Feel Ten Feet Tall in Your Me-Made Maxi Dress


 August Maxi Dresses Subscription Box Theme

Hey there, everybody. It's the ides of another month, which means that there's a brand new theme for our boxes!

Excited? I'm right there with you.

By now, summer is in full swing (or it officially be next Thursday, but who's counting). And, you want to know what I wear all summer? Not shorts, not skirts. I wear maxi dresses. They are the ultimate lazy-girl's clothing. One simple piece makes an outfit (Score!); it offer's great sun-protection for your legs (Hi, I'm super pale); AND, you don't have to shave your legs if you don't want to! (Just me loving that part? It's okay, I'll take it.)

Even without the shaving part, maxi dresses are an awesome piece of clothing to have in your wardrobe. And if you're sewing your own, instead of buying it off the rack, you have total control over the length of the skirt. No more ankles showing or accidental face-plants after tripping over your too long dress!

For the patterns, we have three great options. Three, I say, even though you may notice only two dresses in our photo above. That's because one of the patterns we're using hasn't been released yet. We got a little insider tip of a pattern that's coming to market at the end of June, and we could not pass up the opportunity to use it. So, stay tuned to see the pattern, or live dangerously and lock your box in because, trust us, it's a gorgeous pattern.

So, let me tell you a little more about them!

Lightweight Box: Kielo Wrap Dress from Named Clothing

Kielo Wrap Dress August Maxi Dress Box

I'll admit, when I first saw this pattern, I was not impressed. It's really a testament to fabric choice from pattern designers and how that can influence your interest. Perhaps it was the color, perhaps the sheerness, but I really didn't think it was a great design.

Then Instagram exploded with rave reviews. At least every couple of days, and more during Me Made May, someone was rocking a stunning Kielo dress and gushing about the pattern. So, I made one myself and, I have to say, it is pretty amazing. 

There's utter simplicity in the design, but the finished result looks one of a kind. And it's flattering on so many body types! The fitted top slims your upper body, the wrap helps define your waist and the vague tulip skirt elongates your legs. My dear, we have a winning pattern. 

So let's talk fabric:

Fabric Swatches August Maxi Dress Box Kielo Wrap Dress

  • Buttercup Brussels Washer Linen - Perhaps inspired by Mimi G, I gravitated towards using some yellow for this month's theme. Though I don't wear much yellow myself, I'm always impressed by ladies who rock this lovely color. It's so bright and summery, I feel happier just seeing people in yellow dresses pass me on the street. So when I found this buttercup yellow linen, I couldn't pass it up. With perfect blend of linen and rayon, this fabric is breathable, soft, and drapey. Plus, with the addition of rayon, it wrinkles far less than most linens. Sew a dress perfect for your next picnic or anything else you do to enjoy the summer weather 
  • Midnight Floral Rayon Challis - Florals are everywhere, y'all. And for those of you who love blue, this is the floral for you. A large-scale print made up of different tones of blue, the floral has a vintage china vibe that I'm really digging. And, with 100% rayon, this challis is cool, smooth and wonderfully drapey for this wrap dress. When you sew up a dress in this fabric, you have a great dress for a night on the town or an afternoon at a garden party, if you're the type to garden party.
  • Jet Black Rayon Challis - Rayon challis + black = the world's most versatile maxi dress. A little bit of an exaggeration, yes, but the sentiment remains. A Kielo dress made in this airy, yet opaque challis will go with everything. Dress it up with a statement necklace, dress it down as a pool cover-up, add a little color with contrasting ties (if you have something cool in your stash). Whatever you do, this dress will be a well-worn and well-loved part of your wardrobe.

Medium Weight Box: ???????

Mediumweight Box August Maxi Dress

Ooooooooo! It's a mystery!

Ok, obviously, this the part where I tell you about the pattern, but I can't do that. Yet.

So let me tell you why I chose this pattern. It's a company that we've used before and they have really great drafting and instructions. Plus, the dress is flattering, waist-defining and versatile. Oh, and it has pockets!

