crafts · patterns · Sewing

Here we go again: spring wardrobe planning

My spring allergies are here in full force, which  must mean it’s time for some new dresses!  I did a series of wardrobe planning in the fall, and I think it really helped me to focus (I didn’t finish everything, but I got through a lot!)

I love warm weather – partly because I am eternally cold, but also because I love the clothes.  I wear dresses in the winter, but it never makes me happy the way that a sundress can.  I love bright colors and prints.  I love that I don’t have to plan my outfits as much, since I don’t have to wear tights!  I’ve spent a bit of time this week ordering a few fabrics, and I’ve created some storyboard ideas.  They aren’t the best storyboards, but what they do is give me a better idea of how something will look – especially if I can manage to get the scale right on the prints!

Thoughts on spring:  I have an overabundance of knit projects, so I want to focus on wovens for a bit (except for one maxi dress.)  I wear dresses more than pants, so I will make more of them.  I want to work with some lighter cottons and rayons, as I tend to default to sateen (I love sateen, but honestly it isn’t always the best choice!)  without further ado, here are my plans (nothing is set in stone – or cut – yet!)

Vogue 8231: The consensus on my last post was that I should definitely go for this pattern!  I thought about the suggestions to turn it into a dress, but I like the back of the top – it closes with buttons rather than a zip.  I had this stretch sateen, which I purchased in the fall from Fabricmart.  It’s on the heavier side and has stretch, so I think it will work for something more structured (I’m glad that I didn’t use it yet – it’s one of the leftovers from my fall plan!)

Simplicity 1877: Simplicity has two patterns in their Spring line designed by Leanne Marshall (the season 5 winner of Project Runway.)  I loved her designs on the show, so I’m excited!  This dress is not likely to be anything slimming, but I’m ok with intentional proportion changes (I like tulip shaped skirts, right?)  I like the other pattern in the envelope too, which has interesting pleated shoulders and a different (more normal) skirt.  This fabric is a rayon/linen blend… I’m thinking the side pieces need a little crispness.

Simplicity 1881: This is a new pattern.  I like the other version of the skirt too – it’s longer in the back than front, or what I call a “mullet hem.”  This fabric is white on the back, so I can’t use it for that purpose.  I bought this fabric quite awhile ago, and then it has sat in my closet due to the fact that it’s kind of crazy.  I think it will make a nice summer dress though – if I’m not traveling anywhere tropical, I can at least feel like I could wear my dress there!

Simplicity 1872: The new Cynthia Rowley patterns are slightly less sack-like than her past offerings, which make me happy!  You know, I want to like her designs (this is for her retail line) but they don’t seem designed for my body type.  Luckily, both of the new patterns will work for me.  I bought this cotton lawn last year – it was a bolt end, so I have tons of it – lucky since this dress is a fabric hog with all those layers.  The top will need to be lined, as this fabric is rather sheer.  I think the skirt, with all those layers, will be fine, depending on construction.

New Look 6093:  I’ve never made a New Look pattern.  This one suffers from an incredibly terrible pattern photo, which seems common for the line.  I think I may have worn that dress to my 8th grade formal… in 1993.  Looking beyond that, the dress is described as “1940s inspired.”  Um… yes, I will buy that.  I plan to use rayon crepe, which should hang nicely on the bias.

McCall’s 6507 is a Tracy Reese design.  I’m thrilled to see her lower end line, Plenty, get reproduced at McCall’s.  I really like the front overlay on  this dress!

McCall’s 6505 is another Tracy Reese design.  I like these better than the Vogues this season, because the Vogues are on the clingy side and I prefer full skirts.  I haven’t actually received this fabric – I bought it from and it should be here tomorrow!  It will likely need to be lined.

Butterick 5744 is one of the new Butterick patterns.  I plan to pick this up tomorrow at Joann’s.  The fabric is a voile, and you know… I have made peace with the fact that I have the same taste in fabric as a five year old girl.  I do manage to restrain myself from adorable puppies and such, but I could not resist stars.  The overlay on this dress is decorative I think- it’s not a wrap dress (note: I don’t have the pattern yet, so I’m not 100% on that!)


I somehow ended up with two heart print fabrics.  Maybe it can be a theme?

