Brasilia Maxi dress


When Rachel, our adorable and sweet as can be, Brazilian sewcialist (that’s her, above), contacted me about testing her Brasilia dress pattern almost two years ago (really, that long?) I jumped at it. I made a light pink version and sent her pictures and never did a proper post. Here you can see my work in progress- I think I got a way better fit this time!

I ended up hemming the pink one way too short. With hems, I find I have a sweet spot for short. It’s not “culifalda” length (showing your butt cheeks) but it’s also not ankle nunnery. Okay, that’s pretty broad. It’s really mid thigh, I believe. But there’s a sweet spot. My first Brasilia dress was about 3 inches north of there. Ha! Yeah, I don’t wear it much and I spent a lot of time fitting it so you can imagine how frustrating it was.

Fast forward to last week. I ran into the dress shop to do a photoshoot of some of the wedding gowns we have in the shop that haven’t gone out yet. A rarity! We jumped on the opportunity. After the shoot, I bought myself this gorgeous teal with black floral jaquard. It’s so yummy and drapey and while I was going to line it, I stepped away from the lining because I have been so sick and didn’t have much energy. I think it would last longer with a lining but I’ve tabled that idea for now.

Instead of using the alterations I made on my first Brasilia, I took a tiny bit out of the torso length (cos my waist is about an inch below my neck!) and then lengthened the dress so it would be 60″ long from the shoulder seam. That would give me room to take it up further in the shoulders (which I did by about 3″) and still hem it just at floor length for flat shoes.

See, I knew I wanted a Brasilia maxi! And I got it. I almost added sleeves but I had this fear I’d look like a walking carpet- something my brain highly discouraged. I listened and I’ll likely wear a sweater over this for a wintery thing.

I mentioned that I took the dress up at the shoulder seams. How is that now? Well, I had already cut the dress out of my fabric (no muslin…shame on me!) and the waist was down at my knees. Kidding! But Rachel is very tall and has a model’s torso. It goes on for miles.

So, I took the dress and pulled it up so the waistline, as dictated by the pattern, would hit my waist, and I pinned the shoulders up so I could double check my work. I stitched the new shoulder seams and checked my work again. It worked. The armholes got a bit more snug and closer to my armpit which I prefer anyway, so everything was good and I proceeded to cut down the shoulder seams.

The other thing about this dress pattern is that the hips are wider than my own. I had to shave off a bit on each side. Sorry, I don’t remember how much but it’s not going to affect your dress to shave after you’ve put the dress together.

What I hadn’t realized until this dress is how different my hips are! I knew one was higher than the other but this is out of control! One juts out more. Ewww. Basically, I’m an alien. Ha!

I leave you with pictures. Indoors. Winter, here we come!

Go grab Rachel’s Brasilia dress pattern. There is no charge for it. It’s got really cool lines which are, sadly, lost on this version because it’s so dark but it gives nice shaping.


Brasilia Maxi frontBrasilia Maxi backBrasilia Maxi heavy squintBrasilia maxi side

12 thoughts on “Brasilia Maxi dress

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