Hi everyone! This is Lara from Handmade by Lara Liz! I’m here on the Melly Sews blog to share my Catalina Maxi Dress (aff link).
This month’s theme is sundresses and I couldn’t think of a better addition to my summer wardrobe than a maxi dress! Truth is, I don’t have many maxi dresses in my closet. I am short (5’4″) and have very short legs, so most ready-to-wear maxi dresses just are way too long. When I saw that the Catalina had a maxi dress option, I decided to give it a go!
The Catalina Dress is such a versatile pattern to add to your pattern stash because of the different options — it features two different bodices (cap sleeve or sleeveless) two hem lengths (a short and long hem) and allows you to make it in both a knit and a woven. I made mine in a knit but think it would also be awesome in a woven too!
I used a bamboo knit for the dress in a fun bright coral – it was a little outside my comfort zone color wise, but I couldn’t pass it up. Bamboo knit was a perfect fit because it is so comfortable and easy to wear. I feel like I can dress it up or down depending on accessories.
I made a couple of changes to the pattern because of the look I was going for. First, I decided to opt for a neckband and arm band instead of a binding. I intend to wear my Catalina more casually so the bands were an easy add. If you’ve never drafted your own neckband or arm band, it’s super easy. You just measure the opening that needs a band and multiply that by 70-85% depending on how stretchy your fabric is. Then sew it up like any other neck or arm band. (Melissa has a tutorial here!)
I also left off the pockets – I am a huge pocket fan, but sometimes I find in very stretchy knit dresses that whatever I put in the pockets tends to drag down, so I opted for no pockets.
In terms of sizing, I opted for my true size. I wasn’t sure with a knit if I should have sized down, but because of the elastic waist it was easy to just cinch it in more at the waist. I sewed up a size small which is pretty much in line with my measurements as I’m spot on for waist and hips and an inch bigger in the bust.
I love how this dress turned out – I feel like I need so many more in my handmade wardrobe! For my next version, I want to make it in a rayon – this solid navy from Raspberry Creek Fabrics seems like a perfect fit for that.
Thanks for stopping by to read about my Catalina Dress!
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