Refashion Copycat Friday: Maxi Skirt to Santa Fe Dress

Have you ever happened across a piece of clothing that you immediately fell in love with? That, if you have the materials at hand, you immediately launch in to without a second thought?

I follow Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing (of course I do), even though I’m not particularly retro, because I love some of her pieces and I’ve learned a ton about sewing. Yesterday, she featured the lovely Santa Fe dress by Nancy Zieman, with a couple of alterations, and I knew that I had to have one. Immediately.

I’m not going to do a step-by-step walkthrough of how I recreated this pattern; it seems disrespectful to Nancy Zieman, who is justifiably selling the pattern. A simple before and after picture will have to suffice.


A maxi skirt left over from when I was a musician in high school, and was suddenly promoted to a nationally-acclaimed orchestra. We didn’t have time to get the official uniform, so my mom just bought me a generic maxi skirt to approximate the right shape. I’ve always wanted to like it, but it’s just… unfortunate.



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Colorized so you can see the lines and buttons. Black tank + black skirt = hard-to-see picture. The more you know!


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Much better! Just in time for Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Male Compatriot’s birthday dinner.

I’m not 100% happy with this dress, but I’m 90% happy, and that’s pretty good, especially considering that from start to finish this dress took me under 4 hours, which includes drafting the whole thing and watching episodes of Invader Zim for the first time.

There ended up being a slight length issue with the back pieces, so I had to rotate them around to the front, putting the longer pieces in the back to provide adequate rear coverage. This means there’s a seam down the front, which is my main issue with the whole dress. But who knows, maybe that will give me incentive to do something creative, like cover the whole dress in lace.

What’s on your “must-sew” list?


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