patterns · Sewing


Since last Thursday I’ve been sidelined with an icky sinus infection, which I get every May like clockwork because of my allergies (I love my city, but we’re the #1 worst place for spring allergies… go us!)  I sing with a number of groups that have concerts in May, so it’s always a struggle to be well for them.  I have a concert Sunday that I have to be well for… luckily, after days of mainlining zinc, sudafed,  and throat coat tea, I am feeling better, and I do have some hope that I will be reasonably well by Sunday.

I’m staying out of the craft room, because something up there is aggravating my allergies (old house dust?  I don’t know, but after an hour I get all sniffley.)  I did cut out my Jenny skirt pattern (I don’t think the taping together is as bad as everyone says,) and I can at least get the pieces cut out for that by bringing the cutting table downstairs, but sewing?  Not so much.  And I’m waiting on my new knitting book, so no knitting either.

You all know about my obsession with planning and organizing.  I’ve mentioned my folder of inspiration garments that I keep on my computer.  Lately I’ve started creating little subfolders in that folder where I match patterns, fabric, and inspiration.  I want to make some idea boards, but I’m not totally sure the best way to do that in digital form.  Suggestions are welcome!

The largest directory is currently “faux-two piece dresses,” which consists of my favorite current trend: the dress that looks like a blouse and skirt combo.  Seriously, this is my idea of a great trend – one that makes it easier, rather than harder, to look pulled together.  I love skirts and blouses, but it drives me crazy how hard it is to keep a blouse tucked in the way I would like.  In addition, I have to have pieces that go together, which often I do not.  Making a dress forces me to fix this!  Here are some shots from my inspirations photos.  Most are from Anthropologie and modcloth, because I stalk those sites the most often.

Kwik Sew has released a pattern that would work great for the last 2 dresses.

I love both versions, and plan to make them up.  It uses a stretch fabric for the top and a woven for the skirt.  It would be easy enough to alter the plain   top to be any number of variations, and it looks like it would work for border prints, though I would have to see the pattern pieces to be sure.

Simplicity has released several of their Project Runway patterns with illustrations showing how they can be combined in this way.  I actually really like the PR patterns, because the variations are nice, and they are sometimes more fashion forward.  I like these:

Of course, this requires coordinating fabrics, and since I have to buy most of my fabric online that can be tough.  Sticking to neturals for 1/2 of the dress should work… we will see.  Which one should I make first?  I’m undecided right now, and I have plans to do other dresses too (after several separates in a row, I want to make a dress!)

More from the inspiration folder:

This Vogue pattern, which has the least inspiring illustration ever,  looks almost exactly like this dress!  I’m actually glad to make it in a fabric that isn’t drawn all over with a spirograph (which is super cute,  but not me.)

These two dresses capitalize on the current trend towards ruffles.  The first looks very much like Butterick 5320.

The second?  Well, the current issue of Sewstylish includes a pattern makeover by Sweet P of Project Runway fame… and the resulting dress is very similar!

It’s missing the neck ruffle, but that might be for the best.  I have been trolling Etsy for vintage patterns (as always) and find myself drawn to 70s era sundresses with bottom ruffles.

I really love this!  The buttons on the straps, the crossed back straps, the buttons in the back… so adorable!  I mean, if you ignore the denim version, which is a wee bit Annie Oakley for my taste, what with the gingham and kerchief.

And… I still love  Simplicity 2497 (again with the ruffles!)  I actually have some  shantung that I might like for this… I mean, with those ruffles it’s pretty much a going out dress, though I could see it looking great in a casual fabric as well.

And… that concludes tonight’s version of “things I like.”  I won’t get to half of them of course, but for me the planning is the fun part (well, and the sewing… it gets me past the cutting, which is the part I hate!)