Ginger Made: Mission Maxi Dress

Hi, guys!  Maybe you’ve noticed the maxi dress fever that’s sweeping the nation, nay, the world, these days.  I have to admit– I’ve been on the fence about them.  There’s a part of me that feels like maxi dresses kinnnnnnnda look like nightgowns.  And the sight of gals running about town with their hems VISIBLY DIRTY totally grosses me out (come on, you guys have got to be with me here!  DIRTY DRESSES.  NO.  JUST NO.).


I had to try it.  So many adorable versions of this pattern popped up on the internets that I couldn’t help myself!  Really, I blame you people– Dibs, Sophie, Kelli, Mimi G… you’ve infected me with the Maxi Dress Virus!  Unfortunately, the virus must be airborne or something, because Gail just posted her brand new maxi yesterday!  It’s a pandemic!

So, without further ado, here’s my Mission Maxi dress!

As you can see, it’s a bit more, erm, revealing than what I usually wear.  Who knew it was possible to feel a little scandalous in an ankle-length dress?!  The neckline’s a tad low for me, but I also used a cheapo, see-through, slinky knit, so it’s very clingy and doesn’t leave much to the imagination figure-wise (oh gah, I sound like a major prude!).  I only spent about $7 on the fabric (sale at Girl Charlee!), so hey, to paraphrase Dolly, at least it didn’t cost much money to look this cheap!

I was going to PhotoShop the bra straps out, but we’re all about journalistic integrity over here, people!  Truth bombs and nothing but truth bombs on this here blog!

I like the sort of racerback-y thing going on with this dress– it’s sporty and cute!  I was surprised that I felt really tall wearing this dress– I always imagined that maxi dresses would overwhelm and dwarf me.  And it’s soooo comfy and cool… kinda like a nightgown.  Oops.  Sorry.

This is my sultry face.

And this is should have been an easy project to sew, if I hadn’t decided that I needed to match up alllll the stripes at the side seams… now THAT was tedious!  The pattern instructions are super clear, it ran true to size, and I didn’t run into any problems at all stitching this up!  Of course, my binding went on a little sloppily, but I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t botch it up just a little bit. But really, it’s simple to put together, and I would definitely recommend it to people who are nervous working with knits.  I don’t have much confidence in my serging abilities just yet, so I zigzagged everything on my regular machine and then went over the seams with the serger (hey, that thing has a knife!  Mistakes are permanent!) and I didn’t have any problems at all (and I don’t have a walking foot, so I just used a regular foot and a ball-point needle).  So if you don’t have a serger, but you’re want to try this one, go for it!  You can do it!

Man Friend: “I’m saving this picture so you know what you look like when you’re whining.”

So what do you guys think?  Maxi dresses– yea or nay?  I’m curious to hear your opinions!  I think I may have just joined the pro-maxi dress camp, but only time will tell.  I don’t think I’ll be wearing this one to work anytime soon, but maybe there’s another one of these puppies in the cards for me…

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109 responses to “Ginger Made: Mission Maxi Dress

  1. I love the maxi dress look–and this looks sporty and seductive at the same time. It’s sort of amazing how something so long can look rather revealing too.

  2. It looks very comfortable! And not like a nightgown at all. I’ve had a thing for long skirts for some time now, so I’m personally in the camp of liking maxi-dresses. But then, my last FO was a maxi-dress!

    • I really liked your last maxi– it’s sort of the best of both worlds, since it’s flowy and summery, but it has a waistline, so it’s not completely drapey and shapeless.

  3. must..make..maxi..dress (with arms stretched out, glazed over stare, heading for my sewing machine) I love the maxi look. I too was like you at first, on the fence. Like how yours has the racer back. Don’t you just love Girl Charlee!?! I just got a huge box from there the other day and I have a similar fabric to yours except mine is a dark pink. Can’t beat $3 a yard!! Your dress looks awesome!!

    • Oh, girl, you would look FAB in a maxi dress! You’ve got the figure for it! I went a little crazy during the Girl Charlee sale– how can you say no to hot pink zebra print when it’s $3/yard?!

  4. Truth bomb: Gurl, you look hot and you made me actually laugh out loud. High five!

  5. Amy

    Awesome. That pattern has been making the rounds. Yours looks gorgeous on you. Hot, hot, hot. Even with a whiny face. But, if the low-cut neckline ends up making you pass this dress over time and time again, could you shorten the shoulder seam to bring it up? It might throw off the curves, but knit also might be fairly forgiving as long as things are in the right ballpark.

    • I could totally bring up the shoulders a bit– that’s a good idea! I would love to try a woven maxi dress like your AMAZING Paint Me a Maxi, but I have a feeling I’m not man enough to deal with the bias-cut situation!

  6. Great dress – with knits I’m always looking for something that hugs rather than clings and this certainly fits that bill. You look fantastic!
    And you are right about the maxi being contagious – I’m posting mine tomorrow!

  7. This maxi dress–yea!!! It looks so wonderful on you!! I really like the fabric you used, and the cut–oolala! I’m totally with you on the dirty hem part though, hehe ;) I personally like maxi dresses for the comfort factor, and I think they look wonderful on other people. I haven’t worn one in a while though because they aren’t very forgiving around the tummy… When I find a pattern with the right tucks and folds to flatter my mid-section, I’ll be back on the bandwagon!! Great dress Ginger :)

    • What about lengthening a dress pattern that you like? Kerry from Kestrel Finds and Makes is using a woven dress pattern that she likes and just lengthening the skirt… maxi without issues!

  8. Jen

    Major Yea! It looks great on you, though I feel your doubts, I have the exact same ones myself. Also even though the neckline might feel a bit scandalous but it totally doesn’t look that way at all!

  9. I like it – the stripes and racer back give the dress a nice sporty look. I have been looking at other people in maxi dresses recently. I think they can look great and really cool and comfy in hot weather. But, I don’t think it’s practical for me at the moment as I am still nursing baby RG – can you imagine how much fabric I would have to hoick up to feed her? BUT I have almost finished a maxi skirt refashion.

  10. Maxi dresses yea!!! It looks great! Effortless and comfortable, while super chic too! I think it fits you really nicely. I want one now!

    • Do it! This is so easy that it’s not a huge investment of time if you end up not liking it (and you could totally chop it in half and make a tank and a skirt if you don’t dig it).

  11. It looks great on you, I fear that I’d look short and round in one, but you can definitely pull it off!

  12. Awesome stripe matching there girl!! Looks so professional – not sure I can see any binding issues. The style looks really modern & flattering on you- you really do look super chic but I know what you mean about dirty hemlines -euch! I think it’s great seeing this dress doing the rounds , becasue like you, I have been on the maxi fence. I also feel as if they are a tall girl’s clothes, but the more I see, the slightly more convinved I am to cut out my border print skirt….I think the secret of maxi dresses/ skirts is in the proportion/lines so this mission maxi has that sussed – looking hot in your non-nightgown Ginger!

    • It’s totally a flattering cut– it seems like RTW maxi dresses are sometimes super rectangular (who does that look good on?!), while this pattern has some waist definition. You could totally rock this, and a border print would be amazing!

  13. You look so tall and slender and lovely! I avoid long skirts, I have short legs and a short torso and just prefer to show off my calves; I quite like my calves. But there is a quiet voice that occaisionally whispers in my head “Juuuuulieeet, you should try on that maxiiii dress” – just like that, FYI – and then calf loving Juliet shuts the voice up! Oh my, I sound like a psycho.

    PS – how did the move go??

    • Try it! I bet you would look gorgeous! I sort of half expected to look super frumpy, but it’s sort of a graceful look.

      Thanks for asking– the move went well! We’ve got everything moved in, so now we’re unpacking… and unpacking… and unpacking. Ugh! We’re really looking forward to getting everything put away!

  14. Well I love yours!! You look like you’re ready for summer: listen to some music w/ a cold drink in your hand. ;)

  15. Nice!!! What a fun fabric. I’m such a sucker for stripes.

  16. Fabulous! You look like an ad for perfect weather! You shapely thing,you!

  17. Even though I’m short, I love maxi dresses and I’ve been thinking about this pattern for a while now! Your version is really lovely and you’ve done such a professional job! This style suits you so well as you’re so slim and gorgeous. I’d like to try it for myself, though I’m a little nervous that it may cling to places I wouldn’t want it to…!

    • I bet you would look lovely! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but I should have just made a woven maxi dress (I think Amy at Sew Well used V8182). That probably would have been a lot more flattering! Maybe you can try one!

  18. oowee – that’s summer in a dress! Looks great on you – and the colour is so pretty! (Hat’s off to you for the stripe matching!)

    I am definitely on the fence re maxi dresses. I love how they look on others, but they’re not for me – too much like a nightgown and even though they go down to the ankle, the ones I’ve tried make me feel quite naked!

  19. Hah – have just finished making one – it must be in the air! I love yours – it’s super-slinky and very flattering in all the right places. I’m not sure how tall you are but it doesn’t dwarf you at all. Mine also makes me feel taller (I’m 5 ft 2) which is weird – I wonder is it just because store-bought maxis are totally made for tall people? I’ve never liked a ready-made maxi I’ve tried on before!

