White – – It isn’t just for brides anymore!

Rumor has it that the Little White Dress has replaced the Little Black Dress for Spring. It’s a trend that’s been highlighted by both Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines, and Nordstrom’s blog recently announced that we can wear white ANYWHERE.

Although I’m not usually tempted by trends, this was one I couldn’t resist. Why? Because I found the Perfect Fabric of course, a quilted knit in winter white, stitched with a diamond pattern.

You know how it goes. You see a fabric, you fall in love and, voila’! Things happen.

DSC02400

To make this casual dress, I made some modifications to a basic pattern from Vogue, 8840, a tunic top with dropped shoulders, a round neckline, and a front and back center seam. The center seams make shoulder adjustments easy for my pathetically narrow shoulders (sigh).

Because the fabric had a bit of stretch, I cut the pattern a size smaller than usual to account for the built-in ease of a knit. I also cut a border of six inches to attach to the hem to make the tunic dress length.

To achieve the bell shaped look of the sleeves, I added what is essentially a six inch border to the short sleeved version of the tunic, narrowing the border where it attaches to the sleeve, widening it at the bottom.

DSC02401

The knit had more stretch than expected so, I tailored the fit just a little by taking in the side seams by another 5/8 inch to keep the dress from resembling a large, white sack.

After trying it on, I decided the lines of the dress needed to show more, so I added a bit of contrast with strips of left over sweater knit, with a loose weave that unraveled when the edges were unfinished. So, I cut four 1 inch strips of that, and used it to trim the center seams, the pockets and the hem border. Then, I purposely frayed the edges of the sweater knit to give the dress a bit more of an edge, which it sorely needed.

DSC02403

DSC02403

I think I’ll wear this dress as it’s comfortable. Not only that but it works with a favorite pair of boots. As the weather improves, I’ll accessorize with sandals instead.

What about you? Do you believe the LWD is a look that’s here to stay? Do you like to use the raw edges of fabric when you create?

Spring means Tees!

The temperature hit seventy degrees today in Portland, tee-shirt weather!  It’s time to store my winter wools in favor of cotton, linen, maybe even silk. Perhaps this wardrobe shift is a bit premature (we’ve had snow in April before), but I’m determined to embrace the change.
When the rain stops, I’m always in the mood to shop. During a recent visit to Anthropologie, I noticed that their spring line included a nice assortment of simple but stylish tees. Most had an artistic look, with less structure in the design. Many were made with a mixture of textures and patterns. Since the size of my fabric stash overwhelms me, I fought the urge to make a sizable purchase, choosing instead to approach my sewing time with a new sense of purpose.
I decided to make a new wardrobe of tees – – so many, I’d be comfortable no matter what the Spring weather holds!
DSC02408
Here’s the first one. The pattern I chose was Vogue 9054, a loose fitting tee that comes in more than one length. Since cropped is also on trend, I decided to make the shorter version, rather than the tunic length. I used a couple of coordinated cotton jerseys that were in my stash, purchased at Fabric Depot last spring. Both were shades of blue, a theme that matched the color story of Spring; deep indigo, navy and denim blue. The print was designed by Anna Maria Horner, the Mary Thistle knit in blue.
DSC02306
Vogue 9054 was a delight to sew! It came together in about two hours, including cutting time. Usually, because of my narrow back, I have to make lots of adjustments, but this pattern fit as cut. Not only that, but every seam came together perfectly, and the sleeves slipped in without a struggle. Well done, Vogue! This is one well designed pattern.
DSC02317
I love the end result – simple yet as stylish as many of the high end ready to wear garments . I plan to make this again in several coordinated cotton jerseys for a color blocked look. I might also try a patterned knit. Vogue 9054 is destined for ‘favorite’ status!