Thursday, August 01, 2013

A Designer Interpretation in Linen

I like the designer, Barbara Tfank, for her ladylike dresses.  To me they express a classic elegance that epitomizes the look of the 1960s.  Her dresses speak of Grace Kelly's and Jackie Kennedy's style and panache to me.  So even though my original idea was for a sheath dress and jacket in black linen, this style spoke to me even more.



Now there's loads of black linen in the Moods NYC store, as well as their online one, and can be found here.  I know linen is a basic and not a flashy designer fabric BUT it is a staple in my summer wardrobe.  It has been an especially busy summer meeting-wise at my job, so my black garments have seen a higher than usual wear which has caused me to become tired of them.

Because of that, I wanted a new dress for meetings at work.  For this one, it's definitely the details that were featured in the designer's line that convinced me that a similar dress had to become part of my wardrobe.  I love the neckline, the waistline detailing and the pleats in the front and back of the dress.



Some details ~

Fabric...
5 yards of mediumweight black linen

Notions...
Black rayon bemberg lining
9" black invisible zipper
Gutterman green thread
Black rayon seam binding

Construction Details ~

I started with my TNT dress pattern, Butterick 5147, which is sadly out of print now.  The dress' construction details can be found in this post.  



The most important detail is the pleat in the front of the dress.  This pleat can be a little tricky for a plus size woman but using this crisp fabric and some edge stitching to hold it flat worked for me.



Of course the topstitching detail at the neckline and waistline add to the elegance of the design and also help to give the dress waist definition...



...and I love the full skirt with all of the pleat detailing in both the front and the back.  It's not one of my typical dress silhouettes but sometimes we step out of our comfort zone, right!    


It is the perfect summer dress.  Add a short linen jacket or cardigan for work and meetings or as pictured below with a short sleeve cardigan for a dinner date or afternoon wedding.



I love linen.  It's easy to wear, sews up beautifully making the most amazing garments and I think the wrinkles give it character.  I also love that I've come up with a new variation on a trusted dress pattern.  I will have to use this altered pattern again for a winter dress!

Finally as a parting shot...

The grandkids were with me since their mother is my photographer and they always want to be included in the photo shoot.





...as always more later! 


58 comments:

  1. You are so right - that IS the perfect summer dress! I particularly like the change of silhouette, actually. The contrasting top-stitching really sets it off too. You are looking fantastic! And how cute are those grandchildren!

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  2. Lovely. I love the top-stitching.

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  3. I love your dress and the shoes are the perfect accessory.

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  4. Fantastic! Love the silhouette on you, and the top stitching is a great detail.

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  5. Great dress and the green top stitching really takes this out of the "typical" category. So much fun seeing the grands, too.

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  6. Love the way you have made a meeting appropriate dress yours, love the topstitching and I like this silhouette on you as well.

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  7. Great dress. Love those pleats. Very stylish.

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  8. that us a very classy dress I like this style on you.

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  9. this looks fab on you - love the topstitching

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  10. You Look Great! The Dress And Your Styling Are Impeccable.

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  11. That's so lovely! I can imagine it being worn with a fascinator at a wedding in a garden over here in Kent.......

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  12. Lovely dress. The green looks so fresh.

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  13. So versatile! You look beautiful in it! That pattern looks wonderful as well! Too bad it's OOP... Wish the pattern companies would consider releasing "oldies, but goodies" once in awhile!

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  14. This is a gorgeous dress - so classy looking; I love this silhouette on you and the colour is delicious.

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  15. Fabulous dress!You look amazing in this dress - and I lov ethe fabric choice. You can add a cardigan and wear it well into fall. And you're right, it is sad that this pattern is out of print but luckily I have it in my stash. Lucky me!

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  16. Love the pleats at the back if you make another version apply them to the front as well.

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  17. This dress is fabulous. I love linen, and a beautifully cut, perfectly fitted black linen dress is the professional woman's holy grail. I agree with you that the wrinkles give it character. It looks like linen!

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  18. Beautiful, classic, timeless & elegant!

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  19. Fabulous and classically timeless.

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  20. Wow, I love that dress and you look amazing in it!

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  21. lovely! the topstitching really makes it pop- and at least from the pictures it looks like marvelously well done top stitching, I'm jealous of your steady hand! :)

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  22. Those grandkids... too cute! This is such a fabulous dress! I love your attention to detail-- there's always something special about every garment you make!

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  23. Congratulations for a beautiful dress and grandchildren.

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  24. Love linen. Love this variation on your T & T. The detailing is fabulous and you look wonderful in the outfit. Enjoy.

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  25. What a lovely dress! The topstitching really makes it.

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  26. Great dress, and you made the right choice on the topstitching color.

    Now - why did I think your condo had a big parking lot in back?

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  27. Love the dress and how you styled it -- especially with the cute grandkids:) Also love that it looks good (and interesting) both coming and going.

