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the wrong right dress

Red Rie Maxi Dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

This was one of those makes that kind of surprised me. Mostly because it’s red, and I’m not a red person. The fact that a red dress has become a summer wardrobe staple is highly unusual given my penchant for grey, grey and more grey. And secondly because this dress is an imperfect draft, and yet, I still wear it all the time.

Red Rie Maxi Dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary
Red Rie Maxi Dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I made it as a first test of the maxi dress version of the Rie dress a few years ago, so it’s a little different than the final pattern. I used this bright red jersey for testing since I had it in my stash, and as sometimes happens, I found myself reaching for it on days when I don’t know what to wear.

Red Rie Maxi Dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I made this dress in a size XS which is my fit model Ashleigh’s size – so you can tell it’s a bit too tight on me around the chest. It’s also a bit too short for me, which was a maxi dress length estimation error hehe. Given I am 5’5″ and Ash is 5’9″, you can imagine how way way too short it was on her when we tried it. Obviously we had a good laugh at the time, and then I amended the draft. This is a good example of why a model fitting for patterns is so crucial. Sometimes what you think would be the right thing, ends up quite different from what actually works. The final pattern obviously includes the correct amended hem length – but somehow this too short length is actually kinda working for me. I even ended up liking the red so much that I made the final maxi dress sample in the same fabric!

So like i said earlier – this dress surprised me. Despite the wrong colour, the wrong length and the wrong fit – it’s in my constant rotation, solving my what-will-i-wear-today dilemmas. Definitely not what i’d expected!

I guess there’s more to sewing than getting it absolutely perfectly right all the time. Maybe you can still enjoy a make even when it’s flawed and a little bit wrong.

Red Rie Maxi Dress // Megan Nielsen Design Diary
About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Amy G
Amy G
4 years ago

That dress looks great on you! And it looks super comfy. I’ve had a few makes that have been like that – they don’t seem quite right when I first finish them, but I end up wearing them more than things that turned out perfectly. Sometimes I think it’s because the piece isn’t perfect, so I don’t feel like I need to save it for the right occasion or worry about wearing it out or ruining it. Other times, I just learn something new about what I like and what I actually wear!

stitchedupsam
stitchedupsam
4 years ago

You should wear red more, it looks fantastic on you!

Hilary
4 years ago

It looks beautiful on you!
I do understand where you are coming from though – I had a similar experience with a pair of culottes this summer! Would a wonky hem look asymmetrically avant grade or just badly sewn?! In the end I was so happy with them, and it’s good to remember we’re all a bit flawed! ;)

liamarcoux
4 years ago

That looks absolutely MAJESTIC. It’s beautiful. So comfortable and elegant.