It seems at the moment that I am only able to dream about sewing that perfect winter dress. You know the one that is stylish as well as warm? I’m thinking long sleeves too. Fabric is a bit of a dilemma for me though. What would be warm, have enough drape as well as being totally machine washable? Perhaps some flannel? Perhaps I need to look at my stash & start from there. No new fabric buying allowed except for Christmas pressies (yes Croft Mill you might be hearing from me – I have some PJs on my list & this flannel is top of the leaderboard.)
If my winter dress options might be limited by my fabric options, I have the opposite conundrum with pattern choice. Check this beauty out – swoon- inverted pleat, collar, single button & curved yoke & kimono sleeves.
This is my newest addition, being very kindly given to be as a present (yes, how lucky am i?) by the gorgeous Magpie Mimi. I LOVE it! And particularly with being a keen Pan Am viewer I want to wear it with the gloves like on the envelope!!! And a handbag caught in the crook of my arm!!
Now, as part of the provenance of this pattern I must recall our Saturday. Mimi & I spent it together at the “It’s Darling” vintage craft fair in Bath (sorry I didn’t bring my camera for photos – how rubbish a blogger am I?!) We drifted amongst loveliness & inspiration, purchasing the odd Christmas present & treat for ourselves :-). We talked to stallholders who filled us with envy, making this their living. I know it’s very hard work, with little financial recognition & that the run up to Christmas must be crazy…… but #wistful# ….how I wish I could live such a life of craft….We chose to recuperate from all of this heady excitement by taking tea & crumpets/ teacakes at a suitably traditional English tearoom. We also caught some (so predictable I bet you can guess) …local wool & fabric shops, with the odd charity shop thrown in for good measure. I think buttons featured most highly within our haul of the day – buying some wooden buttons from “It’s Darling”, & then we also collected a fair few in the charity shop. All in all a lovely memory that will always be associated with any dress I make from this pattern.
Anyway, apologies for the slight detour, we’re talking winter dress patterns, aren’t we? Here are some more that I am drawn to & have in my hot little hands:
Simplicity 7845 – I bought this from Ebay a while ago & adore the frills on the long sleeved versions. The black with aqua bow belt screams “Make me for Christmas” at me. Oh, should I, shall I, can I???
You know about this one – still in its envelope, but drawn out at times & stroked with love (sorry Bella)! With its welt pockets & cute collar & bow…..It will get made….
How about this one – it’s not vintage – a New Look 6000.
You know how much I love the cowl neck look, well this has a cowl-ish kind of collar. Even though it is a 2010 pattern, it’s so 60s. I’d make a version for the office in a plain colour, without the side gathers, but most definitely with the collar & ¾ sleeves & cute cuffs. I think there’s something very Joan Holloway about it. And then I could make another out of loud curtain fabric, just for fun.
Here’s another beauty, I think also with a Magpie Mimi pedigree if I am not mistaken. I was lucky (again!) to come away from our Birmingham blogger swap with this adorable pattern.
The version I like best has the peter pan collar, & long sleeves. I can imagine it with the contrast collar too (don’t you Roobeedoo?!). In some kind of jersey it would be so practical & stylish. (I also like the puff sleeve variety for spring). What I had been thinking was to make this as a blouse in the first instance with some poly mix fine striped fabric (also from Birmingham Rag Market) – with a contrast or lace collar. But now that I have the vision of it as a jersey dress in my mind I can recognise the first signs of obsession ….
Finally for the office check out the 80s sailor dress- what can you see it being made in for winter? Another candidate for jersey possibly. Flannel? Plain or patterned? Hmmm….I’d SO love to shock everyone at work by making it up in navy with a white collar & splashes of red. I’d love to see them miss the homage to the retro & try to work out whether they were thinking “Kindergarten” or just plain “odd”!
Now I’m not just fixated on smart wear. I could really enjoy a comfy, cosy (let it all hang out- “flob”) dress for the weekends & working from home. I have also this New Look 6863.
I’m only considering the long sleeved view this time around. I can imagine it with leggings & chunky boots. And don’t forget if we are talking dresses for the home rather than the office I am also storing up the Lisette Portfolio tunic/ dress – maybe in ditsy needlecord with piping. Or will I decide to make it as another Rooibos?
Oh I sometimes feel like saying “woe is me” for having too much choice – how lucky am I? What is it with me. Anyone would think it is easier to sit on the internet & buy the darn things rather than get sewing! Oh how am I going to work out what to make first? Do you have any tips for prioritising your sewing?
Remember I am having to focus on Christmas makes for others. I also need to make some trousers & have fabric lined up too, but the lure of making a winter dress or two is so strong…. (like the moths/ fire flies in a Bug’s Life around the electric light at night time “Keep away from the light, keep away from the light” says one moth. “But I can’t…. it’s so beautiful ….” Says the other as he hits it & sizzles a bit ….