oonapalooza to the max-i dress

a while back when my husband and i were in NYC for a day, i had every intention of hitting up several shops in the garment district. however, we ended up only going to mood fabrics. our time was short and i decided not to torture my husband by taking him into every shop on my list. it’s hard to believe how jam packed that place is until you’re standing there in person! once i got my bearings, i kept coming back to this amazing cotton jersey (this link is to a different colorway, there are several prints on this fabric but looks like they’re going fast). the colors are fantastic and the fabric is soft and beefy. this fabric gets my highest recommendation! it doesn’t have a ton of stretch, but it would be great for anything from tee shirts to dresses.


initially i had planned to make a simple tank style maxi dress, but i kept having visions of something more dramatic with gathers and a crossover neckline… i pulled out Simplicity 2692, which i made once several years ago and decided it would be perfect. the pattern is for a woven, but my fabric is pretty stable and only required minor adjustments. i omitted the zip and cut the back in a V-shape. i thought it would look cool to cut the bodice on the bias to take advantage of the striping going on in the fabric print.


the bodice and midriff is fully lined (sans gathers) and i cut my lining pieces on the regular grain line to keep the bodice from stretching out too much. i cut the midriff out of a solid cotton/lycra i had on hand, which just so happened to match my fabric perfectly. WINNING. i also really love the cut of the skirt in this pattern. the hem has a nice full sweep but it gathers only at CF and CB, avoiding unnecessary bulk.


making this dress happened to coincide with the sewcialists oonaballona-themed july, and as i was finishing up the dress, i realized it was definitely oona-esque (i totally envy her spunk and technicolor wardrobe!). this dress is much louder than my usual makes, but for a summer dress it’s pretty much perfect. i would consider myself more of the wallflower variety, so it’s fun to step outside of my comfort zone. let’s face it—this dress does not blend in.

—lisa g.

32 thoughts on “oonapalooza to the max-i dress

  1. Teresa says:

    It looks great! And I’m with you, wallflower color pallet is what I gravitate to. I think I’m afraid to commit to bold colors! This dress looks awesome on you!

    • lisa g says:

      that’s usually how i am too! i really only participate in themes if it fits in with what i already have going on. i had a hankering for a new maxi dress so it worked out perfectly. thanks!

  2. gilliancrafts says:

    I LOVE this! In fact, I’ve been trying to hack this bodice look recently, but mine keeps gaping and falling off my shoulders and all those bad things. You’ve motivated me to modify my Tiramisu instead, which I know has a front crossover that stays put! Also, now I suddenly want mine to be a maxi, too. Thanks for the inspiration! (Aka. Don’t be surprised is a knockoff of this dress shows up on my blog soon! 😉

    • lisa g says:

      i almost pulled out my Tiramisu pattern for this look! i would have used it except that i remembered i had this simplicity pattern already. i think it’s a super flattering style, hope you try it out!! thanks 🙂

  3. lilysageandco says:

    This is superb! Oona-duper! Those colours are so beautiful and I think they look lovely on you. Great lines. It also looks lovely and comfy, which if you’re anything like me, would mean it’s going to get a serious workout!

    • lisa g says:

      ooh yes–forgot to mention how unbelievably comfy it is! summers are short out here, so maxi dresses are perfect for prolonging a summer look!

  4. Michelle says:

    I love this! That pattern is fabulous and very flattering. I like that you cut the bodice on the bias (and I was wondering how you kept it from stretching — smart!). And the print is beautiful, too. Nice job!

  5. aleah says:

    Fabulous! I feel like the whole point of a maxi dress is to be bolder than what you might usually wear, so this fabric is perfect! And there’s nothing better than finding a perfect contrast fabric in the scrap bin – winning indeed. Who knew this fabulous dress was lurking behind that drab pattern envelope! Well done coaxing it out 🙂

  6. oonaballoona says:

    i love that you describe this fabric as “beefy!” it’s gorgeous, and the stripe placement is awesome. i don’t know where all my maxi dresses went, but i’m putting this one on my list.

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