Wednesday, December 28, 2011

26.5 Dresses in 2011 (Pic Heavy)

Do you remember the movie "27 Dresses" starring Katherine Heigl?  I kinda feel that way writing a title 26.5 dresses in 2011.  Yes, I made 26 dresses this year.  I do have a dress that just needs sleeves for it to be complete which is why I called it a half.  I truly believe that it will be finished soon...if not before the last day of the I've included it.

As sewists, we all have garments that we prefer not only sewing but wearing, mine happens to be a dress.  I'd rather wear a dress than anything else as proven by the fact that I've made 27 of them this year or a little more than two each month.  So without further ado, here they are in chronological order...

The first dress of 2011 was:

2.  Michael Kors Inspired Dress

I'd had this idea for a dress for quite some time and a lucky fabric buy brought it to fruition.  However, I just recently updated it by removing the sleeves.  They were a little tight and the dress wears fine as sleeveless with a cardigan.

3.  The Versace Inspired Dress

This one was inspired by a magazine picture that I saw on the way to my corporate retreat.  It was a pretty involved journey but such satisfying sewing and very rewarding.

4.  Vogue 1250 - Version 1

When I first made used this pattern, I wrote in my review on PR that I probably wouldn't make it again...I went on to make it 5 more times! *LOL*  This was the dress of the year for me!

5. Playing with a border print knit

This dress is made from my TNT dress pattern using a border print knit. It is the beginning of a lot of sewing with knits this year.

6.  The second version of Vogue 1250

I got the knit fabric sewing bug and I altered the pattern pieces to have side seams, so I made it again!

7.  3x the charm

That's what I titled this third version of V1250. It was made to wear to church on Mother's Day.

8.  A Knit Dress Palooza

Yeah I was on a roll...making knit dress after knit dress.  This one was totally inspired by the fabric from Elliot Berman and made from my TNT dress pattern.

9.  Butterick 5600

This dress was also inspired by a great piece of fabric from Elliot Berman.  And even though it was an easy sew the dress has been worn only once because of bad button placement.

10.  Christine Jonson's Princess Seam Dress

This was one of my top 5 dresses of 2011.  Like I said I've admired CJ's patterns but never really thought they would work for me...this one proved me wrong and I will make it again!

11. Vogue 1250 in a border print

This is version #4 of Vogue 1250.  I was seriously digging this pattern this year!

12.  Polka Dot Madness

This dress is a Connie Crawford pattern ~ Butterick 5620.  It didn't make up well and after two wearings it truly is a fail...but I love the polka dot border print fabric...*sigh*

13.  A Little Bias

I really wanted a woven version of my favorite knit dress (V1250) so I chose Butterick 3195 an out of print pattern to use with a silk crepe and came up with this dress.  It wore sooooooo well during the hot and humid days of summer.

14.  Another Donna Karan stunner...

...or Vogue 1179.  This is another knit dress that turned out to be a winner!

15.  The Rachel Dress

Another dress that makes my Top 5.  It is a mash-up of Vogue 1247 and my TNT dress pattern.  I loved having the pockets in my dress, a really kewl feature!

16.  A Linen Summer Shift

This is a casual summer shift from Butterick 5618 for summer weekend wear.

17.  A Wearable Muslin

This dress was made from an ITY knit using an out of print Vogue 9245.  I was on a roll making knit dresses.  The final dress was pretty but didn't wear well...but I think that next summer I will wear it with different foundation garments to change the wearing issues that bugged me.

18.  Vogue 1250 Maxi-mized 

Version #5 of Vogue 1250 was a maxi version with an enhanced cowl neckline, it was a fantastic dress worn several times to weekend events.

19.  Jason Wu Lace Inspired Dress

For my September Sewcation, I decided to sew Designer Inspired dresses.  This was the first one of the series.

20.  Heidi M. Inspired Dress

I saw this dress on The Selfish Seamstress's blog and immediately knew I wanted one.  This one made my Top 5 dresses list too because it was just so kewl to wear!

21.  Mixed Fabrications Dress inspired by Dries van Noten

Mixed Fabrications was big in Dries van Noten's Fall Collection for 2011.  I loved what he did but need to corporatize it to wear to my job.  This was my version of his mixed fabrications idea.

