Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Anatomy of a New Dress

I was struggling this weekend.  I knew I wanted to sew but I had no idea what I wanted to make.  I've had an idea for a dress, and it will probably make an appearance in the future, that wasn't really singing to me yesterday. But I really wanted to sew...so I found another piece of fabric that was interesting and left it on my cutting table and went to bed.


This morning, I decided to read some blogs before working on the new dress.  In the back of my mind, I'm stashing away ideas for my summer vacation, a cruise to the Caribbean in late August.  On EricaB's blog, she has a great flowing long skirt...and as I was rereading the post, I clicked on her links and stumbled upon this blog, "Atlantic-Pacific."


Of course being the Nosey Nellie that I am, I went back to the last/first post and started reading and that's when I found this:


photo courtesy of 


I've wanted a soft plaid dress like this since forever.  I know that I've diligently searched for fabric like it but obviously haven't found much because I don't have a lot of it in my collection.  But being persistent, I decided to carefully examine every shelf to see what I had because even though I've just recently put it all away, believe me I don't remember every piece. 


Touching, looking, pulling...I found this:





...a silk/linen blend that I have 3.5 yards of...that I purchased at least 15-16 years ago from a little fabric shop (Sevens) in Bloomfield, NJ...when I was living in Montclair, NJ.  I use to buy quite a bit of fabric from this shop because it was local and because she had great fabric...plus it was inexpensive and I had two little girls and a teenager at home at that time.  Not a lot of fabric money was in my budget.  


I was thrilled to find it after all of these years of hiding in the collection and it's perfect for my version of this dress.  Yes, the check is a little smaller but the color is comparable.  Now I love her dress' close fit but that won't be happening on my plus size body.  To achieve some distinctiveness, I've decided to add a waist inset with the fabric cut on the bias.  I will also add some piping to certain areas of the dress.  And of course, I'm starting with my TNT dress pattern.  So that's what I'm working on today...


...as always, more later!

19 comments:

  1. Pretty inspiration dress and your fabric is perfect for it.

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  2. A beautiful dress, the perfect fabric. I can't wait to see it!
    By the way, I love the fancy fonts you are now using for titles. So cool! :)

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  3. Perfect silk linen blend for a cruise to Caribbean. Patiently waiting to see the finished dress. And, how exciting that you are using fabric you purchased 20 or so years ago.

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  4. Oooooh, I bet it's gonna look good! Love your fabric - and your ability to pull out 15-year-old fabric for just the right project totally gives me justification for fabric stashing!

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  5. Pretty, pretty! I can't wait to see the finished version! P.S. I just searched through your blog to find your post(s) on the Macy's dress!

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  6. Perfect!! I admired that dress on Blair's blog as well. Lucky you to have the fabric in your collection! I'm still on the hunt...

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  7. Love this dress and your fabric is 'just right"..Can't wait to see it ,when you are finished.. Happy sewing.

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  8. I am so envious of your fabric collection. That fabric will be perfect for a spring dress!

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  9. Great choice! Should look fabulous.

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  10. Lovely fabric. I have a hankering for houndstooth at the moment, but I have an orange plaid that keeps calling to me when I open the cupboard. Now you have me thinking ...

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  11. Great fabric choice. I can see you in this new dress already. Your dress will look wonderful

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  12. Thanks! You are really inspiring me and making me brave! I finished a 6 year old shirt. Oriental style top that I had bought the fabric and cut it out years ago. I had never finished it. But I did last week. Needless to say my body has changed. BUT I know what to do to make it fit better and be more wearable. I also have ideas on ways to use the basic pattern without the mandarin collar and cut the front edges to change the basic style into a collar less jacket (good choice for short necked me) and a regular shirt. Thank you Coach!

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  13. What a bargain your fabric was! I love the silk blends because they are more practical than 100% silk. You will have a beautiful dress.

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  14. The herringbone makes me weak in the knees. I love it! My only fear is the matching.. Beautiful post, brings comforting thoughts and remembering what you said a few posts ago. "The only walls are the ones I put up."

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  15. I love your inspiration dress- so pretty! I am looking forward to seeing your interpretation. Which is always inspiring for me!

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  16. Beautiful herringbone,it will make a beautiful dress. Look forward to seeing your creation.

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  17. WOW! I think I've actually got some fabric very similar to that dress. And like yours, it's at least 15 years old. HEY! We can be twins. LOL

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  18. Ms. Carolyn - the anatomy of your new dress sounds splendid. I really like the idea of the waist inset with the fabric cut on the bias. Super retro-chic.

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