Color Blocking and Statement Sleeves

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Is color blocking still a ‘thing’? I hope so, because here I go again. I suppose the good news is that, even if color blocking is clearly ‘out’, the statement sleeves on this dress are clearly ‘in’! I decided to color block this dress when I found a yard of poppy linen and navy linen in my stash, and since my goal for 2017 is to make a huge dent in said stash, I promptly decided to use it.


This is my second make using New Look 6519 which qualifies this pattern as a true favorite (first is here).  It’s comfortable and classic, and with the addition of the wide ruffle on the sleeve, it feels modern too.

My only modification this time around was to make a very wide ruffled sleeve. I cut a wide (seven inch) piece of linen and made it as long as 11/2 times the diameter of the sleeve opening (version A). I folded it over, gathered it, then sewed it to the sleeve, so quick and easy. With this process, you can add a ruffle to just about anything!

Besides the self tie, I also love the slight v-neck on the back of this dress… so unique.IMG_1670

My only complaint about this dress is, as drafted, it’s a little short.


I’m only 5’4″ and it’s almost too short on me, so if you’re tall, you might want to add a few inches to the length of the bodice. Other than that, this is an easy make. There are no sleeves to set in, you don’t need a back zipper, so seam it up and you’re good to go.

Does poppy qualify as a fall color? If so,this dress would be my first official Fall make. I think I love it, although I’m not really sure about the Navy/Poppy combination. I added the Navy band and ruffle to this dress to soften the bright poppy color, and I think it does that. However, I wonder if this color combo looks a bit like a uniform? I feel like I should be asking, “Do you want peanuts with your beverage? Thoughts? Would you pair poppy with navy?


Color choices aside, this dress feels so good because of the weight of this wonderful linen. I know I’ll wear it, no matter what.

I would like to take a minute to thank all of you for the lovely, comforting comments about the loss of my furry buddy, Dustin. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, made easier by the knowledge that I have so many kindred spirits in the sewing community with whom I share much beyond sewing and creating. Thank-you for that!

I also wanted to give a quick shout out to two interesting challenges some of our sewing friends are participating in this month; the Fabric Mart Fabricistas Challenge, and the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. Check them out and cheer our friends to victory!  Also, in other news, the Sewcialist website is up again and they’re hosting a tribute month, another fabulous source of inspiration and fun.

Until next time, happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!


17 thoughts on “Color Blocking and Statement Sleeves

  1. I just read a post on a style blogger’s site about red + blue in fall, so I think you’re good! And fashion be darned, colorblocking is always in when it’s executed this well. That slight v neck in back is really a pretty feature and the whole look has that easy silhouette in natural fibers that Japanese patterns so often have.

    1. Well, you just made my day! If a style blogger says red and blue work, then I’m going to throw caution to the wind and wear this out to dinner tomorrow night!! Thanks for the thumbs up on the color blocking too. It can really give a garment a ‘look’ without complicating it.

  2. Love your dress! It looks like something you would see at Elizabeth Suzann’s (one of my inspiration designer clothiers)! Simple but with some pizzazz mostly enhanced with your colour blocking. I love the red and navy together and in no way does it scream uniform to me!

    1. Thank-you! I do know of Elizabeth Suzann so that’s a lovely compliment. I’m glad isn’t doesn’t scream uniform to you, because I’m going to take it out on the town tonight:)

  3. I really love this make, Elle! I don’t care if colour blocking is in or out, it looks awesome. If this screams uniform, then someone should be so lucky to have one as cool as this!

    1. Oh, Thank-you! I guess we don’t have to always be trend followers, do we? I wore the dress out Saturday night and enjoyed it, which is the true test of a make to me…do I feel good when I wear it. Fortunately, it passed, phew.

  4. I love the shape of this dress and I think your color blocking works. It reads more red to me than pink and red and blue go together. I have this pattern, too, but haven’t sewn it up yet. I think I’ll make mine is something a little drapier, like rayon. Thank you for promoting the Fabric Mart challenge! Week 2 entries go live tomorrow. I hope to make it through to round 3!

    1. Oh, I love your idea for this pattern! My cotton lawn version draped really nicely, so I think rayon would be a real show stopper. I can’t wait to see your version. I’m so looking forward to your week two entry in the competition, too. Your first entry was really special.

      1. Thank you, Linda. My goal is to at least advance to the next round. The prizes aren’t that great, yet, so I don’t care to win until there’s an awesome prize!

  5. 😂😂 I don’t care if colour blocking is a “thing” or not – if you can make dresses like this it will always be IN STYLE! Sometimes with colour blocking people are tempted to mix and match some odd things (my opinion – might not be right), but you found two fabrics that were made for each other! Just lovely!

    1. Thanks, Linda!! I try not too be too swayed but what’s on trend, but when one of the dominant colors in your outfit is poppy, it can shake your confidence, a bit you know? I know what you mean about mix and matching. There has to be some unifying factor for it to work for me. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement🎉

  6. Just found your site via a link in Closet Case Patterns newsletter!

    I love this dress on you – trends be damned. If you love it, that’s all that matters. I actually have this pattern but have been nervous about sewing my first garment. You have inspired me to give it a try!

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