, admittedly the skirt is a bit too long. I have on heels in these photos but it still needs to taken in a bit. I also opted to skip the skirt facing, purely out of laziness. Let me tell you, BHL put a skirt facing in this pattern for a reason. Getting this hem to lay flat was a BITCH, and in some places, it really doesn’t even do it. Whatever dude. I also opted to skip the stay stitching on the bodice, à la Elisalex, to give the back a bit more drape and flow. Thanks for the inspiration, lady!

My favorite part

I used two different rayons for this, a solid black rayon challis and a lovely rayon voile. I love love love these! The challis has a bit more structure and it isn’t quite as drapey or silky. While the voile has more drape and feels heavenly, it frays like crazy. The challis also presses a bit better than the voile. Both are lovely, luckily I have enough left over to make tops from each!

I really enjoyed this make, and of course, this sewalong. I really hope you’re all enjoying it too! Check out Instagram tomorrow around 3:00pm Eastern time, I’ll be doing a live drawing for winners. As a last reminder, submissions are due tomorrow, July 27th, at noon Eastern time. You can submit your makes by using the tag #maxisewalong2017 on IG, posting in the Facebook group, or e-mailing me directly. As a note, if I haven’t liked or commented on your maxi posts on social media, I haven’t seen it! Please make sure your account is public, and feel free to tag me, sewnbyashley. Happy sewing 🙂

Maxi Sewalong-My Picks

Maxi Sewalong-My Picks


We’re just 8 days away from the end of our sewalong!  I’m blown away by the submissions so far, you guys have some serious skills.  Last week we went over somefabric ideas, and the week before, pattern ideas. This week, I felt like it was time to finally talk about what I’m making, along with some options that were so nearly chosen. First off, pattern…

Surprise surprise, it’s from By Hand London. It may seem bias because they are fabulously sponsoring us, but if you follow my posts at all, you’ll notice the bias is nothing new. Orsola fits in so beautifully with my summer wrap dress obsession, it was really a no brainer. That said, Orsola does not come drafted as a maxi length dress. I will be lengthening the skirt, and maybe altering the shape a bit à la last year’s maxi. But then again, maybe not. I do think Orsola has a beautiful skirt shape, there’s something more “grown up” about it to me. What do you guys think? I have 8 yards of fabric, so definitely enough to do whatever! Speaking of fabric…

I opted to use two fabrics from LA Finch Fabrics, another fantastic sponsor. I had a really hard to choosing fabrics and resisting my natural urge to wear all black. As a compromise, I decided to do the bodice in a very nice black rayon challis and the skirt in the lovely rayon viole pictured above, which appears to be unavailable at the moment. Blargh! When I told you guys I was obsessed with rayon, I wasn’t lying!\.

Originally, I’d planned to do the Anna dress in the black rayon challis I mentioned above, with some neckline embroidery. Being totally honest, I decided against Anna because I was afraid of embroidering rayon. I’ve not done much of it, and I just don’t quite have the balls yet. I also toyed with the idea of doing Anna in a print, such as…

This blue rayon challis. I love the print and the geometric design, but in the end, blue + geometric was just too far out of my comfort zone. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit!

To see everyone’s makes so far, check out our Facebook group or Instagram, I’ll be sharing your makes all through out the sew along. #maxisewalong2017 wraps up July 27th 12:00pm eastern time, so get your submission in before then for a chance to win a prize from Finch Fabrics or By Hand London!! Stay tuned for the live prize drawing next week! Happy sewing 🙂

Maxi Sewalong-Fabric Ideas

Maxi Sewalong-Fabric Ideas

How are you maxi dresses coming along? We’ve already had a few submissions, and they are stunners! You ladies are a talented bunch! For those of you that haven’t begun your dresses yet, have no fear. Last week, we talked about pattern ideas. This week, I want to go over a few fabric ideas for those patterns. Half the battle and all, you know?

For starters, lets talk about my latest obsession, rayon…

Rayon challis is my very special favorite right now. Rayon is a natural fabric and as such it breathes, which means so much during the summer heat! Challis has a nice “wobble” and just flows beautifully. This fabric is from our lovely sponsor, LA Finch Fabrics. Charlie Caftan, anyone?

You could also choose something with a bit of stretch, and still be in the rayon category. This crepe, also from LA Finch Fabrics, has 1% spandex, giving you that little bit of wiggle if you’re nervous about fit! Could totally see an Anna Dress in this print!

Not all crepe has stretch, though, so make sure you look for that. The fabric pictured above has no stretch, but OMG THAT PRINT! I sooooo want to see Vogue 9253 in this one!

The last rayon I want to talk about is rayon voile. Super soft and flowy, voile would be perfect for 7119.

Another favorite fabric of mine is cotton lawn. This lawn is from Robert Kaufman and also available at LA Finch Fabrics. I’ve made the Lonsdale out of lawn in the past, and I have to say, it’s one of my most worn garments.

