I’ve made a dress to match my favourite pair of Converse trainers! That’s totally normal, right? I’m usually found running errands at break neck speed and dressed, for life preserving reasons, in baggy jeans and sensible shoes. But there are times I wish I looked a bit more ‘put together’ without, admittedly, putting in any extra effort! This is where the idea for my Dune maxi dress came in.
If you haven’t yet heard of Valentine & Stitch, they’re a new independent pattern company headed up by my lovely friend Helen* and her husband, producing a range of PDFs for knits (you can check them all out HERE). Available as either a top (it’s your perfect easy to wear tee) or, I guess, as a really flowy maxi sewn up in a pretty lightweight jersey – Dune is a perfect canvas to really show off a gorgeous print or floral. See Helen here in hers:
I love the scoop of this neckline (there’s also a higher neck option too) and the way the shoulders are the right width to cover your bra straps. It’s fitted at the bust but then falls away gently (and flatteringly) over the tum, volumining out to a gorgeous kick hem.
So now I’ve said that, let me explain my version. My favourite pair of Converse are high tops in Chartreuse green. I’d had this length of scuba crepe for ages just waiting for the right thing. They pair perfectly. It had to be a maxi dress because a skirt length any shorter would highlight what can only be described as my ‘footballers’ legs’, especially when my feet are encased in flats. So a maxi dress length is ideal…but, importantly, the hem had to break just over the front of the shoe. If they couldn’t be seen, what was the point?! (There’s a straightforward tutorial up on V&S’s website on how to calculate this – makes it easy to determine).
So that was the thinking bit done, then onto the actual sewing. It’s about as simple as could be. The neckline and armscyes are finished with bands, either hidden or exposed. I chose exposed because clearly I was veering away from making this a ‘pretty’ dress – I wanted it to look more sporty. Because the scuba crepe I’ve used is also quite ‘boingy boingy‘ (I can’t think of a better way to describe it!), it would also have been a faff turning them under. I simply sewed them right sides together, flipped them under and topstitched the seam down with a stretch twin needle.
The scuba crepe I’ve used also gives a more structured look to the kick hem but I think that’s in keeping with the overall sporty look? Scuba crepe was a new one to me when I got it – whilst it’s still a thicker jersey, its thinner than your average scuba but with the definite texture of a crepe. I didn’t adjust the pattern at all, even accounting for its relative lack of stretch – and I’m happy with the fit.
So yeah, I’ve roadtested my Dune dashing up the hill on the school run and I neither tripped up flat on my face or got it caught in the car door. Being that’s my litmus test, I’m calling the dress a winner!
And, apparently, after all I’ve harped on about my footwear, the hardest part of this make was trying to get photos that showed the damn things!
Anyhow, I’m looking forward to making another version when Spring comes around again in a pretty floral, like Helen’s, to pair with sandals and I think the tee version would be a great way of using up all the large offcuts of jersey I seem to be accumulating!
So what do you think? Would you sew up a dress to match a much worn pair of shoes?!
Until next time,
NB : whilst *Helen is a personal friend, I bought this pattern out of my own pennies and my views on it are honest and entirely my own.