Sewing a wine red Maxi Mayfair Dress with Fiona Parker



I was incredibly excited about the Mayfair Dress when it was released by Nina Lee over a year ago and I snapped up a paper copy soon after release. For years I had this favourite style of French Connection dress that saw me through many summers; flattering, comfortable and seemingly suited for any occasion.

 

I owned versions in various prints, colours and lengths but may favourite by far was a maxi length version. The previous summer I'd been wearing it with too many holes to repair, hoping that the little purple, black and dusky pink print disguised them. It had been on its last legs for a while and sadly French Connection stopped making them a while before. I couldn't bear to throw it out so I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted the Mayfair and realised it was almost an exact match – I could make my own replacement!

Why, you may ask, has it taken me so long to make one? I had a really hard time finding fabric that was going to live up to my expectations of this dress. The RTW version has been on such a pedestal in my wardrobe that I wanted to love any version I made just as much. The print, colours and various ways of styling the existing dress really suited me and I think part of me was hoping to find a near-identical print, but of course that was going to be too much to ask.

Any prints I found which I quite liked were on too heavy, too fine, or too stiff of a jersey. Which is why I eventually opted for a solid. At least now I have a version of this dress to wear again and when the right print eventually comes along, I can make another.
 

I found this fabric in Valencia of all places when I was there for a girls’ weekend trip a few weeks ago. Pauline Alice recommend to me Julian Lopez in the city centre and what a treasure trove that place was! Four floors of fabric at various price points including traditional Spanish brocades on the top floor – a marvellous shopping experience. No one spoke a word of English and I don’t speak Spanish, so it made for a rather hilarious game of charades getting fabric cut! I also have no idea about the fabric content. At first, I thought it was a viscose jersey because of the lovely drape and movement, but after sewing with it I now think there might be a bit of cotton in there too as it seems a little more stable than other viscose jerseys I have worked with.


Choosing a soft and drapey knit is very important for this style. The gathering at the waist means you don't want anything too bulky and you want it to drape softly across the bust. I would shy away from a fabric that might potentially be clingy around the hips.

This soft jersey is spot on and I knew as soon as I touched it that it had a similar weight to my original dress. It was lovely to sew with and I had no trouble with the fabric stretching out as I sewed, which can often be a problem with knits of this light weight and drape, particularly when using the twin needle around the hem and cuffs. It did want to curl up at the edges a bit but that was nothing a good press couldn't fix, and it responded really well to a medium-heat iron with some steam.


I constructed the majority of this dress using the triple stretch stitch on my Brother Innov-is F420. Usually with knits I'll use a zig zag or one of the many other faux overlock stretch stitches. However, as this dress doesn't have negative ease (meaning the garment doesn't stretch around the body so the seams don't need to stretch too even to take the dress on and off), I opted for the slightly more resilient and slightly less elastic triple stitch. This is a great stitch if you want to press your seams open which this dress requires you to do in a few areas; the other stretch stitches generally catch the seam allowances together. I finished all the seam allowances on my overlocker as usual, just because I personally like a nice, professional-looking finish inside!
 

I think my favourite thing about my Brother sewing machine is how accurately it enables you to sew! The adjustable speed and reverse button (which sews just the one stitch if pressed once and multiple if held down) mean you can stop at exactly the point you want with ease. I went into the menu and adjusted the settings to finish with the needle down each time I stopped sewing for this project. This made pivoting around the angled neckline seam a breeze and topstitching the waist tie worry free.


I found the instructions a little confusing in the way explanations of techniques were sometimes worded (but I was quite distracted keeping one eye on the puppy while I read them!). It is a fairly speedy and straightforward sew for a very elegant-looking garment though. The trickiest part is attaching the collar and facing to the back of the neckline and shoulders using the burrito method, and there’s a particularly fiddly section when you are making the maxi version as you have so much fabric in the roll.

If making the maxi I wouldn't recommend using a thick jersey as you will struggle at this point. I was very worried about catching some of the dress in my stitching along the edge of the roll, but it turned out beautifully and I love the clean finish. Nina's tip to use the zipper foot to stitch this part accurately along the edge of the roll is great.


I love the pleated detail at the back of the neck which creates the lovely, soft drape of fabric over the bust. The fabric then gently gathers in at the front of the waist to emphasise the female shape. I also love the right-angled seam where the collar meets the back at the shoulder. Very clever pattern cutting, and I always enjoy sewing something a little different.

