Butterfly maxi dress

I would like to introduce you to my butterfly maxi! I’ve been dreaming of this dress for years, so I’m super delighted to have finally made it. The gorgeous fabric is exactly that, silk crepe de chine from Gorgeous Fabrics, and last I checked, they still had plenty of it left!


When I stumbled upon this fabric, I knew it was destined for a maxi dress. I had an image in my head, but I didn’t have the pattern. I started by trawling ebay and etsy for vintage patterns, but after a long and fruitless search, I settled on a copy of McCall’s 6555. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I thought I could modify it a little to appease my senses. Even so, I just wasn’t feeling IT enough to start the process of making it.

Weeeeell, that was before I saw Oonaballoona’s dress. Some would say that I’ve shamelessly copied her, and yes, there may be truth in that. But I promise you, this WAS the vision I had in my mind. And so if I didn’t copy her, then I tell you, watch out for that Kalkatroononian, and beware of her supernatural, mind reading greatness. In any case, as soon as I saw my vision in the flesh (or should I say, fabric), I could no longer settle for an inferior version. M6555 got ditched, I got off my lazy horse, and got stuck into doing what I should have been doing all along. Out came my calico and my Alice, and I set to draping my pattern until I had, in my hot little hands, the design I REALLY wanted.


And this is it. Pure summer floaty deliciousness. There is nothing quite like silk crepe de chine for a maxi dress. It’s super light and cool, and ever so swishy (not to mention as tough as nails, for when I accidentally step on it). There is a whopping 7 yards of fabric in this piece of pretty.


The design is pretty simple. I faced the entire neckline with self-fabric and then stitched a casing line in the front and one in the back. I ran the back straps through the front casing (like a pillowcase dress) and secured a band of thin elastic through the back. I’m thinking now that I could have dropped the back down lower and used an elastic waist stay to keep it in place. There’s always next time!


20 thoughts on “Butterfly maxi dress

  1. oona balloona


    isn't it crazy how we realize we're sharing a collective sewing brain, when we're engulfed in such a wonderful, but solitary task? i hope there's a next time for you, because now i MUST have another swing at it. freaking GORGEOUS.


  2. sallie oleta barbee

    This is just HEAVENLY!! Now I want one too! Leave it to Oona to start a maxi dress sewing frenzy! I just love the way yours turned out – 7 yards of fabric – WOW! But soooo worth it when it comes to all those lovely pleats and gathers!


  3. Kirsty

    Wow Debbie! (Do I start every comment over here with wow!?) Anyway, it is all wow. 7 yards? Yikes, I barely ever even buy 3 of anything but this is so worth it. I bet your girls are lining up for a bit of this butterfly silk!


  4. Debbie Iles

    Yep, butterfly scraps leftover so there might be some little skirts to come. Seriously, silk cdc is the hardest wearing kids clothes! I actually only bought 4yds to begin with and I thought that was big of me. I had to reorder, after I'd cut the first bit, so just happy there was lots left!



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