Friday, August 24, 2018

A Most Cute and Comfortable MuuMuu

I've tested a heck of a lot of patterns this summer. An awful lot of patterns. At least one a week throughout June and July. There's been a time or two I've considered the idea that maybe I signed up to test a few *too* many patterns this summer - but my summer wardrobe is now well stocked with all the things made during testing! And those garments have been worn, worn, and worn again over the last few months, so they were well worth making. That said, among all the patterns I've tested recently, one stands out as being, hands down, the most comfortable thing I have sewn in the last few  months - the Montavilla MuuMuu by Sew House Seven.

Now, by definition, a MuuMuu is a relatively shapeless garment, hanging straight down from shoulder to floor, and shapeless garments have never really been my thing. Until last year in Africa. It was hot! Loose-fitting, long, "MuuMuus" were seriously the most comfortable thing to wear in that heat! My friends and I bought MuuMuus upon arriving in Africa, and I wore my two in constant rotation for the next three months. They were a definite departure from my usual style, but have a mentioned they were comfortable!? And, when worn with a belt, they had just enough shape to make me happy. All this is what went through my mind when I was sent a line drawing and an invitation to test the Montevilla MuuMuu.

The Montavilla MuuMuu reminded me of my Africa dresses, but with a bit more detail. When I saw the line drawing I immediately knew this dress would have a place in my closet, and it would be a dress I'd wear all summer long. I was right. This dress is incredibly comfortable, light and airy to combat the intense heat we've had this summer, and it has huge pockets. What more could I ask for?

When it came time to fabric shop for this project, I totally lucked out. Hobby Lobby had just marked all their spring fabrics down to half price. Thus I had a lovely selection of lightweight cottons to choose from - all within my budget!  After hemming and hawing for a few minutes, I picked out a rose printed cotton cambrey. It was breathable, lightweight, had just enough drape for the design, and was very opaque (so I wouldn't have to worry about a slip or lining, when would defeat the point of this cool and comfortable dress.). Plus, the print was pretty and I knew I would enjoy wearing it.

Once my fabric was acquired, I set right to making my Montavilla MuuMuu, well, almost. During the two weeks this pattern test ran, I also happened to be testing the Casey Skirt and 10k Tank patterns, and I was costuming the Mulan children's play. It was the craziest two weeks of my summer! I began this dress little bit by little bit between all my other sewing commitments (Those were the two weeks I barely slept and lived off coffee.). My fabric got ironed at work, while the youngest child was napping and the older two were watching a movie. The PDF pattern got taped together under the same set of circumstances a few days later. The dress got cut out late one night at home - after I'd finished the costume pieces that absolutely had to get done that night. Then the dress got all sewn up the day after the play opened (Once my time was actually my own again.). As soon as the hem was sewn, I threw my new dress on and it was everything I'd hoped it would be.

With my MuuMuu done, I could really appreciate the details of the design.

The ruffled cap sleeves, made by gathering the outer leg of the shoulder dart, adds some texture and interest to the bodice of the MuuMuu. 

These ruffles are probably my favorite detail on this dress.

There is elastic under the arms, gathering up the side panes of the dress, allowing for a comfortable and flattering fit.

There are huge, and when I say huge, I mean huge, patch pockets in the side panels at hip level. And who doesn't love having fabulous pockets to store stuff in? Especially when those are ginormous pockets don't that disturb the style lines of the garment!

And finally, to modernize the MuuMuu a bit, and allow for extra ventilation on those miserably hot summer days, there are two knee-high slits in the front skirt of the dress.

Cool and comfortable, I've worn my dress countless times this summer. At home, you can't beat the comfort of it when worn loose without a belt. Then, for a quick trip into town, or even for church on a Sunday morning, an added brown belt gives the MuuMuu a bit of shape, which makes me feel pretty.

And feeling pretty, in your most comfortable dress, is definitely amazing. 

If you're interested in the Montevilla MuuMuu pattern, it can be found here.

*I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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