Using a piece of clear elastic to gather the front (as well as stabilise those shoulder seams) is a really intersecting and useful technique. I thought attaching the waist tie as well as gathering the front evenly would be tricky, but it was actually very straightforward, thanks to the clear markings and measured piece of elastic.

The elastic is sewn to the right side of the garment so that it is hidden between the shell fabric and the waist tie once that is attached. Despite the elastic being hidden the inside of the garment doesn't look particularly pretty in this area as you see the zig zag stitch for the elastic and then the topstitching for the waist tie either side. Speaking of the waist tie, this was the first project I've sewn in the company of my new puppy and she was very good, apart from the moment when I found her all tangled up in the yet-to-be-attached tie!


I cut a size smaller than the size chart suggested after measuring my favourite French Connection dress as I love the fit of that. This meant I cut the size 8. I don't think the size 10 would have overwhelmed me so I wouldn't say the sizing is necessarily over generous, I just prefer this slimmer cut and the similarity to my original dress.

The only thing I would tweak next time is the size of the sleeves as they are a little snug around the arm. I don't think going a size up would have solved that problem, so I think I'll just slash and spread the pattern piece to give me a little more room. At 5ft 3" I was surprised to find that the length was spot on straight out of the envelope. I like my maxi dresses skimming the ground but even if you don't if you're taller me I'd recommend adding some length to the pattern before you start. Nina is quite petite too, so probably drafts on the short side!


This has only just come off the sewing machine and is yet to have an outing but I'll report back on how it washes and wears on Instagram. I'll definitely be making more of these and am very excited to have this style of dress back in rotation again! The pattern also includes three-quarter length and full-length sleeves which I'm looking forward to trying for winter.


Comments

  1. Beautiful dress Fiona! Great blog too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ca-rding, Spa-mming, Hac-king, Cra-cking, FULLZ, Tools, Tutorials

      For More Details
      ICQ/TG (@killhacks)
      SKype/Wickr (peeterhacks)

      Genuine, Legit & Verified Stuff
      You can asked few for test (Only Bulk Order)
      Our team is available 24/7

      Fullz CC with All Info
      Dumps 101 & 202 with/Without Pin
      SSN DOB DL Fullz
      700+ High CS Fullz
      Premium Logins
      EIN Fullz Business
      Hac-king All Tools & Tutorials with guide
      Tutorials for spamming & Carding
      Mailers/Senders (SMTP, Alexus, Email Blaster)
      Combos/Logs/I.P's/Proxies
      PayPal/Office365/Coinbase/Netflix/Amazon Logs
      RA-T's/Vi-ruses/Dor=ks/Bru-tes/Ke-y-logg-ers
      B***e Fr**d 2021-2022
      Valid Web Onion Links

      Many other stuff just asked & take it
      24/7 our team is available for assistance
      Contact for more info
      peeterhacks (Wickr/Skype)
      @killhacks (TG/ICQ)

      Delete
  2. This is nice information to share with us, thanks. Check out our Best Sewing Machine Guide . Our reliable guidance helps you to find the most suitable sewing machine that fits your need.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello I’m anna connell, I want to say a special thanks to Dr.ehichioya for helping me get cured from Genital Herpes, I was tested Positive last 5 months, I contacted him base on the testimonies I’m seeing about him on the internet, I was cured too by him, kindly contact him today through his email he can help you, drehichioyacurehome@gmail.com .Or you can contact me on drehichioyacurehome@gmail.com .He’s waiting to help you.
    Warmest Regards his whatsapp number +234815 271 9187   

    https://m.facebook.com/Dr-Ehichioya-Cure-home-115093413368342/?ref=opera_speed_dial|

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you are in need of financial Help, don't hesitate to place order for deserve Programmed card that can withdraw any amount limit you want. Deserve Card are very transparent aand easy to deal with. You can Purchase Deserve card that can withdraw up to $50,000 to $100,000 limit without being detected because of the programming of the card.  I'm extremely grateful to them for being honest with their words and delivering the card to me. This is the third day of receiving the card and i have withdraw $9,500 from the Deserve Programmed Card. I tried purchasing the card previously from someone else, but it never arrived until i tried skylink technology for those in need of more money, you can also contact them. you can place order for the card Via whatsapp / telegram+1(213)785-1553 or their E-mail: skylinktechnes@yahoo.com  

