Friday, 10 October 2014

Autumn Wonderland Maxi: Darling Ranges

I loved wearing the Megan Nielsen's Darling Ranges Dress I made when I tested the revamped PDF version last year and a few months back, I bought three metres of Autumn Wonderland by Elosie Renouf from her Bark and Branch collection for Cloud 9 from Eternal Maker  (I can only find some here in the UK and also here (thanks to Andrea!) with an eye to making another this year.  I am not a detailed planner when it comes to quilts, garments or sewing generally.  I do however do a lot of thinking and mulling over.  Sometimes I sketch out thoughts and have a particular fabric in mind but I rarely have buttons, zips, thread, interfacing all perfectly ready and I tend to go with the process as I make it.  When I came to make this dress I had maxi dresses on my mind.  The weather is changing, I hate wearing tights and leggings.  I tend to wear long thin socks instead and so my skirts and dresses need to be long to go from autumn to winter so I ended up with a maxi Darling Ranges frock.   

I made most of my alterations last time with a small bust adjustment and cutting the small size.  This time, I used the skirt from Simplicity Cynthia Rowley dress 1801 which has a maxi option.  The skirt pattern pieces are almost the same width as the Darling Ranges skirt pieces but they have a slight A line cut and the pockets are sewn in on the waist seam as well as the side.  The skirt length was around 37" unhemmed. 

I lengthened the three quarter length sleeve option by 2" and used the cuff pattern piece from the Tova pattern

I added a skirt lining as I realised the fabric was going to be a bit light for a winter dress and I had some  thrifted old silk crepe  which was just the right length and the colour was perfect for this fabric and not much good for anything else.  I made the outer skirt first, including the pockets, and then made the skirt lining and placed the two together wrong sides together so the lining became an interlining and the fabric was then treated as one layer for joining the skirt to the bodice.  It helped to add a little structure on the skirt button bands too. 

 For the hem, I cut the lining layer to the finished skirt length.  I then double folded the hem on the outer skirt fabric and hand sewed the skirt hem to the interlining so nothing can be seen on the right side.  It was a little tricky to get the hang and drape of both layers to work together and I found it easiest to hang the dress on a door and work from the floor to pin the hem in place.  It does make for a lovely swishy skirt and adds warmth without adding bulk.  The silk was also much easier to sew that I thought- I fear slippery fabrics!

I had some pink snaps left form other project- these are from Cowgirl snaps and I used my tutorial  to attach them.

The cuffs and tie were left over chambray poplin from this skirt.

I like the waist to be relaxed and use the ties to pull it in.  

The end dress has a bohemian feel, is incredibly comfortable and reminds me a little of 1970s Ossie Clarke V-neck maxi dresses.  I have another maxi dress ready to blog, more to follow soon.

sib blog


  1. it's really lovely - you look fab! I always enjoy reading about your alterations and details of how you make things - very inspiring!

  2. It's lovely. It's in stock on M is for Make. I'm very tempted!

  3. Such a lovely dress and you look wonderful in it ~ makes me want to start sewing clothing again! Oh, and your hair ~ so lovely!

  4. Beautiful! Love the fabric and snaps combination!

  5. It's wonderful and totally reminded me of the same thing!

  6. A true 'build your own' pattern! It looks fab :o)


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