Friday, January 6, 2012

The Dress of the Year.

1/8/2012-Edit: A couple of your comments made me realize that it might look as if I'm claiming that I made the two dresses I'm wearing in this post myself. To be clear, I did not make the dresses here, the purple dress was purchased at Nordstrom and the green dress was purchased at Goodwill. I'm showing the dresses as examples of styles that I think work for me and that I want to copy. I'm really sorry for any confusion that might have occurred before. I appreciate all the compliments but I don't want to take credit for something I haven't done.

I've been telling you about some of my New Year's resolutions this week. Here's another:

You'd never know it from this blog, or my current wardrobe, but I can sew. Actually, I can not only sew, I can fit commercial patterns and I can make my own original patterns in a number of ways. My first clothing related degree (I have two, soon to be three of those) was an associates degree in fashion design with an emphasis on custom sewing and alteration. I've been letting these skills lie fallow for a while but I'm going to remedy that in 2012. I'm calling this 'The Dress of the Year' because I'm planning to make this dress twelve times this year. I want to make one seasonally appropriate iteration of this dress each month for the next year.

I picked this pattern, Simplicity 2648, because of the multiple bust sizing options and the sleeve and neckline variations. I'd seen it made up by a blogger I like here and here. I wanted something with a fit similar to this dress:

NOT made by me. From Nordstrom

I wanted something with princess seams because they make for easy fitting adjustments during construction and after weight loss (fingers crossed.) I also wanted something with a waist seam so I can change the style of skirt easily once I've nailed the fit on the bodice, to create something more like this dress, for summer:

Also NOT made by me. From Goodwill.

I think this pattern fits the bill, allowing for enough variation that making twelve dresses won't get overly repetitive. I'm going to start working on my first muslin this weekend. I'm thinking the January dress should be view B, the sleeveless, scoop-neck version without a waist detail, made up in a black wool crepe. Super basic, but I've been wanting a simple black dress to wear under a colorful vintage coat I bought a while ago and can't seem to wear over anything I currently own. For February I'm going to make a 'resort' version for our island vacation.

The plan is that making this dress over and over will bring my sewing and pattern altering skills back up to peak fitness. Perhaps it will also inspire other sewing projects- the rules don't say I can't sew additional stuff, I just have to make this dress each month.


  1. Thank you for following my blog, so I could find you fabulous woman.
    You have my favourite haircut, and dresses.
    I think we are going to be very good blogger friends, don´t you???
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your loved ones.

  2. Adding you to my blogroll inmediately, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  3. I love your taste of fashion. It's very chic and feminine! You really know what flatters your body.

    Love, Heidi

  4. Okay sister, I just joined the American Sewing Guild in my area so I could find a buddy to help me fit my slopers. Unlike you (so jealous) I dont have any formal training but have been sewing since I was 9. I started by finishing the projects my mother started and never finished. Currently I am making a jacket with Princess seams sort of a loose interpretation of a Channel jacket. love your idea of a dress a month and think your choice is perfect for your shape.

  5. Sacramento,
    Thank you. Happy New Year. I'm very happy to make your acquaintance. I'm sure it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

    Thank you. Welcome. Blogging has really helped me to make better, more flattering, choices. Well, most of the time, I hope.

    It's getting a bit uncanny, no? Unfortunately my perfectly fitted slopers currently perfectly fit a much slimmer body than the one I inhabit now. Oh well.

  6. Thanks for your great and helping comment. I'm choosing the camera. :) Of course, I'm not choosing the camera only because you said so, it's just I knew I'll choose the camera but I just wanted to know what othes were thinking.

    x Heidi

  7. U amazes me with your sewing talent. such joy to be able to wear something made by yourself. i can sew but i am lousy at following patterns. Those are fabulous dresses on you! thank you for following, follow back!


  8. This is amazing, the dresses are both fantastic and I bet you can do multiple versions by changing fabric and details. I wish I could know how to sew, too ! :) Kisses

    PS You're invited to enter my Romwe giveaway !

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  9. Beautiful dresses! You look awesome in them!

    I wish I could sew. I want to learn but sometimes I think it's too late to do that now. When I was going to school in my native country girls were taught to sew from grade school on. If I grew up there I'd know how to sew.

    I added you to my blogroll! ^_^ Looking forward to seeing your sewing projects!

  10. Mongs and Vale,
    Wait, Wait- I didn't make the dresses in this post myself. I appreciate your complements but I don't deserve them. I'm editing this post to make that clear. And I apologize for the confusion. Thanks for visiting. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for bringing it to my attention that I wasn't clear about this. I'm happy to have you. Hopefully soon I'll be posting something made by me and worthy of your compliments.

    Thank you. It's never too late to learn to sew. I was initially taught by my mother as a young girl but I never did much with it (besides hemming dresses from the thrift store) until I took construction and design classes in college. I highly recommend community college classes if you want to learn to sew as an adult. In my experience the instruction is top notch and the price cannot be beat.

  11. Happy New Year 2012!

    Neat post and love your blog... would you like to follow each other!


    My Lyfe ; My Story

  12. That's agreat challenge.You're very lucky that you know how to sew.I'm struggling with it as I lack commitment and it takes so long to complete a project .Nice inspiration.I also have to note that I like your style very much.Keep in touch ,love Angie.

  13. That pattern looks lovely,sleek and timeless!The sort of frock I'd like a dozen of!
    Love that frock you got from Nordstrom(that's a department store?),nice fit!
    I don't make new years resoltuions,but I am planning to sew more this year....I really need to brush up on some skills!
    Nice to have found your blog!

  14. That 1st dress is WOW!! I love the pattern and the fit is perfection. You look stunning! Oh how I wish I had learned to sew! I can't believe you can actually make your own patterns! WOW! Kiah

  15. Both of these dresses are absolutely gorgeous & both are styled SO beautifully. Best of luck with the sewing too, it's something that I'm hoping to start working on this year as well. xo veronika

  16. The print and colors on both dresses are fantastic, and they fit you so well!