Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Designer Inspiration: Fall/Winter Dresses

Yesterday was the most perfect day of the whole year, I think. Blue skies, breezy, not humid and not dry, not cold and not hot--somewhere in the mid to high 70s. The leaves are starting to fall and it was just like Hollywood's idea of Autumn, where the heroine walks through brilliant, drifting foliage in a sleeveless shift dress with boots and bare legs and it never rains or requires outerwear.

However, I know this enchanted Indian summer can't last (and indeed, it's much cooler today) and so my thoughts turn to what in the world to sew for Fall and Winter. After having inventoried my summer dresses and finding that I have over a month's worth I became sad when contemplating a long cold season with my paltry eight or so winter dresses. That's not even two weeks' worth! So I went on the hunt for some designer inspiration.

Saks.com - David Meister - Side Pleat Crepe Dress


One of my top picks is this David Meister side pleat dress.
Vogue 7762 is a reasonable facsimile, especially if it is feasible to pleat rather than gather the side seam.




I loved the yellow and green colors shown in this recent post on Capitol Hill Style, especially the mustard and chartreuse. I will be heading to NYC for work in a couple of weeks and am hoping to fit in a little bit of fabric shopping on the day I'm not speaking, so I tried to tell myself I could look for a wool crepe in New York. But then I found a mustard wool crepe on Fabric Mart (still a few yards left) and was done for. I haven't received mine to verify that the hand is suitable for dresses nor that I can wear this tricky color, but I am in eager anticipation.

Saks.com - Akris Punto - Wool Challis Print Dress





The mustard dress project will probably take a backseat to a quickie version of this Akris wool challis dress.
I'm thinking McCall 5661 is pretty much a dead ringer if lengthened into a dress, and with little fitting and the only complicated details at the sleeve and the neckline, this should be an easy $1390(!!!) dress.


I am still thinking on how, exactly, I will do the lining (wool voile is too sheer and lightweight to be unlined), but it's not going to be complicated. This will be great for Fall, and can transition into winter with a turtleneck underneath.







Saks.com - Michael Kors - Twist Front Shirt Dress


I thought I'd seen every variation on the twist but this Michael Kors is new to me and I *adore* it. How in the world you do a twist on a functional (?-so it appears) button placket is beyond me. It brings to mind a little bit Meli88a's fantastic Vogue 2742, but of course this out-of-print pattern doesn't appear to be available anywhere. Curses!!!! If you have this pattern sitting unused in your stash, I will happily purchase or trade for it.

Saks.com - Dior - Aurora Wool Dress










Ah, Dior, you are so scrumptious. I could probably cobble together something like this from various patterns (hint: Vogue 2975 (now OOP) and Burda 08-2009-128) but I would not look like a 6 foot tall Amazon in it, more like a neckless pygmy with an abdominal growth, so it will remain in the realm of eye candy if I know what's good for me. But I love the demure high neck and knee length, with the fitted bodice adding a little frisson of sexy to the schoolmarm.






Saks.com - Gucci - Wrap Dress




How is it that I don't have a pattern for this? It is such a great, simple shirtdress silhouette with the single drama element of the collar.







The closest I can come is Burda 01-2008-121 (starting size 38, ugh). Hmm. I guess the BWOF isn't actually that different, I'd just have to chop off the cut-on collar and add a new one. I would not wear it slit up to there, though.




Saks.com - MaxMara - Ruched Dress This one struck me only because it is similar to vintage reissue Vogue 2787, although with the "coffin dress"* problem remedied with the S seam continuing onto the back. It had never occurred to me to consider this pattern in a knit, but I can definitely see it working (with a lowered neckline--when I made this I found it way too high--and more relaxed armscye).

*Although I wholeheartedly concur with Kathleen Fasanella's distaste for clothes that are fancy in front with nothin' going on in back, in the case of this circa 1948 pattern, I would guess it has something to do with lingering wartime shortages/fashion preferences for fabric-economical designs.

Saks.com - Emilio Pucci - Zip-Front Jersey Dress-1 Saks.com - Carolina Herrera - Pleated Plaid Dress-1I found lots of other great pieces with great details that are beyond my capability to create, I just like to look at them. This vavoom Pucci is to die for! It would make for some hot winter date nights (I am already tired of my winter date night staple Vogue 1020 and I haven't even worn it yet this season!). And of course we have the magnificent Carolina Herrera.

