Saturday, November 9, 2019

Tiered Skirts, Flounces, Nostalgia, and Unseasonability

Just when it starts to get rather chilly outside. After it's already snowed once this fall. That's the perfect time to make a new summer dress, right?? It was just so pretty, I had to make it!

I have a soft spot for tiered peasant skirts. Back in middle school and high school I had a couple I wore regularly. They're just so fun and swishy!

Those elastic and drawstring waist skirts from my teenage years are wonderfully adjustable in size, so they still fit me. Though quite bedraggled now, I still wear those old skirts around home. They're just so comfortable - and swishy!

So, with this in mind, when Pattern Union put out a testing call for an elastic waist tiered maxi skirt, I couldn't resist testing it. The pattern made me feel nostalgic. I could use another comfy skirt in my wardrobe for hanging out at home!

Thus, I tested the Phoebe Maxi Skirt pattern and made myself a new peasant skirt from a plaid homespun cotton. (It reads brown in the photos but it really is a tiny maroon and navy plaid.)

I liked how the peasant skirt turned out, of course, and it has definitely been worn a fair amount since I finished it.

After the maxi skirt test wrapped up, the pattern designer announced she's drafted a bodice, which could be either made as a stand-alone top, or be paired with the skirt to make a dress. It was such a pretty, flouncy, bodice, I immediately volunteered to test it was well.

I'd recently found a beautiful red cotton cambric king size flat sheet at a thrift store. Such a lovely fabric, it was just the thing to make a summery maxi dress from!

So I made a second peasant skirt from that flat sheet, made up the new bodice as well, sewed the two together, and tried on my new dress.

I felt like a princess in it!

Perhaps it's not the most seasonally appropriate dress at the moment, but it sure is pretty, and comfortable!

Other than the overall general "prettiness" of the Phoebe Flounce bodice, the thing that really excited me is that it comes in three different cup sizes! There's bodice pieces for cup sizes A-C, sizes D-E, and F+. I fall into the middle size and it fits perfectly! No gaping armholes or straining buttons like I get with store bought tops or patterns I forget to adjust for my bust size. 

Speaking of buttons, I had 4 sweet flower shaped metal buttons, which I bought a couple years ago for a project I never got around to. They were the perfect finishing touch for this dress!

The details of this bodice make it special - the flounces, the button loops, the neck tie. All put together these things make the bodice look somewhat complicated to make. So I was pleasantly surprised when the bodice didn't actually take that long to assemble!

I had one afternoon and evening set aside to make this dress, and it went together in that time frame without issue!

The instructions are laid out in a clear, logical order, and before you know it the bodice is done, ready to attach to the skirt (or pants if you'd rather make a jumpsuit).

The finished dress feels both fun and elegant. I love it!

I'm hoping that maybe we'll get a few unseasonably warm days in the next month or so, because I really want to wear this dress for more than just some quick pictures!

The bodice pattern can be found here and the skirt pattern can be found here. I received both patterns free of charge in exchange for testing and providing feedback on them, but everything written in this blog post is my own opinion. I was not required to share anything about this pattern.


  1. There will be a next summer to wear this pretty dress. All the best. Regula

  2. Yes! Full tiered skirts are SO FUN! I had several and I only stopped wearing them when they were practically shreds. Sometimes I find off seasons are the best time for inspiration. I love your new dress, it looks so prairie-ish, but not in a costumey way.

    1. Thank you! I think "Prairie-ish, but not in a costumey way" is more or less my style goal most of the time!