Allow me to introduce you to the Maia Column Dress by Bailey 44, which first caught my eye in Anthropologie’s June 2012 catalog. Apparently, the “Maia” is the most recent offering in a series of similar knit column dresses by the same label. This version is made of a striped nylon/spandex blend, and is listed at $178 (this seems awfully expensive for a garment made of nylon/spandex, but I guess it’s the design being sold more than the fabric).
At first glance, it may seem that the striped panels are simply pieced together with diagonal seams, but closer inspection of the photo shows that each panel actually overlaps the panel below it. That means this dress could be adapted to allow for easy breastfeeding access – something that is a pretty big plus for me at the moment. And so, for my first project on this blog, I’ve decided to make myself a version of the Maia Column Dress.
Because the dress is basically an elongated tank top, I’m going to make my own pattern by simply tracing around a well-fitting tank top from my closet (lengthening it to dress-length, of course). I already have a black and gray striped knit fabric in my stash (bought as a 3-meter remnant for 10 euros) that I think would be perfect for this dress. In fact, one of the previously released column dresses was made with a very similar fabric. I think it looks really striking with the high-contrast stripes.
I’ve studied the photos on the Anthropologie website and have perused quite a few online dressing-room photos to get a better feel for the details. **SIDE NOTE** I’ve discovered that there are actually blogs (many of them, in fact) that exist for the sole purpose of showing what garments look like when tried on in a dressing room (in particular, Anthropologie and J. Crew inspire a lot of this kind of blogging). Though often low-quality (we’re talking cell-phone pictures taken in a mirror, for the most part), these photos can actually be a goldmine for when you’re trying to get a better idea of the construction of a garment you’ve only seen in a catalog or on a store website. I especially appreciate that a lot of these photos are taken from the side because you almost never get a side view of a garment on an official store website. **END OF SIDE NOTE**
So now I’m off to trace the pattern and cut the fabric. Stay tuned…