22.  Fabric Inspired Dress

I was and still am in love with Salvatore Ferragamo's Fall Collection for 2011. So this dress is from my TNT pattern and totally inspired by the herringbone fabric used in the Ferragamo collection.

23.  Another Vogue 9245

I made this up in a purple ponte knit and it just worked so well.  Will definitely be making this one again!

24.  Vogue 8764

I liked the empire waistline on this dress.  Again I used a ponte knit for this dress especially since ponte knits have become my new fabric obsession.

25.  A Vogue 1250 LBD

Yes, this was my 6th version of this dress pattern (and truly I want a 7th with long sleeves).  The dress just works.  It was the dress I wore to my job's Holiday Party!

26. Leather and Knit - McCalls 6395

Leather and fabric combinations were hot this fall.  I combined some faux leather with ponte knit to make this dress.  Another great transition dress!

Dress number 26.5:
Is McCalls 6460.  The body of the dress is finished, it just needs sleeves.  I need to finish it before the end of the year, I just don't know if I will.

So a recap:
~ I made quite a few dresses this year using knit fabrics.  This is definitely a first for me.

~ I made Vogue 1250 six a border print, maxi-mized, as a little black dress and I would like to make a 7th version in 2012.

~ I used ten new patterns from several different pattern companies including one independent pattern company.

~ Even though my TNT dress pattern was used in quite a few of these dresses, it wasn't used as much as in former years.

My top five dresses for this year are:
Vogue 1250, The Versace Inspired Dress, The CJ Princess Seam Dress, The Rachel Dress and the Heidi M. Inspiration Dress.

I know that dresses will feature predominantly in 2012 because there are three from McCalls Spring 2012 collection that I'm already drooling over.  They are, McCalls 6504, McCalls 6506 and McCalls 6518. always, more later!


  1. Beautiful collection of dresses and look forward to 2012.

  2. Nice recap - you've inspired me to go back and review my 2011 sewing. I'm also a big fan of ponte knits!

  3. What a great gallery! My favourites are the maxi dress, which I missed the first time around, and the dries dress.

  4. It's nice to see these lovely dresses. Your sewing and fitting is just right! Thank you for letting us look over your shoulder in 2011.

  5. I actually loved the look of #12...from the pic it looks so flattering!

  6. Terrific retrospective! I love so many of your dresses. Great fabric and lovely border prints.

  7. Really good collection! I especially like Vogue 4764! I wish you to enjoy wearing all of them!

  8. Loving that polka dot border print, so sad that was a fail! I also LOVE your Michael Kors dress, Vogue 1250, and that red and black Vogue in ponte... fabulous!

  9. WOW! And what is even *more* amazing is that you did all this in the same year that you MOVED!!

    I hope your new digs have lots of closet space! :D

  10. A great year for you. I enjoyed seeing all your designer knock offs for non-model bodies. Thanks for blogging it's enjoyable to see your creations.

  11. This is impressive - each one is beautiful and flatters you so well. You have an incredible talent. It really inspires me to do more sewing and do a better job of it. Happy New Year!

  12. My fave is V8764. And I CANNOT believe you managed to sew all of this in one year when you weren't even sewing for a while there around the move time. Outrageous!

  13. what a great recap, and when you open your closet to get dresed in the morning, how do you choose ? :)
    my favorite is # 24 the color block dress, and the maxi dress is so pretty as well.

  14. Holy wow, I love all of them. But, I have to say, the way you accessorized 26 with the stockings & the shoes is rockin'. Seriously love. And I have to say I have some serious envy for 12., the pokadot dress. I love the style of the dress & how the pokadots start calm at the top and then awesome at the bottom. And no. 20, that Heidi M. inspired dress...I don't even like bows and that is AMAZING. Love.

    GREAT sewing year. Thank you so much for sharing all of them!

  15. Wow, there is a couple in there I had missed. Great 2011 collection Carolyn. I'm looking forward to your 2012 projects now that you have a fantastic new space to work in.

