I first learned of the Mission Maxi pattern when I saw Erica's version a few years ago. I finally got around to ordering the pattern this spring and gave it a try. I think I must be the only person who had any sort of fitting difficulties though! I read some pattern reviews and most everyone said it fit great. Everything turned out fine in the end, but I had some trouble figuring out the correct size for the top half of the dress.
I started with an 8, which is where I fall on the pattern envelope's measurements for the bust, but it was too tight. The armholes also came up really high, and that feeling just drives me bananas. I was getting those drag/wrinkle lines going towards the underarms, and that doesn't look good. My fabric was a 100% cotton jersey, so there was no added spandex to increase the stretch. I'm sure if you choose a stretchier jersey knit, it would fit a little differently. (If you have a fuller bust check out Ann's review here).
Anyway, my first try ended up going to my (tiny) sister so that's fine. I'm glad it went to a good home! For this one, I cut the 10 and scooped the front armholes out a lot. I also widened the straps a little in the front and back to cover bra straps.
As for the hips, there was plenty of ease. I assumed that the hips would be the clingy area and the top would be fine but it ended up being the opposite experience for me. The hip curve is fairly prominent and hit kind of low on me, so I straightened out the curve to be more of an a-line shape.
I also made a tank top. For this one I went up to the 12 (with my adjusted armholes) and I'll probably stick with that for the future. I super love this tank. The fabric is a cotton jersey from fabric.com. It reminds me of something I saw at J. Crew for a whole lot more money!
I swear, I am not obsessed with polka dots. (Also here and here). I promise to dial it down from now on.
The pattern instructs you to attach one raw edge of the binding, wrap around to the inside and topstitch to secure. I think that this final straight topstitch reduced some of the stretch on my fabric which is another reason why the armholes felt tight on the dress. For the tank, I actually just did the first stitching and left the binding raw. I see this sometimes on RTW tops and decided I would like that with this print. It feels more comfortable, too. In the future I will probably fold the binding in half and stitch both raw edges to the neckline and armholes so it's finished in one pass.
I mentioned last week at the end of the Me-Made-May challenge that I wasn't sure if a completely handmade wardrobe was a goal of mine. But, it's patterns like this that lead me to believe I'll get there eventually whether I plan to or not...at least for some types of garments. It fits great, and looks just like a tank or maxi dress that I could buy. I can whip up the tank in no time, so I'm sure I'll be sewing this again.