I was in a frenzy of sewing over the weekend. A frenzy, I tell you!
All except the far left houndstooth project (from hell) were cut and sewn entirely over the weekend. By Sunday night I felt like I needed to stop and perhaps, you know, live some life...but I couldn't stop. Then I had the thing where I couldn't go to sleep because I was thinking about sewing too hard. Oy.
Anyway, the upshot of the frenzy is that I am way low on knit prints. I only have two Fall/Winter prints left in stash, the black/white/gray from Philly and the pink scales I recently purchased at G Street (the green/black/white from Philly could go either way, season-wise). I suppose I should turn my sights to wovens, but I really needed a Quick Knits Pick Me Up this weekend after finishing the not-entirely-successful houndstooth dress from hell.
I decided to browse through Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's looking for ideas for those last two knit prints. I think the winner for the pink scales is this Kathleen Dress from Black Halo. I love the "now" silhouette. The skirt is very clever, and having made the Drape Drape dress I thinking I have an idea how to do it, although that bubble hem is going to be a real fabric hog because the skirt will have to be doubled to get that look and I'm not sure I have enough fabric to do that. I have a vintage Stretch and Sew raglan sleeve peasant blouse pattern from my mom that I have, oddly, only made out of wovens, but I assume it will work for stretch fabrics. It would be pretty easy to adapt, I think.
I love all the drapey sculptural bits going on with this Maggy London dress. I would never take the time to figure it out, but the Maggy London Butterick pattern collection is pretty comprehensive with lots of great style in it, so I'm hoping she'll release this one as a pattern! It would be fab for the black/white/gray print.
This is an interesting use of the fauxlero. I recently decided to purge my Vogue 2980 Sandra Betzina fauxlero top from my closet because I just hated the light blue color and felt it was a little too tight across the belly. I also thought the fauxlero looked kind of dated and aging. But on this dress it is suddenly new and exciting again. Hmm. The draft on V2980 is quite good so it's a shame to write off the pattern entirely. It would take a lot of frankenpatterning to get to the ABS dress from the Betzina pattern, but I have all the elements in other patterns, and it would only be the upper bodice that would take some fussing--the midriff and skirt are just rectangles. I can handle rectangles. This is a definite possibility for the black/white/gray.
I'm not wild about the boring, shapeless body of this dress, but how clever to create a carapace-shape by leaving the lower seam of a raglan sleeve unsewn! I'm sure there's a little more to the sleeve shape to get it to drape like that, but I'm not exactly sure what. It can't just be extra width, I don't think. You might be able to imitate that drape just by running a gentle bit of gathering along the upper sleeve seam. This isn't very practical for winter, but I thought it was an interesting bit of design. Then again, poly knit isn't warm at all, so outerwear has to do all the work anyway.
I go hot and cold on velvet, especially stretch velvet. When I was in high school stretch crushed velvet was the HEIGHT of elegance. However, in the intervening decade(s), it has lost its luster and it can look kind of cheap to me. This is lovely, though. The fiber content includes here is rayon/nylon/silk so I don't think it's a stretch velvet and you can see that it has a nice weight and drape. I love the kimono shape of the sleeve and the, plain stark diagonal line of the wrap. This would make a fabulous party dress.
And finally, this is neither for knits nor for winter, but how much do we LOVE this lace dress? I really enjoy the lace dress I made earlier this year (I went back in and fixed that terrible zipper--I should show that sometime), and I probably don't need another one and I can *guarantee* you that I would not end up with perfectly straight rows of lace if I attempted this method, but man, I love the dress. The black lace on white, the rows, the cuteness. Love it.
You can see my Fall/Winter 2009 designer inspiration photos here.