Hot! The “Poolside at the Flamingo” Maxi Dress


The "Poolside at the Flamingo" Maxi Dress

The Facts
Fabric: Rayon challis, stretch lace
Pattern: Self-drafted
Year: 2012
Notions: Elastic
Time to complete: 1 hour
First worn: For photoshoot
Wear again? The chances are higher if I’m a guest at the Flamingo ;-)
Total Price: $10

After re-watching the movie, Bugsy (1991), I was reminded that if it wasn’t for a mobster’s crazy idea to build the Flamingo hotel/casino in 1946  (setting the tone for those that followed), Las Vegas wouldn’t be the iconic destination it is today.

Vintage Postcard of the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

In spite of the inspiration, I admittedly phoned it in a bit for this challenge. Having spent the last couple of weeks preparing for and then thoroughly enjoying my mother’s visit, my creative mojo and execution time was depleted. The garment I’d originally planned was a simple sundress and would’ve required some fitting, but Plan B (which these days involves some sort of pattern-less wonder) had even more whip-it-up power.

A yard and a half of zebra-floral (yes, as you can see, such a print exists) rayon challis with selvedge edges sewn (well, serged in my case) into one seam to make a tube. With an elastic-threaded casing at the top and narrow hem at the bottom, I’d made myself an instant maxi tube dress.

"The Poolside at the Flamingo" Maxi Dress

But, a tube dress requires a strapless bra. An invention that cannot defy my gravity, no matter how many I’ve tried on. I worked around this issue by attaching straps out of some black stretch lace from my stash.

It was fun sewing another crazy print fabric. The challenge took me out of my style comfort zone — which doesn’t usually include animal prints or lace. Dressing up the one-seam maxi for photos was fun too, but ultimately, its wearable life will be constrained to my house or a pool. The pool at the Flamingo would give me an awesome wearing-where-I’m-at-moment ;-).

"The Poolside at the Flamingo" Maxi Dress

Thanks for looking.





Najah Carroll is a project manager by day and seamstress by night. Once it became clear that ready-to-wear was never gonna support her five feet of curves, she taught herself to sew and make pattern alterations. In January, she lost her mind by signing up for this 52-week garment sewing challenge.


Comments are closed.

  1. Girl – you crazy? You need to wear this out, it’s gorgeous on you! I love your fabric and they accessories make it that much more fun. I think you pulled off a Kazz.

  2. You definitely need to wear that!

  3. This print is wicked awesome! Great job making it work for you.

  4. What a fun, clever dress! I think it could easily be worn out as well. I’m not an animal print kind of girl either but somehow, the flowers seem to make the print. Well done :-)

  5. I think it’s gorgeous, and you totally need to wear it out! And I’m a restrained, minimalist prude who favours severe cuts and colours! If I like it, and think it’s deserves to see the whole world, than everyone will!

  6. I’ve never found a decent strapless bra either, and I’ve tried them ALL on I think : ) Straps are our girls best friends. You and brights and animal prints are definitely good friends, let’s see more!

  7. Love it! Wear it out because you look terrific in it. You’ve given me courage to complete an upcoming project with a maxi dress look. I haven’t worn one of those since the seventies.

  8. I love the fabric – it looks great. Strapless bras are a disaster on me too, I am so stealing your solution!

  9. This looks great. You should definitely wear this dress!

  10. This is so dynamite, you gotta wear this out. And I have to say, the back view has me thinking “jumpsuit” in the very worst way…must. sew. jumpsuit!

  11. Very pretty..Looks good on you. Happy sewing.

  12. I don’t think you can call this phoning it in. It takes serious talent to make simple shapes look so good. That fabric is gorgeous. I want that dress.

  13. I love this! you look great!

  14. I love that you combined floral prints, animal prints, and lace into such a fabulous piece! It looks smashing :)