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a really informative article for people who want to develop embroidery skill completely appreciated your blog. We offer embroidery digitizing usa service with quality you can choose us for your embroidery work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want to testify about TD Ameritrade who helped me invest my bitcoin and made me who I am today, I never believe in investing in bitcoin until I met TD Ameritrade. I saw so many testimonies about him helping people to invest their bitcoin. I decide to contact him and invested $500 and, after 72 hours, I get my $ 5,000 profit in my bitcoin wallet. Since I invested with them and I always receive my profit without delay, so if you want to invest your bitcoin, TD Ameritrade is the best deal with which you can invest and make profit is a guarantee. So, if you want to invest, just contact him and he will guide you on how to start your investment. Email: tdameritrade077@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do you need a quick loan?
    Have you been denied a bank loan?
    Do you need a loan during this pandemic?
    interest rate of 2% no matter your location
    Do you need a loan to solve your financial problems?
    If so, then you are in luck because my company lends for a short time and the interest rate is low. If you are interested, Kindly reply to us at (Whats App) number:+919394133968
    patialalegitimate515@gmail.com Mr Jeffery.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to give it to you, this is top shelf content. Seeing as the internet is full of trolls, finding such amazing info on your blog really got me hoping again. Just like you, we also educate people through our platform on HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL NURSE , so you can always check us out for credible content. I will bookmark this webpage to get real time updates. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  9. HOW I RECOVERED MY LOST FUNDS FROM CRYPTOCURRENCY SCAMMERS.
    www.recoveryprecinct.com
    Hello ! My name is Sarah O’Brian, I am a chartered accountant and mother of four from Michigan. Some time ago I decided to invest in cryptocurrency. I invested exactly $50,000 for a start with a fake broker and was made to believe that my investment had grown from my initial deposit of $50,000 to $250,700. This felt so good as the investment grew rapidly in just a few weeks. When it was time to take my profit, my withdrawal request was denied. Later on after much vain efforts,i realized that I might never get my money back.
    I discovered that i had been a victim of cryptocurrency scam.

    My boss at work noticed how frustrated I was so I had to open up to him about my encounter with scammers. He linked me up with Recovery Precinct, so I looked up their website and filled the contact form. They responded Swiftly and requested for details of the fraud.
    To my greatest surprise, my lost funds was recovered directly to my wallet address in less than 24hours. I don’t know how they did it but it was amazing.

    Recovery Precinct is a financial regulator, private investigation and fund recovery body. They warned that these types of scams involving bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies or fake merchants are becoming common lately and targeted victims come from different parts of the world.

    I am sharing this to save someone out there from a lifetime disaster.

    You can contact these group of Cybercrime fighters via this link:
    www.recoveryprecinct.com

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Worry no more about how to win big in your lottery game for Dr Amber is able to give you sure winning numbers to win big on your lottery games for I am a winner of $360,000,000 million dollars cash prize on the jackpot lottery game I played. Email: amberlottotemple@yahoo.com or WhatsApp him on +1 (318) 306-5044 or visit: https://amberlottotemple.com for more information.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, my name is Freeman. I found a new and secure way to invest and make profit which I will like to share with you, you can check it out and also share with your friends and family.
    Have you heard of MARKETPLUS247 . COM ? I was talking with a friend who also tried out this platform few weeks back, made about 20000 extra profit after a short period of 3weeks. We talked about it initially, while his funds where in growth and I advised him against being scammed because I did not believe. Right now I am proud to tell you that Marketplus247 . Com has saved me my cash and helped me make an extra profit almost as much as my savings. Marketplus247 . Com has indeed proven to be safe and secure. Check out the website for option and instructions towards the process of investment. Take a step pf faith and you will not regret it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Do you need financial assistance of any kind? Personal loans; Business loans; Mortgages; Corporate loans? Agricultural financing and project financing? We give loans with 2% interest rate! Contact: challotloan@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know an organization who have private investigators for hire who can help you get into your spouse’s phones,emails remotely from your phone they can also help you with your
    * credit score
    * clearing of criminal record
    *increasing of school grades etc
    You can confirm for yourself from their email support@wavedrive.tech or website https://wavedrive.tech so you can also give your testimony
    Whatsapp No: +14106350697

    ReplyDelete
  14. Blogging has become so mainstream it has lost it's flare. Coming across your webpage was such a relief. I am especially intrigued by the delivery and wordplay. We'd like to contribute to your efforts by offering you a TOEFL CERTIFICATE FOR SALE​ ​ .