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  28. You look so nice in this dress! Love the style.

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  29. Your time and effort really paid off with this one - absolutely gorgeous! You look stunning!

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  30. love it, that is one very chic dress. You MUST make it again, it looks fantastic on you.

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  31. This is a lovely dress, you executed it beautifully, and it is very becoming on you!

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  32. oh, i was so happy this bleary-eyed morning when i saw you were featuring this dress! The little sneak peek you blogged a couple of weeks ago has had me on tenterhooks waiting for the reveal!

    And it's even more gorgeous than i imagined :) I've been on the hunt for an everyday dress with simple lines to make up in linen and chambray for our hot summers. I'm a housespouse so a more casual look and room to move are required. With it's modest neckline, pleats in the skirt, and snazzy topstitching this dress hits it! And how easy to dress up for dinner out or a day of wine tasting (mom lives in Napa, CA - as a local and a sweetie, she gets top notch treatment at some primo wineries!). The back view rocks as well, something often forgotten in sheath-style dresses.

    Lastly, how lucky to have such a knowledgeable and truly eloquent spokeswoman for my fave fibre, linen. I cannot tell you how much i love linen, but reading your wonderful articles i can tell i don't need to - you're right there with me. (happy heart)

    Enjoy linen's favorite season and your perfectly fab new dress!!! steph

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  33. It's a great dress Carolyn! It's definitely out of your usual comfort zone and it paid off big time and looks wonderful on you.
    The green topstitching makes the dress pop. Did you use topstitching thread from Gutterman?

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  34. I really like this on you, Carolyn, it is wonderful. The topstitching just adds that little extra. Great pic of the grands, mine is living with me for a few months - mommy and daddy are building a house.

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  35. Really fabulous! This style looks great on you and the details are lovely.

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  36. Beautiful. Love all the details. A great addition to your wardobe.

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  37. Carolyn once again you have made a fabulous dress.
    You have turned a ordinary dress pattern into
    an extra ordinary fashion statement. Love this
    dress on you and I also luv those shoes.
    Thanks for sharing your talent with the world
    via this blog.

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  38. Love this dress! The green topstitching really makes it shine.

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  39. Just beautiful. Love the green top-stitching and the cardigan is perfect.

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  40. Lovely dress, live the green with black.

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  41. Great dress. I love how you include options for work and fun. I love the pleating.

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  42. Your dress looks fabulous. I love the top stitching and the pleats. I am a linen fan also. I find it easy to work with and it looks and feels comfortable.

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  43. It looks great! The top stitching makes it very special.

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  44. Hi Carolyn...I'm a young newbie to sewing and I think you are awesome! I stumbled upon your blog and immediately thought I wish I lived closer so you could possibly teach me all you know :0)... Anyway, I have a question that I was hoping you could help me with. I have a newsboy hat pattern for kids that I would like to make smaller. I've done a lot of reading on pattern grading (confusing!!) but it seems like that mainly refers to clothes. Any ideas / tips on how to alter a simple hat pattern? Thank you for however you can help!

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  45. Carolyn, you look gorgeous! I love reading and seeing how you take inspiration from designers and make it your own, like this sophisticated but seasonally appropriate dress. You always show the magic that comes from knowing your own fit and style and adapting to suit. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  46. The more I look at that bright topstitching, the more I like it! Ah, your grandkids are adorable.

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  47. Love the dress and it looks fab with the green cardigan too :)

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  48. Carolyn, this dress is perfect. I love everything about it: the details on the bodice and the pleats! I know it's not your usual silhouette, but my goodness, this is super chic. It's nice to step out of our usual box, and you stepped out well!

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  49. Super flattering dress. The topstitching is a nice detail. I can envision this dress being worn alone or with so many of your jackets and lovely cardigans.

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  50. This is so cute! I adore the contrast topstitching. The shape is really flattering, especially the waistband which hits at exactly the right place. It almost makes me think I could wear a black dress (I need color every day).

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  51. I absolutely love this dress... and the idea of using topstitching to hold the pleats in place is a pure stroke of genius. You go, Girl!!!

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  52. I love the topstitching on this dress. It highlights your waist and the silhouette of the dress perfectly.

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  53. Nice topstitching! Love the look with the cardigan and necklace.

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  54. That has to be my favorite dress I've seen on you. It's perfect.



    http://www.etsy.com/shop/CurvyTiffy?ref=seller_info_count

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  55. The first time I saw this dress, I knew I wanted to try to find the pattern, and I did, finally, today. It's a beautiful dress as is but your addition of the coordinating topstitching really made is extra special. I found a dress at Dress Barn to wear to my 50th h.s. reunion Saturday and while it was a nice dress, the fit could not equal what it would have been like, had I made it myself, and made what I had intended, a gray or navy simple a-line. Next time I will be prepared. Thanks for the inspiration. Your grandchildren are beautiful.

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