Can I just say that I'm so happy I sew in a world where taupe is apparently the "loud" color? Ick! When skies are gray and all the trees and plants are hibernating, you have to bring your own color to the world, not succumb to the dreariness of black, gray, and taupe. I think that's why the Akris dress caught my eye--it's a (very very subdued) print with (very very subdued) color. Shocking!

There are plenty more pieces to drool and plot over in my inspiration folder.

What's on your sewing list? Seen any great dresses I should check out?

24 comments:

McVal said...

That Akris Punto wool dress is beautiful, but $1390?? reallY? Even the model looks surprised!
I have no idea how they did a twist on the front button placket on one of the other dresses.
Did you watch Project Runway last night? I'm only 1/2 way thru watching it so don't tell me who won!!

daiyami said...

Could not agree more about the taupe. Hate it. I actually feel twitchy if I walk out the door not wearing any colors.

Nancy K said...

Hi Treina. Jan 10 issue of Knipmode has a blouse that might work for you for the MK's dress. Stoff Arte has it listed, but unavailable but you can take a look at it, it's #6. If Cidell doesn't have it I can trace it for you if you like it. It starts at a 34, but that's probably about a size bigger than Burda.

Reethi said...

For the dress with the collar, try Simplicity 2473 - it is reasonably close.

Sewfast said...

Thanks for the inspiration Trena! I need some new winter dresses, if I can stop making Jalie tops!!!

Tasia said...

I love your picks for Fall dresses! I'm also guilty of making too many summery dresses and not enough wintery clothes. Probably because I love colour, too, while the rest of the world bundles up in black coats and jeans.
Can't wait to see your version of McCall 5661 done up as a dress, that's a great idea!

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

Love your ideas. I too need some dresses for fall. I hope you don't mind, but I'm printing this post and pinning it to my inspiration wall.
Angela

Samina said...

I like that front twist Korrs dress. Very different. It must have a zipper on the back to get into. I expect that that placket must be decorative & not functional. Cool, though.

MushyWear said...

I loved looking at all your inspiration dresses. The first one also reminds me of New Look 6000, which I found to be pretty easy to put together. Your purple travel jacket also looks great. Green was the perfect color for the lining. I will always love a purple and green color combination. Have a great weekend!

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Great post! I'm going to start on the new Kay Unger Vogue dress soon. I'm jonesing for some fall dresses, too.

Clio said...

Taupe - Right?!?! What's with all the neutrals this season? It's like color is suddenly verboten.

Great selection of dresses!

Catherine said...

I have looked at V7762, oh, a million times and never once considered making it. Now that you put it up to a Saks dress, however, the wheels are turning...
And thanks for that link to the olive/mustard post. I am debating between those exact colors for a skirt!

Joy said...

Wow, I love that twist front shirtdress!

Linda said...

I enjoyed looking at the inspirational dresses. I need to get sewing for fall/winter myself.

Mazzygirl said...

Hi. I think the mustard wool crepe will look spectacular on you with your warm colouring.... only redheads can wear mustard & look fabulous, so you'll look brilliant.
Can't wait to see what you end up making, & loved all your choices.

Sigrid said...

Love the inspiration pictures, That twist in the Michael Kors dress is intriguing.

Marla said...

The Gucci wrap dress remind me of the Vogue Guy Laroche 1155 wrap with a smaller belt. I love your picks for inspiration.

Denise said...

I think most of the patterns are even prettier than the originals.

Denise Hall said...

Hi,
I am inspired by your draped dress ideas also - and have my inspiration photos of Narcisco Rodriguez dresses on my blog - October somewhere- Still looking for patterns to configure somehow to work and it's not an easy task! Let me know if you have any ideas. I love these dresses!

My Daily Creation said...

Great blog, so glad I stumbled upon it! I have been hesitant to make things for myself for fear of messing up big time. I love to sew but am always sewing for others. Maybe after reading your blog for awhile I may gain the confidence to make something for me!!

senaSews said...

Great picks and thanks for the inspirations. I need some winter dresses as well.

Robyn said...

hi! just discovered your blog recently. i have a RTW twist-front blouse that is similar to the M.Kors dress. i would be happy to share pics, if you email me. (i am assuming you can email me via this blog comment?)

fitz said...

I can't get your vogue pattern links to work...

Mary said...

Hi! I'm catching up after camping for a week, and you have some beautiful new clothes. Let me gather myself and then come back for more deliberate commenting.