To maxi or not to maxi?

Hi folks, I’m in a real dilemma here.   I have so far avoided the march of the maxi dress/ skirt since I love it on others it really hasn’t been something I thought was really “me”.  But when in the Fancy Silk Store next to the Birmingham Rag Market I saw this border print.

It spoke “maxi skirt” to me.  Now my first mistake was thinking that I could get away with one metre.  Ha ha – luckily I computed in the store that with border prints (if you want the border horizontally on your garment) the fabric can only be used with the width as your length, therefore buying a metre to encapsulate my hips was going to be a joke, so I therefore ended up with a one metre piece and a half metre piece.  Piecing this together in an acceptable way involved thought.  More thought then went into the style of maxi skirt – I wanted to avoid the pouffy gathered or pleated waist & when I saw Butterick 5756 in a promotion I snapped it up.

Now to be clear – I did not have enough fabric to make the flowing version depicted as view D, but used the yoke.   This pattern also is lined, but that was too fancy for my designs, so left that out too.  If I was as savvy as Karen I could have made my own yoke pattern, but I also fancied the pleated skirt too & being in a lazy place succumbed to the easy life.

So despite the ultra boring yawn making rainy summer we are having, I am on holiday & very unpractically decided to say “to the h*ll with it, I’m making myself a summery skirt” & set about whipping this one up for my forthcoming trip to Cornwall.  I romantically envisioned wearing it with barefoot & swishing around in the surf with it soaked & sandy.  It was a skirt I wanted to make in a day also, but unfortunately I have become hooked on the synchronised swimming on the Olympics & when watching so intently as I was, it became very unproductive sewing time! But I managed it – just about- in an afternoon.   I joined the two pieces together just about matching the pattern, which unfortunately will fall in the front of this skirt – but it is acceptable to me.

Despite it being a border print I hemmed it also to lend it a bit of weight.  If I’d wanted to capitalise on a selvedge hem I’d have had to cut the skirt piece the right length at the beginning which I would have probably got wrong!  As you will see I have not quite finished it so it is another NRFO- I need to stitch the yoke facing down.  You see I have not decided if it is something I will wear.  All the pics have been taken in this state of NRFO in case I change my mind.

Unsewn facing & lapped zipper

Now if I did change my mind I could see adapting (well actually starting again) to make a sundress with a similar shape as Simplicity 2250, spaghetti straps & a gathered skirt.  Now I don’t think I’d have enough fabric for S 2250 as the bodice is wrapped / pleated gorgeously – & has been deliciously made recently by Paunnet.

So you see, I am not sure.  Will I actually wear it?  It feels like I have raided the dressing up box.  I feel too short?  In reality when the sun shines I like having my legs out & maximum opportunity for suntanning.  In reality might this be the kind of skirt that keeps me warm in slightly cool evenings …perhaps with a jacket ….I don’t know.

What do you think peoples?  I know maxi is “on trend”, but I am way past being in with the in crowd.

43 thoughts on “To maxi or not to maxi?

  1. Lizzy

    It’s a gorgeous skirt but if you ain’t comfortable in your own skin you probably never will be confident in it. It’s such lovely fabric either get comfy or find something else to create with it.
    I have a maxi skirt, just one and I adore it. Its plain orange cotton and I wear it with white singlets in summer and black long sleeves in winter. Even though it’s so LOUD orange (and I feel like a safety sign), it’s simplicity means I don’t feel swamped I think that’s the key.

    Reply
  2. Sew Little Time

    I really like it – no idea how tall you are but I don’t think it makes you look short! But as Lizzy says, it’s too nice a print to keep it if you don’t think you will love wearing it – turn it into something you will love!

    Reply
  3. LinB

    Poppies! Yay! I can totally picture you romping in the surf wearing this skirt … there’s a horse in the picture … and Gary (wait, is that just Gary in a horse costume?) Proportions seem fine on you, but you may want to wear this skirt around the house for a day, to find out how hard it is to negotiate things like stairs and ankle-rubbing pets. Remember that a leading cause of death for women — for thousands of years — was catching one’s long skirt on fire at the hearth and burning to death. Also remember that long skirts work just as well as long pants to hide the shame of unshaven legs.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      What a great memory you have and thank you for the huge laugh your comment prompted!!! I can totally understand the potential lethal qualities maxi length skirts offer….negotiating stairs requires more thought, and I shall have to make surre I keep away from open fires!! Thank you Lin :)

      Reply
  4. snippa

    It looks great on you but I feel just the same about maxis. I feel so short – ok, I am short. I’ve not succumbed yet but who knows?

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Indeed, who knows…the temptation could come from an unexpected source….there was I, resisting, until this fabric came along. I am in “maxi trials” I have decided…..

      Reply
  5. tamsinwp

    Hi Winnie, I think it looks fab in the last picture, but you have to be comfortable in what you wear. Having done the maxi skirt thing when I was a student, I’m not sure I want to go back there again! Lovely fabric!

    Reply
  6. Evie

    I’m 5ft 7 and even I feel short in a maxi. That said I’ve just bought my first one and love it. I like this pattern because there’s not too much poof at the waist, so I think it works very well for you. And the fabric is gorgeous.

