Maxing out

Maxi Skirts?

On ‘Flog it’, a British tv prog about antiques, the presenter brought us a snippet from the archives of the British Film Institute, a clip from 1896 of Blackfriars Bridge. A woman crossing the bridge wore (of course) a full length costume.  My grandmother was born in that year, so her lifetime took her from a period when skirts above the floor were unthinkable, to the opposite extreme of the 60s mini.

Shorter skirt fashions have usually been flagged as liberating. Now, anything goes, what is actually a convenient and comfortable length?

Do you wear maxi skirts/dresses? I don’t mean as special occasion wear – just every day, daytime or relaxing at home evening? (I have 3 or 4.) Advantages – zero legwear problems and greatly reduced footwear angst. Extremely cool for summer, pretty cosy for winter. Disadvantages, not so easy to negotiate stairs whilst carrying stuff, hemline grubbiness, escalator danger, cycling impossible.

Ultra short skirts don’t feature in my wardrobe now, but I recall the major disadvantages – restricted movement to preserve decency, damn cold in winter necessitating thick tights which were expensive and invariably snagged. It was marginally easier to stride purposefully than in a knee length pencil skirt, which probably reduced the chances of getting frostbite.

Any fans of the mid calf length? It’s had a few runs through and threatens to return to the fashion stakes. Will you take up the trend?

Knee length hangs around as the safe compromise and the business wear uniform, see-sawing from just above knee cap to just below. I wonder why.

Maxing Pattern use

Jeans went on hold this week as I rushed a dress for a family member. I used a pattern I’ve made at least 8 times for different people, and finally put its tattered pieces onto brown paper. People new to sewing often remark that its not the cheaper alternative, by the time you’ve bought your pattern, fabric and notions. Old timers know that if you make the same pattern in six different fabrics, no-one will notice.

Maxi Stash

I started yet another re-organisation of my acres of fabric, inspired by Kate’s post. Not that its going to get the kondo treatment. All fabric brings me joy, and that’s the rub. If I got rid of the stuff in my house that I didn’t love it would be the tax form on my desk,  and all the other piles of papers I’d love to ditch.

I do have too much fabric though. A rough project is forming, to sew through all of it by the end of 2015. Wish me luck.







About jay

I design and draft patterns
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6 Responses to Maxing out

  1. fabrickated says:

    Hmm. Skirt lengths. Different lengths suit different figures I think. Maxis can make you look taller. I like a short skirt in terms of making my legs look longer, but only with thick tights these days. I will just about dare to bare my legs if the skirt covers the knee.


  2. mrsmole says:

    I’m not even a skirt person, never mind a maxi skirt…why would I want to look shorter or like I was standing in a hole? But that said I am finishing a floor length summer dress that I will share on my blog. It is from a tunic pattern that had the floor length version too. De-stashing…only for fabrics that were bought without thinking or online when the colors were not exactly what I ordered. My stash started in 1980 and has followed me around the world dropping off bits here and there but still “aging” until the right moment…ha ha


  3. I did the maxi thing in the ’70s, and they were just so impractical–catching on everything, tripping you up, getting wrapped around your legs when you sit. I’m not surprised that I’ve ONLY seen them online since they came back in style, not once on the street.

    I wear mid-calf skirts because that’s what looks best on me. I love the look of shorter skirts with tights, but they don’t work on me.


  4. Funny I read this now. Lately I have been looking at the older skirts in my closet that I sewed up long ago, wondering why they are so long (mid-calf). I am tempted to shorten them up to just below my knee. Am I a slave to fashion after all? Or am I doing exactly what is the opposite to fashionable?


  5. jjosiejo says:

    The only skirt length I won’t wear is mini (unless it is on a beach as swimwear or my golf skort)! I love maxi and mid calf length, I feel much more elegant in those than knee-length, although I do have a few knee length ones. I like maxis the best, good for swishing about and curling up on the sofa under… And no one is looking at my legs, that’s the main benefit!


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