And that's about all I can say right now. As I said before, we'll reveal the pattern at the end of June, giving you plenty of time to pick your box before the July 14 deadline. Follow on Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss the big reveal!

Ok, now, fabric time! And these I can actually show you. 

August Maxi Dress Medium Weight Box Southport Dress

  • Light Blue Linen - I think I raved a bunch in the blog about the shorts boxes about the wonders of linen for summer clothes. It's crazy breathable, it gets softer the more you wash it and it's really a joy to sew. So it was a no brainer to use linen in this box. The light blue of this fabric is reminiscent of oxford button-downs and will look really wonderful with the style lines of this pattern. With a little bit more structure than the other two fabric options, this will have the vintage summer dress feel when all sewn up. Just a lovely summer look.
  • Pin Dot Chambray - Smaller than a polka dot, the tiny specks of white on this lightweight chambray sort of disappear the farther away you get. So subtle and so beautiful! With a smooth and and soft drape, this fabric is like your favorite button-up - you know the one that has been washed so many times that the cotton is super soft? Yeah, that's this fabric. Plus, the weave reverse side of the fabric creates an interesting hashmark pattern so you use it as a cool accent if you like.
  • Black Floral Paisley Rayon Poplin - I just made an Odgen Cami out of this fabric (with a different print) and it is amazing to sew. With the smooth, coolness of rayon challis, but the tighter weave and opacity of poplin, it drapes beautifully and feels wonderful against your skin. The pattern of this fabric is so cool, too. You rarely see a dark paisley with such saturated and vibrant accents. And it will make such a lovely dress!

Heavyweight Box: Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns

If you thought Closet Case was just for trouser patterns, you would be wrong. The Charlie Caftan is an all-around stunner of a summer dress. As Closet Case puts it: "Get Caftan Body ready with Charlie, a fresh take on this warm weather staple." Featuring a deep V neckline, kimono sleeves, inset center panel and roomy pockets, this dress is not your grandma's muumuu or your mother's 70s caftan. 

Put on some heels and you have your next favorite going out dress. Put on some sandals and you're ready for a full-day at the park. Put on a bathing suit, and you have the most stylish of beach cover-ups. 

Honestly, you need to make this dress! 

So, here's what I've chosen for you to make it with:

August Maxi Dress Box Heavyweight Charlie Caftan

  • Light Blue Striped Hemp/Cotton - My only association with hemp before sewing was the T-shirt I got at a concert. I never knew the wonderful properties of this sustainable thread. If you don't know, it's three times stronger than cotton, naturally anti-microbial and UV resistant, and it softens with washing, just like linen. Though, it's hard to believe that this fabric could get any softer. It has a smooth hand and soft drape. Oh, and it's opaque, which you rarely get with the same weight of linen. With a variable stripe and a muted blue color, this is the perfect choice, whether you're bohemian or preppy, California Beaches or New England Coastal. 
  • Marigold Double Gauze (with Crochet Lace Trim) -  On a recent trip to Charleston, SC, I fell in love. With a dress. Of a complete stranger crossing the street. As any good sewer knows, that's not an uncommon thing. But I couldn't get the color combo out of my head: a rich yellow-orange with white crochet lace trim. When I found this double gauze, I knew it was fate to use it in this box. Soft and airy, double gauze is like wearing a baby blanket, in a good way. And with the deep saturation, the color is bold yet not brash. With this box, you also get 2 yards of 1" cotton crochet lace to use as you will to accent the neckline or the center panel, or both, it's up to you!
  • Rifle Paper Co Menagerie Rayon Challis - You may have seen a fabric from Rifle Paper Co without even realizing it. They're prints are very popular, and it's easy to understand why. The fabric patterns are complex, vibrant and always one of a kind. Sew up a knock-out dress with this fabric that combines the botanical trend that's been popping up lately with whimsical colors and an almost wallpaper-like repeat. A Charlie Caftan with this fabric will leave everyone you meet speechless!

Well, that's it for this month. Head to the product pages to check out what else is included in the boxes and to see more photos of the fabrics. Then get these boxes before they're gone! They're on sale now through July 14.

Happy Sewing, 

Mary