The “Tropicana Maxi” Dress
Fabric: 4 yards cotton gauze from JoAnn, about $50
Pattern: McCall’s M6558
Notions: 1/4-inch elastic
Time to complete: Should have been super quick, if not for a time-sucking detour.
First worn: Memorial Day weekend 2012
Wear again: yes
Total cost: about $50
I haven’t been to Las Vegas in at least fifteen years, yet I remember it clearly: loud, bold, and more than a little tacky. Also sweltering hot outside. I took this opportunity to make a maxi dress– a style I’ve never worn before– out of printed cotton gauze, and I named it for one of the hotels on the strip. I hope I got the name right. The hotel I’m picturing had a swanky pool and a mod quasi-60s tiki style lounge area. My dress might be a decade or so off with its 70s silhouette. Still, it would fit right into the mixed-up mishmash of Vegas.
The construction of the dress was simple, but I ran into a roadblock when I realized I’d cut only one collar piece with no fabric to spare. I fell in love with this fabric at JoAnn’s on my last visit to my parents in Ohio. It wasn’t cheap, and I didn’t even have a coupon! I couldn’t go back to the store or find it online. I did find a sparkly navy and gold striped lightweight knit in the stash that fit the theme but was too much of a contrast once I attached it to the dress. So that came off and I ended up piecing the back collar from the three inches I took off the bottom of the dress and what I could scavenge from the scraps. It’s not the best, but it’s in the back where I can’t see it, in a busy print, and DONE.
Just in time, we had a sultry hot day here, and I loved wearing this dress. I felt chic and cool, even though I was sweating buckets and there was nothing to do with my hair in the humidity except pull it back while it was still wet. We get our share of this kind of weather in the summer, and this dress will make it better.