I never wore maxi dresses before I started sewing because shops sold exactly two types: tank top-style jersey ones that had zero shaping or volume and clung to every single lump and bump; or ones with actual shaping that were far too bare on top to wear any kind of comfortable bra with. I got a fair amount of use out of my Kielos last year, but this year I have been wearing them non-stop. I am wearing nothing but maxi dresses and the occasional jumpsuit to stave off this heat. Only putting two more maxis on my summer plan was a mistake, as I discovered when I realised I had nothing to wear while my week's worth of laundry was drying. So here's Extra Maxi #1:
This is Butterick 6051, made in a Dairy Milk purple viscose jersey I bought at Rolls and Rems (my go-to for solid-coloured jersey). It has a bunch of views: this surplice bodice with or without sleeves, a much looser version with kimono sleeves, and a tank style, with three skirt options. I made a combination of views A and B, with the short sleeves, back ties, and straight hem.
This fit is mostly straight out of the packet. I cut the smallest size in the shoulders and the largest size in the hips, and I'm glad I did because this jersey is CLINGY. I didn't do an FBA and had plenty of space (I'm not sure I agree with their classification of this bodice as "fitted" because the back was pretty loose too), leaving me with only one issue: gaping. SO much gaping. The neckline is finished with a turn-and-hem job, which rarely works for me and certainly didn't this time. This was the major change I made: I took the piece of elastic I was meant to put in the waist and put it through the neckline instead. I'm not sure I quite got the length of elastic right but it's good enough: everything now sits exactly where I like it to sit and there's no danger of a wardrobe malfunction. This is pretty much my ideal surplice neckline proportion now that I've taken 1.5cm off to enclose the elastic.
For me, adding elastic to the waistline on this dress was unnecessary. It works perfectly fine without. The ties keep everything looking nicely fitted, and I just felt that an elastic channel might look a bit... odd? The line drawings for this view don't appear to show an elasticised waist, but it is in the instructions, and they tell you to make the channel using the seam allowance as normal. I can only picture that looking weird underneath the waist inset (which is only at the front of the dress), especially on me and my super-short waist. It might also be worth noting that the illustrations and line drawings for the looser bodice/gathered skirt views show a flat front and elasticated back, but the instructions are for a fully elasticated waist, so if you want the flat front look you've got some alterations to make.
Overall I'm really pleased with this. It fits perfectly into my summer style, aka "as crazy glamorous as possible while also still basically wearing pyjamas" (this would be my style at all times if I could work out how to appropriately transfer it to colder temperatures, grrr) and I do love a good purple dress. This is definitely something I'd make again; if I extended the sleeves and swapped in a shorter skirt, it could be a great staple for autumn. I may or may not faff about with neckline finishing in the future, but for me and my oversized boobs some kind of elastic or neckband or similar is a must.
Up next will probably be another round of maxi dresses. I'd really like to get on with the jacket, but I'm hesitant to commit to any such thing while I'm getting dramatically ill for several days after every weightlifting class. My body is seriously pathetic. "You made me lift 50lb over my head! How dare you! Here's MORE FLU!" Joke's on you, body. You're going to get strong, goddammit.
Glamorous power pose!