  16. I still love how the polka dot one photographs - lovely. And, I agree - the Donna Karans are stunners. You're post also reminded me that I too, need to knock-off the black-white dress from Selfish Seamstress:)

  17. My favorite on you is #24 the Vogue 8764.

    I'm not sure if it's the colors, the neckline, the waistline or maybe it was just a terrific day, but you look beautiful wearing that dress.

    Congratulations on so many terrific dress, you inspire me.

  18. Great collection! I somehow missed the red and black one — it's lovely. And I love how you experimented with taking a designer's look and making it your own. A great year of sewing!

  19. Whew....all those dresses in one year. You put me to shame. Thank you for being there in 2011, your blog is always a great read. Look forward to sharing your sewing journey in 2012.

  20. Oh wow! What a superb recap of your dress sewing! It's great to see. My favourites are yours (unsurprisingly) but I also love the leather and knit dress too. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2012!

  21. Wow is all I have to say. Well maybe a little bit more but I'm lovin the prints on your V1250 dresses. I made a challenge for myself to only use 12 patterns for one year but I am sooooo tempted to get that Vogue one. I can't wait to see what 2012 brings

  22. What a collection you have! You inspire me to make more dresses for myself.

  23. My favorites are 13, 17 and 24! I know two of them aren't your favorites, but they do look nice on you.

  24. Girl loves herself some dresses! They are all beautiful and you make me jealous because I haven't sewn that many outfits for myself. Sorry about the polka dot border print dress; I really like that dress. Can't wait to see what you sew up in 2012.

  25. Stunning output for the year, Carolyn. I'm sorry the border print with polka dots didn't work out to your satisfaction; I love that fabric. And just your interpretations of V1250 qualifies that as the Pattern of the Year!

  26. Beautiful dresses. My favorite fabric is the polka dots so it is to bad that the dress was a fail for you. You have some wonderful fabrics in there.

  27. Loved seeing all of your dresses for 2011.

  28. Why would you describe the polka dot dress as a fail? It's probably my favourite from all the ones you made and it looks so flattering.

  29. I love love love! the Version 1 of Vogue 1250. But then all your work is so cool.
    You are an inspiration...

  30. Wow! 26 (and a half) dresses in one year. That's amazing. Thanks for the trip down sewing-memory lane. Your dresses are stunning. I especially love the designer-inspired dresses but the other ones are lovely as well.

  31. My favourite out of those is V8674, although it's not the pattern so much as what you did with the red and black! I love seeing them all together like that, thanks!

  32. Beautiful dresses, all. My favourites are the Michael Kors inspired check dress and all the Vogue 1250s. Thanks to your blog and others I have done a LOT of sewing this year but I can't match your output. Very impressive!

  33. Awesome, just awesome. I'm coming to NYC to raid your closet :):) I agree that 1250 is a great pattern. Great collection.

  34. A very impressive year for you. Butterick 5600 - sew on a snap, it's a great dress.
    I made the V1250, assisted by you and I love it. Will make it again, so easy to wear.
    Thanks for the recap.

  35. Wow! All great dresses created by you, that look *awesome* on you. Something to be super proud of. Can't wait to see your 2012 collection.

  36. If you’re overweight, underweight or have un-proportioned body parts, this skill can come in handy for you. Since you are making your dress as according to your body’s exact measurement, the outcome will be something that fits you and you alone. You don’t need to squeeze in a stretch-type garment to have a fitting dress on.

  37. Bravo. You have really excelled and have a lovely wardrobe. See you in 2012.

  38. Hi, i hope you don't mind me saying this but WOW! you are an artist, i found your blog a few days ago when i was trying to create a dress for my little 6 yr old girl, but then i started looking into your blog and i loved it and ended up not sewing anything! lol, because i thought maybe i can make something for myself, i do not have any experience and my pieces seem to always end up on the rough end! but i love the way you use your patterns and specially the way your finished products look on you, they totally flatter your body and make you look really elegant and chic!
    I love your blog and one day, maybe if i try harder i will make something thats worth showing!
    God bless you.

  39. Great to see all these dresses in one post. I can honestly say it was you who made me realise what a brilliant thing a dress is - both to make and to wear so thank you!


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