    Reply
  7. Sam

    This looks lovely on you. Doesn’t make you look short at all (mind you, I’ve no idea how tall you are!)

    I’m a bit of a shorty myself, and strangely I always feel taller in maxi dresses, but shorter in maxi skirts! Not sure quite how that works!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Sam, I shall see how it goes…I’ve already worn it one day and that even involved a couple of outings in public…I’m embracing the trial to see how useful and equally how comfy it feels

      Reply
  8. allison

    I’ll join the party and say at 5’9 I sometimes feel short in them too. I vote for the sundress, it seems like a more scrufftastical outfit that you’ll got a lot more use out of.

    Reply
  9. Kerry

    I don’t think it makes you look short – you look well proportioned in your pictures!
    As others have said, wear it around the house a bit and see how you feel. I’m not one to talk though – I’m saving the maxi I made for my holiday as, as much as I like it, it’s not my normal style (not to mention a little sheer) but I won’t have a problem swanning about in it on holiday.

    Reply
  10. SuzySewing

    I’ve been thinking of making a maxi skirt with the whole purpose of wearing it to work on hot days (I’m too self aware of flashing my leg tattoos in my “semi-posh and proper” work environment) but just haven’t got to it. I also don’t know if I think like maxi skirts . I used to wear them a lot when younger but now I just don’t know.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I can see there are some ‘I don’t knows’ about maxi skirts, so it’s not just me…..there is something potentially very practical bout them, as you say, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will feel comfy in them…

      Reply
  11. Roobeedoo

    It’s a lovely print! But I am just not sure about the yoke plus all that length. What does it look like if you hoist the yoke up so that it is a bodice? You could sling some shaping darts in and a couple of straps and – woo hoo! – you’ve got a sundress…?
    Or do what the others said and just wear it a few times to see how it feels.
    I used to have a very long skirt with an elasticated waist which was the most stunning print, but I kept standing on the hem and exposing my underwear to the world when I got up from a chair, as it just slid down over my hips. Very embarrassing!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I am intrigued by your suggestion roo, and no doubt will be ‘dressing up’ even more in it…only in front of the mirror to see what other options are, not I hasten to add with oversized shoes and mismatched glitzy handbags!

      Reply
  12. Sarah

    I love it. Couple of ideas if you’re not sure:

    Shorten it – I would struggle with a skirt that long and undoubtedly stand on it and rip it

    Take the yoke off, and use it and any spare fabric to add a larger diameter smocked section (I.e rows and rows of shirred elastic) – then you can wear it as a strapless dress or a maxi skirt.

    Reply
      1. Sarah Dale

        Had a RTW skirt / dress like that – albeit made from one piece of fabric. Top 6 to 8 inches done with shirring as though ready to smock. Belt loops, fabric narrow tube ties to be used as belt or halter neck About floor length worn as a skirt, mid thigh worn as a dress. I bought two, two sizes to large and wore them through the last 5 months of my second pregnancy – worked a treat :)

        Might be an easy mod to do to your maxi skirt if you don’t like it’s present incarnation – and gives lots of versatility – and copes with that annoying evening stomach bloating I suffer from!

        Reply
  13. Debbie

    I like it, FAB BORDER PRINT, (oops, accidental caps lock) but I recognise your doubts about it. I think the sundress would definitely have more ooomph and be more “you”. I have a half finished maxi skirt here which I made partly because I wanted to cover my legs up from the sun.:)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I like caps lock accidental effects!! I am super torn now, even more so than before, in my heart of hearts I know it would make the sweetest sundress but saying that, how much would it get worn? If I become happy with a maxi it will probably be more of a practical choice….so, August will tell me if I am a happy maxi wearer or a self conscious hem tripping one!

      Reply
  14. Nikki

    I love it! I am only 5’2 but I love maxi skirts and dresses, when I’m vintage/retro pattern hunting I am always drawn towards 1970′s maxi styles over everything else – I have loads of them! I think this looks great on you, but if you don’t feel good in it you will probably rarely/ never wear it.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks nikki…there is definitely a maxi wearing community that even contains shorter people! That makes it all about how it feels to wear it ( sort of same as anything really, isn’t it!)

      Reply
  15. Christine

    I agree that the only way to know is to try it out – avoiding open fires and affectionate cats, etc. I personally love longer skirts (though not quite that long) and find them extremely comfortable. And if you don’t like wearing that length, the sundress idea is a very good one.

    Your seam is a marvel of matching, by the way!

    Reply
  16. sigrid

    I think the maxi is very appealing, but you will never know if it is for you until you try to wear it. i can imagine it as an a very Scruffy Badger sun dress.

    Reply
  17. Dorothy

    When I was about 13 I had a Viyella paisley elastic waist maxi skirt with a ruffle at the hem that my Mum made me, that I would wear to go to dances in. I always felt very glamorous in it. Hmm, might be time to sew something similar. Too sad you can’t buy Viyella yardage any more – it was so comfortable to wear, and took dyes beautifully.

    Reply

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