I love Maria Denmark's free Kirsten Kimono Tee, which was my second "grown up" make and first successful knit make (after my strange BHL Polly Top in hatchi knit). Aside from the slightly droopy neckline I was happy with it and gifted it to mom before taking any pics. Anyhow, at some point last summer I had the not-so-brilliant idea of lengthening the pattern into a maxi dress. I am not sure why I thought it would look good when I normally don't like straight dresses with kimono sleeves. Go figure. I decided to try my idea on this gorgeous jersey print instead of the many boring solids in my stash. Again, go figure. 

I also had the idea of ruching the midsection  like so (a technique I've never used) to make it more unique and flattering so I cut the dress extra long. Why would you ruch a nice print like this? And WHY oh why would I wear these awkward formal shoes in the picture? SO MANY "GO FIGURE"S!!! The whole thing was so half-baked it was no big surprise that I hated the pre-ruched version immediately and no amount of ruching would change that. It fit like a column whose sole purpose was to emphasize my lack of curves. And sway back. Ugh.


This time I had a different approach to the neckline (for some reason still ignoring the pattern which calls for a simple binding). I came up with this complicated process where I cut off a 1 inch strip of jersey and applied knit stay tape to it. Then serged it onto the right side of the dress along the unstabilized egde, fliped over and zig-zagged. Why I did not simply apply the knit stay tape to the back of the fabric, fold over, and stitch down is beyond me. However, unlike my original Kirtsen Tee it didn't droop or gape so I guess that was a success?


So there I was -- having wasted one of my favorite knits on a dress I hated. What to do, what to do? I know! Turn it back into a kimono tee! I chopped the bottom off, hemmed... And promptly tossed aside! Somehow it STILL didn't look right. And I didn't know why. I gave it to mom who, strangely, loves it.

At that point it was determined that the bottom part of the failed dress is to become a maxi skirt.  I first decided to interface the entire top part (about 9 inches from the top) for some structure, then fold it down into a waistband-like thing and install a zipper. I am not joking. A zipper! WHY? Why would anyone do that on such a thin knit? I do not have an answer for you. Realizing the nonsense of all this I peeled off the interfacing (which was disturbingly easy, isn't interfacing supposed to stick better?), folded the top into a casing, inserted some 2in elastic, and considered myself done with this stupid, stupid thing. But to my surprise the skirt isn't so terrible after all!


For some reason by the time I was done straightening the bottom the skirt was almost too short for a maxi so I left it unhemmed. And the shape still highlights my lack of curves (the pattern lines don't help). But with a solid tank and a head scarf in a matching pattern I feel like I almost feel cool in it. Not the most exciting make, but much much better than the dress I started with. Plus the fabric feels divine against the skin in the heat. So there is that.  

   
   
 


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