    The rise of social emojis has left the English language in a chokehold. Just like you, we can show your audience how to obtain a GET TOEFL CERTIFICATE ONLINE​ ​ which will greatly improve their language powers and abilities.

    Join our ELITE GROUP​ ​ of experts from the British Council and black hat hackers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I started playing lottery games 3 years ago and I have never won big sums. I went online to seek help on how I can win big in my lottery games and I saw some nice reviews about Dr Amber who has made different people huge winners in their lottery games with his prayers. I gave it a try and I contacted Dr Amber who told me how and what to do before I can become a big lottery winner and I accepted. He made special prayers for me at his temple and gave me the required numbers to play the lottery game and when I played it, I won a massive $235.4 million POWERBALL jackpot. I was so happy and I chose to receive my winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment of $160,038,447.27 at Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee and the balance was given to the store that I bought & played the game from. I would love other people to seek help from him and he can be contacted through his new number +1 (808) 481-5132 via call/text or email: amberlotterytemple@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. You've shared a terrific topic. Thanks for this wonderful sharing and want to know more detail so please continue. Get Passport any Passport from any Country ,I will also take the advantage to ask for your permission to join our TELEGRAM GROUP

    ReplyDelete
  17. THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME
    I was scammed of $379,000 worth of bitcoin with a scam forest investment unknowingly then,
    I didn’t know what to do.. I felt like committing suicide, but fortunately for me, my friend introduced me to a cyber crime investigator ( Mr Morris Gray )who also helps in recovering lost invested funds, After working with him, to my greatest surprise, in just few days I got all my lost funds back, and he only took just 15% out of the recovered funds, if you have been scammed with fake forex you don’t need to be scared or worried, because you can also reach him on his email: ( Morris Gray 830 @ gmail . com )
    He will recover your lost bitcoins back fast and smoothly...
    You can WhatsApp him via +1 (607) 698-0239.
    And you will be amazed….!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have you heard about Marketplus247 ?.. Here is a brief on how you can invest and make almost twice as much as  you have invested in a smilingly short while.
    MARKETPLUS247 is a crypto investment platform developed to increase the quality of your crypto by trading and recreating it.  This platform was developed by crypto experts for the purpose of making profits….Here are some reasons why you should check out MARKETPLUS247 . COM .
    *Apart from the fact that you can make more profits daily, you also have the total control on how you funds are being exercised.. *You also have the ability to ask for a refund after a first try.
    *you are assured of a secure and safe Now what are you waiting for!! hurry up visit our website now @ Marketplus247 . com to Invest and Gain.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Don’t be deceived, you can recover stolen bitcoin. Just because you aren’t aware of this doesn’t mean it’s false. We are in the age where technology is advancing fast. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin run an open ledger accessible by everyone. Contact, quickrecovery07(AT) gmaildot com. and recover your lost bitcoin…

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ca-rding, Spa-mming, Hac-king, Cra-cking, FULLZ, Tools, Tutorials

    For More Details
    ICQ/TG (@killhacks)
    SKype/Wickr (peeterhacks)

    Genuine, Legit & Verified Stuff
    You can asked few for test (Only Bulk Order)
    Our team is available 24/7

    Fullz CC with All Info
    Dumps 101 & 202 with/Without Pin
    SSN DOB DL Fullz
    700+ High CS Fullz
    Premium Logins
    EIN Fullz Business
    Hac-king All Tools & Tutorials with guide
    Tutorials for spamming & Carding
    Mailers/Senders (SMTP, Alexus, Email Blaster)
    Combos/Logs/I.P's/Proxies
    PayPal/Office365/Coinbase/Netflix/Amazon Logs
    RA-T's/Vi-ruses/Dor=ks/Bru-tes/Ke-y-logg-ers
    B***e Fr**d 2021-2022
    Valid Web Onion Links

    Many other stuff just asked & take it
    24/7 our team is available for assistance
    Contact for more info
    peeterhacks (Wickr/Skype)
    @killhacks (TG/ICQ)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment