Sallie Maxi Dress or my first time sewing knits!

Hey you guys, I sewed something out of knit fabric! This is an excellent development as I have a growing stash of knits which I love but I was too scared to sew them for the longest time! It turns out it isn’t that scary! Ta da!


You may wonder why I started with a relatively complex pattern? Because I really wanted a maxi dress, basically. I had pinned a couple of pictures of maxi dresses on my pinterest:

Maxi inspiration 1

Maxi inspiration 2I particularly like the top picture, and will definitely try to make one more of that style one day. I’d been looking out for a good pattern for ages, and then Heather Lou at Closet Case Files released the Sallie Maxi dress and Jumpsuit pattern. I definitely want to make a black jumpsuit, pretty much exactly the same as the one in the pattern photos! I don’t know how much wear I’d get out of it, though, as London hasn’t really had a Summer this year, and I’m not sure how it would look with a sweater on the top!

The same could really be said of the maxi, though. I started making it when it was hot, then it wasn’t hot anymore and I couldn’t be bothered to finish it as I didn’t envisage being able to wear it at all this year. Then it warmed up just enough, so I finished it!


The fabric is one of my many ‘remnants’ from Rolls and Rems at Holloway Road. There must have been 2 1/2 – 3m of this stuff. Not what I’d call a remnant! I can’t remember how much it was, but I fell in love with it instantly. It’s got a nice drape and is quite heavy, but a little see-through.

I made the size 4 and added 4 inches to the hem, which I knew would be more than enough, but I wanted it to skim the floor and by holding up the pattern I could see it would be kind of ankle length. I also only left the slit on one side – I wonder if I should have unpicked the side seam a bit more to make more of a split? It’s enough to walk in, so that’s what’s important.



You can almost see the fact that I underlined the skirt in some of the pictures. The fabric was really too thin to not line as I didn’t fancy everyone being able to see my pants! I thought about trying to line the skirt, but with the pockets and not having made the pattern before, I thought it would hurt my brain too much to work out a lining so I went with underlining instead. This does make it quite heavy, so I felt like I had to keep hoiking it up when I wore it (only once, to the Fashion on the Ration exhibition).


I ended up cutting off 6cm from the bottom, as it did end up too long for me. I then turned up a 1cm hem – I turned it up once instead of twice, mostly out of laziness and a desire to finish it!

The only other major change I made was how the waist seam was done – in the original pattern you top stitch the bodice and then sew the bodice to the skirt lower down that the topstitching to make the channel for the elastic. I was using white thread, though, so it looked a bit weird when you could see a line of stitching. So I unpicked it and sewed the bodice to the skirt in 2 places, at 3cm and 1.5cm, leaving a gap in the 1.5cm line for threading the elastic. You can just about see the 2 lines of stitching in the below photo.


I found I did have to re-tie the straps a couple of times when I was wearing it – I guess this is the perils of having a stretch fabric making up the ties, and with having what is now quite a heavy dress.


I found it went well with my refashioned Victoria Blazer – it picks out the right shades of blue. I feel like that’s my equivalent of a denim jacket, and that this dress would also look good with a denim jacket!

My favourite thing is POCKETS!




I found the pattern was easy to follow – which was good as this was my first make with knitted fabric. I chose this because it didn’t require much fitting – I definitely don’t have the skill to make something skin-tight yet! I definitely want to have a go at Closet Case Files’s other patterns, particularly her amazing Ginger Jeans, which have been made by basically the whole blogosphere! I love the Carolyn pajamas too!

As I’m about to publish this post, it has started pouring with rain AGAIN! I think this may have to wait for next Summer at this rate!

9 thoughts on “Sallie Maxi Dress or my first time sewing knits!

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