  20. You look gorgeous, girl! I love the back. Way cute. I think I’m going to be the lone holdout on this maxi dress thing, but it’s getting harder to fight every day, especially after seeing divine creations like yours. Some of my fabric is yelling at me coz it wants be a maxi. Enjoy yours!!

  21. It looks amazing! I was on the fence about maxi’s at first but I’ve grown to like them. I just make sure that I have no VPL’s while wearing one, even if that means wearing a knit slip underneath. If VPL’s appear, maxi’s are definitely a NO NO!

  22. You look amazing in this dress, just like I knew you would! And you articulated a lot of the things I didn’t have room for in my post because I spent so much text whining about my fabric: the nightgownishness, the dirty hem, the incongruity of a long dress being sexy . . . I could go on!

    I think this fabric doesn’t look as sheer or clingy as you feel it does – at least in the photos. You should definitely make more of these, this style really suits you!

  23. You look amazing! The thing that convinced me on the maxi dress was this situation: You know when the dogs want to walk at some ungodly time of the morning or night….pull out the maxi dress! Its the perfect I’m still dressed but not solution for me.

    • I know EXACTLY what you mean– crazy dogs! Why do they always want to go out at the most inconvenient times?! I also love that there’s no need to shave your legs– score!

  24. Looks great on you and not too revealing at all! Kudos for matching up all the stripes :-)

  25. It’s super cute! I know what you mean about how *revealing* a floor-length knit dress can feel, though. But it’s so comfy!

  26. I love maxi dresses & skirts! They are surprisingly cool in hot weather and I just love feeling like a Stevie Nicks while I tramp around the back yard hehe. Yours is really great; looks so comfy yet polished :D

  27. I LOVE that dress. Great job. I’m very jealous of your skills. That looks comfy and gorgeous and summery all at the same time. Nice work.

    • You could totally make one of these– it’s way, way, easier (and about a million times faster) than knitting lace! It would be perfect for your sticky southern summers!

  28. First off, I just have to say that your figure is amazing and you are definitely rocking the maxi dress style!

    That being said, they’re just not for me. Being petite and curvy, it’s really not a style flattering to my body. So, I’ll leave this one to the gals that can rock it and stick to my shirtdresses and gathered skirts. ;)

    • Thanks, lady! You’re too kind! Half the battle of sewing is knowing what you look good in AND what you feel comfortable in and not sewing things that you don’t! Slowly learning this lesson by trial and error!

  29. Jenny

    Okay–you may have just convinced me to give maxi dresses a try. I, too, felt like I might be swallowed up by all that fabric. But, it looks so breezy and comfy!

  30. Wow lovely dress. The colour and fabric are fabulous and the back is gorgeous. I’m with you on maxi dresses. I bought a lovely one about 2 years ago. I wouldn’t wear it out – I have a funny thing about dirty hems – whether an imaginary problem or not! I would only wear it to a cocktail party in my living room – so far that hasn’t happened! Still a lovely dress though and I pull it out to try on now and again as you do!

    • Dirty hems are disgusting! I hate to even imagine what’s on the ground in NYC– pretty sure every square inch of every sidewalk has been peed on by someone or something at some point in time! Gross! I don’t blame you for only wanting to wear it inside! :D

  31. The time you spent matching stripes totally paid off! Your dress looks great. I also feel naked in maxi dresses somehow but I always admire how they look on everybody else! My sis/co-blogger loves them so we might make one for her.

    • It’s a great pattern if you like the look– so simple to put together! And I couldn’t believe I could make it with only 2 yards of fabric… I was sure it was going to take about 4!

  32. It looks awesome!! I don’t think you look “revealed” at all. I feel like a huge prude myself since I’m just this summer getting into bare shoulders and hem lengths above my knees! I think I’m going to have to jump on this band wagon :) Way cute!!

    • You would look SOOOOO cute in this! I have to say, I spent many years wearing really short skirts (what can I say, miniskirts are the uniform for college girls in southern California), so I was always comfortable baring my legs and shoulders, but I NEVER wore anything clingy or snug. Isn’t it funny the way we all have different barometers for what we’re comfortable in?

  33. You know what my answer would be right? Maxi dresses to infinity…I love how you matched your stripes. My next mission maxi is going to be black and gold stripes. The reason why I have not made it yet, is because I am too lazy to do all the work that will ensure perfectly matched stripes.

    • Ooh! Black and gold stripes sound amazing! And you’re definitely the person who kicked me into overdrive with this dress– I saw your two versions and had immediate dress lust!!