Last year I made Simplicity 7484 out of linen, and it was just perfect. This organic cotton has a similar hand would be just stunning.

Polyester crepe is less favored with me, but oh my look at that print!!! While I don’t find polyester to be as breathable, crepe is still very floaty and airy. Linens, cotton poplin, and tencel (among others) would all also be great options. If knit options are more your bag, Amy at That’s Sew Amy will be sharing some knit inspiration with you later today!

For more inspiration, check out our Facebook group or Instagram, I’ll be sharing your makes all through out the sew along. #maxisewalong2017 wraps up July 27th 12:00pm eastern time, so get your submission in before then for a chance to win a prize from Finch Fabrics or By Hand London!! Stay tuned, next week I’ll be talking about my fabric and pattern choices. Happy sewing 🙂

Maxi Sewalong-Pattern Ideas

Maxi Sewalong-Pattern Ideas

I am so excited to see your maxis already rolling in! You guys are killing it. For those of you who haven’t selected a pattern yet, no worries. I’ve got some great woven ideas for ya! If knits are more your thing, head on over to That’s Sew Amy for some inspiration. Enough chatter, let’s get to the patterns…

The Anna Dress from our lovely sponsor, By Hand London is an obvious choice. This pattern is mega popular with sewists of varying body types, so you know it would look great on you. Also, I would LOVE to see a sheer version of this. Seriously. Make one so I don’t have to 😉

I had to include the Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns because it’s a stunner and I need one. Also the styling on this model is just everything.

My love for the Sewaholic Lonsdale is well documented (here and here), but I’ve never made a maxi length version! It’s on my list, perhaps it should be on yours too? The Saltspring , also from Sewaholic, is another great option!

Vogue has some great options this season as well. Pictured above is 9253, but I’d also love to see 9259 as a dress.

Picture is from clarysage

If vintage patterns are more your thing, maybe give Simplicity 7484 A try. I made it for last year’s sewalong and it’s one of my most worn garments! Several Etsy shops carry it, highly recommend!

Speaking of past maxis, McCall’s 7119 is super cute and such an easy sew. I’d definitely recommend this one to a beginner.

If you were stumped before, I hope you’re feeling a bit more inspired now! If deciding on a fabric is holding you up, stay tuned, next week we’ll talk fabric. Don’t forget, the deadline isn’t until July 27th at noon, so you still have plenty of time to stitch up your garment. I have to say, I’m jealous of whoever wins the prize fromFinch Fabrics or By Hand London. I’ll be sharing your makes on Instagram and in the Facebook group throughout the sewalong, so make sure you check there! Happy sewing 🙂

*this post contains affilate links*

2017 Maxi Sewalong is here!

2017 Maxi Sewalong is here!

Amy of That’s Sew Amy and I are super stoked to announce the return of maxi dress sewalong! We’ve got some great sponsors this year, and I can’t wait to reveal my fabric and pattern to you guys! SPEAKING OF SPONSORS THOUGH…

We are mega happy to announce LA Finch Fabrics as a sponsor this year! They’ve kindly offered a $50 gift card to one of drawing winners. How cool is that?? Free fabric is the best fabric, amirite?

The ever lovely ladies at By Hand London are also a sponsor this year. If you know me, you know how much I love their patterns. That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to give away a By Hand London pattern, of the winner’s choosing.

If you’d like to display a badge on your blog, use the above image or imbed using this link. Look for blog posts from Amy and I in the coming weeks, we’ll be posting fabric and pattern inspiration for ya! And of course, reveling our own selections, way stoked about that! Below are some rules and information, please do feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!

What is considered a maxi dress? A dress that falls to the ankles.

Will there be a winner? At the end of the sewalong, I will draw two winners live on my Instagram. No contest or judging, just sheer luck!

Who can participate? Everyone and everyone! You can submit your photos of your dress by using the hashtag #maxsewalong2017 on Instagram, by posting photos to the Facebook group, or you can e-mail me directly. Whatever you feel most comfortable with! If you do a blog post for your maxi, please let Amy or I know, we love to see your makes!  If you share your maxi on social media, please use the hashtag #maxisewalong2017 so I can see it!  Your account will also need to be public, for the same reason.  I can’t enter you in the drawing if I can’t see your submission 🙂

Time frame: The sewalong will run from July 1st to July 27th (my birthday), be sure to send in your picture by noon on July 27, 2017 (EST)!

Why? For the fun of it!  I love seeing all your makes, so much inspiration!

Rules: Dress must be for you. It has to be made within the time frame above. You can use any pattern you wish or draft your own. Adding embellishments to a current maxi dress will not count. The dress can be as formal or casual as you want. You have to submit pictures of your finished dress. I know taking pictures of your self can be uncomfortable, so you definitely don’t have to be wearing the dress in the photos – but it makes it more fun!

Social Media: Use hashtag #maxisewalong2017 on social media to see what everyone else is up to. Post inspiration and progress photos for everyone to see.