One thing that you should know about me is that I love a good maxi dress in summer, despite being a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl whenever it is cooler out (which lets face it, in England is rather often). The main reason for this is that I have a couple of medical issues with my legs that I prefer to hide but I'm forced to confront every time it warms up. I suffer from a condition called lipoedema in my calves in particular, and although I could have this treated with liposuction, it would aggravate my other conditions which is a combination of thread veins and varicose veins. My legs have been like this since my teens and it doesn't matter whether I lose or gain weight, they stay the same.
Annoyingly, I exercise regularly and am only slightly overweight at the moment (usually I'm a healthy weight but the house move threw me for a few months last year!), but lipoedema doesn't go away with diet or exercise. I'm incredibly lucky that its only one small area and I'm virtually pain free with it (a lot of sufferers aren't), but it does affect my self confidence when my legs are on show. So, I sew a lot of midi and maxi dresses, wear tights if its cooler and leggings when its warmer. I'm working on the "stuff other people's opinions, I don't care" attitude but it's hard to when people stare. At 178cm tall when the average height for a woman is 168cm in this country, I stand out in a crowd generally so I should be used to the side glances and double takes.
But this is a reason to sew! I can make dresses that finish below the areas that I don't like and I can make everything fit right for my height and curves so I'm the best representation of myself that I can be. Because Sewing Makes You Love Yourself!
On to the Maxis then.
My favourite hacks of dresses into Maxis are these:
- Colette Myrtle, like this one by @giddy (made with love) which can be found here.
- The Made by Rae Washi which Rae has included a tutorial for over on her blog. There's also a boatneck version of it on there which after the Royal Wedding yesterday, I can see becoming a big thing this year!
- Colette Moneta. I've seen quite a few maxi Monetas and its on my to do list for the year as part of my #everydayeverymonth challenge. I love the version by Atia of The Bright Blooms which shows how some Maxis are Hijab friendly too! Here's one made by Jenny of Cashmerette.
- Cashmerette Appleton is another that I love. I'm right on the lower edge of the sizing for Cashmerette Patterns but as they have a range of cup sizes, the Appleton is great as I just grade down an approximate couple of sizes at the waist. This one is from the Well Sewn Style blog.
- Tilly and the Buttons Bettine. I've got one of these hacked now but I've no decent pictures of it and it clings in the wrong places at the moment (no fault of the dress, I just gained a stone in weight since I made it...). As with all the TATB patterns, they're nice and easy to follow and the clean lines make them nice and easy to hack into maxis or midis. I've seen some decent Miette and Coco hacks and I'm making a midi Cleo at the minute (I'll blog that in a few days). Here's one from the Fold Line Reviews website.
So, who's up for a maxi hack? Any more you can recommend?