  34. It looks awesome. I love that pattern so much. And your fabric is awesome. I want to make a short sleeved version and a knee length version of the dress. (this is after i have already made the original twice)

  35. misscrayolacreepy

    Sooooooo cute on you! I want to make one for my sis!

  36. This dress looks so great on you, not at all dirty nightgown! I fell for the maxi trend despite being 5’3, but I say rock it out!

  37. A definite “yea”. They look great.

  38. Oh!! I love it!! My favorite thing about a maxi is how you can feel sort of slinky and sexy, but still remain mostly covered up.

  39. Jo

    Hahaha at your “whiny” face. But this looks really great! I love the stripes! And you could easily just redraw the neckline a little higher if you wanted :)
    I can’t imagine what a pain matching all those stripes was, lol! But it looks so fantastic, great job :)

    • I’ve got to invest in a tripod and start using the self-timer on my camera! Man Friend loves to fire off about 12 shots in 20 seconds and laugh to himself saying something like, “Your face looks so funny in this one!”. Or maybe I should start tipping my photographer to get better service! :)

  40. I’ve always had a bias towards short skirts and dresses (okay, that’s not true either, I wore pants non-stop for the first 18 years of my life or so), maybe because I once read that they make you seem taller than you really are (according to Google I’m approx. 5’3″). I also feel like my legs look slimmer in shorter skirts, but of course no one even sees my legs in a maxi.

    I don’t think the lower neckline is all that scandalous, but then again, people (read: my mother) think the skirts *I* wear are scandalous, so maybe you shouldn’t take my advice :p You look great in this dress, really!

    • I love your cute short skirts! I’ve always liked your style! But I bet you would look adorable in a maxi dress. Maybe try one out and see how you feel! At the very least, it’s great for a day when you just can’t bring yourself to shave your legs. :)

  41. I love your version! Fabric looks lovely and not at all cheap from here. Suits you so well, I bet you’ll wear it heaps!

  42. Nah not a nightgown, a cool maxi. I think boho when I see maxi’s. I would only think nightgown if the maxi is shapeless.

  43. I found a beautiful black & white stripe knit at the thrift store I’ve been meaning to maxi out (too many projects on the go simultaneously is bad news) and your version here is just reminding me to get on it already. I love this on you – it’s super flattering and does make you look tall! Perfect comfy summer dress (but a pain in the ass to ride a bike in if past experience is any indication). Cindy at Cation Designs just did a super cute one shoulder version as well….

  44. I think it looks stellar, Ginger! This is making me really, really curious even though I a) have nearly-zero sewing skills and b) already have several (several year long, at this point) projects lined up for my nearly-zero sewing skills.
    Just because the shape is so nice, I’m also really drawn to the idea of a knee-length version. It’d be so amazing to have 500 of these little things floating around to teach in all day: talk about comfort! Anyway, I’m beyond intrigued and have almost entered the maxi land of no return…

  45. love maxi dresses. want to make this. or steal it. it could save me time and money. but i don’t know where you live (yet).

    • You’ll have to get past my attack pugs! Oh gah, the crazy dog lady jokes… I want to stop them but I can’t! But yeah, maxis are a great shape on you– I love your maxi and midi skirts!

  46. I think it looks terrific – love that colour on you!

  47. Bridgette

    Wow, I really love that! Great color on you and so lengthening! I love maxi dresses, by the way. Doesn’t get much more comfy.

  48. Sam

    I love maxi dresses, and yours looks great. I love your comment about feeling tall wearing it. I’m quite a shorty and I always feel tall in a maxi dress – perhaps that’s why I love them!

  49. You look fantastic!!! Love it, I really like the stripes. Scandalous in a maxi? You had me laughing out loud. Coooool blog. I’ll be back. ;)

  50. This dress is super cute ;) Personally, I don’t like when maxi dresses are too long, something like an ankle length or even 2-3cm shorter. I love how versatile a maxi can be: from sporty to scandalous :)))) I also like how easily you can dress it up or down. Maxi celebration!!!

    • Ankle length is perfect! That way it’s not dragging on the ground. Eww! And you’re right– you can totally dress them up or down! I’ve actually been wearing mine quite a bit!

  51. Lovely! I must try this pattern when summer arrives again. I failed the maxi last year… Love the Dolly reference!

  52. Dolly would approve! Killer stripe matching, and you look killer. The length balances out the deep neckline, too. I am forever on the fence with maxis. Actually, before I’d seen so many fab versions (yours included), I was adamantly against them. Is it hive mind that is pushing me over? As long as peeps don’t start wearing them with tees and chunky shoes again!

  53. LOVE the maxi. You cut it perfectly which I imagine is hard to do with such a long dress, stripes plus knit. It looks great on you too!

  54. Pingback: Mission Maxi dress

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