Simplicity 1873: I bought this brocade when had it (back in 2009?)  I have since been stumped by how to use it.  I think it has a certain retro 60s appeal, as does this Cynthia Rowley design.  I have hope that it might be cute, and if it’s not then at least it can leave my house!  It is on the stiff side, and I worry how it might work with a full skirt.

McCall’s 6518: I plan to cut this with the skirt and bodice on the straight grain and the ruffles on the bias.  There was a similar dress at Anthropologie a few years ago, and I’ve been looking for a suitable pattern ever since.  I like this one because it’s not too complicated!

Vogue 8791:  I can’t decide whether I should be afraid of the pose or not.  Sometimes a particularly kicky pose means the design looks strange if you stand normally!  I want to try it though – I think it’s a really interesting style!

Vogue 1158:  This depends on whether I can match the stripes in the amount I have.  I have 3 yards, which is more than the dress calls for, but matching stripes can be very tricky!


Whew… that’s enough.  Seriously.  I enjoy making these storyboards because it helps me to narrow my focus – otherwise I spend all my time frozen with indecision!  Now I just have to decide what to make first…

21 thoughts on “Here we go again: spring wardrobe planning

  1. You have some lovely ideas for spring! It will be interesting to see what you end up making, I do enjoy the fabrics you choose and how well they compliment the style of dress you make. The colours and styles always suit you so well!

  2. I want the New Look pattern too! I don’t understand why they use such busy prints for dresses that really lean on the visibility of graphic lines…

  3. That’s some serious forward planning! I’m particularly looking forward to seeing your version of the Vogue top. All the spring patterns had weird poses in the photos so hopefully it was just the photographer’s choice and not covering up anything.

  4. Great pattern choices – I think I spot a trend of a lot of movement & fluidity in those styles you’ve picked out 🙂

    The fabric in your picture for McCall’s 6505 – do you have a link to the page, or the product code/no. please? As I just love that print!

  5. You have some really fun choices, will be interesting to see how many you actually get to make up though, because that’s a LOT of inspiration! 🙂 LOL @ fabric taste of a little girl….my husband tells me that I have the fabric taste of a little old lady sometimes…

  6. I enjoyed this post so much. I, too, have the same taste in fabric as a 5 year old girl. I am 41 and I fear dressing too young, but I have about decided to just embrace it. It makes me feel good. I am dying to buy some fabric with bicycles on it and do a knock off of anthropologie’s Bike Lane dress. You are so good with photoshop. I wish I had it. I look forward to your spring sewing.

  7. You’ve got me salivating!!!! Such great ideas. I can’t wait to see the green, simplicity linen dress. And you have a stunning maxi in multcolors that’s stunning. You’re going to have one cute Spring wardrobe!!!!

  8. I love your choices. I’m looking forward to seeing how the green linen turns out for Simplicity 1877. I really like the flounces but there is no figure guide like the Vogues, so I will have to see a few made up before I consider making that one. I love the red printed knit that you have planned for the long summer dress. Simplicity has some nice patterns out right now. Speaking of little girls, check Simplicity 1873 views A and B. I have a similar pattern for my daughter!

  9. Several of these are on my pattern wishlist so I’m looking forward to seeing these future projects!

  10. All these will be fabulous, I’m sure! Thanks for tipping me off to a slew of new spring patterns… I’m going to snap up a bunch of these at the next JoAnn sale (even though I still have a bunch of unsewn winter items left)!

  11. I actually like New Look patterns a lot. I find that some of them have great detailing and I really like the way they do some of the short sleeves with nice pleats or gathering. They are a great buy at such an inexpensive price.

  12. Hi!
    I made B5644 in the cross front view. Turns out super high cut! Very modest. Now I know you’ve said you don’t like busty tops but you might want to think about lowering it a bit.
    Keep up the good work. I read on my lunchbreak to inspire me to keep up with my own sewing projects 🙂

  13. Hey there! I just wanted you to know that S1872 IS sack-like, unfortunately. I used the smallest size and then took in the sides and peplum by an inch on both sides and it still looks like a sack. Just beware. Since it is a pull-over dress, it can’t be that fitted in the waist, thus the tie. I think the model has hers cinched in the back! It frustrated me, so just a warning. 🙂

  14. Just wanted to let you know that McCall’s 6503 is for knits only, so peachskin is probably not going to be a good choice.

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