Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Year of the Dress

It's freezing cold here in the UK with thick snow on the ground. I've got a stinking cold and a sore throat which is making me sound like Patty and Selma from The Simpsons.  In an effort to cheer myself up and inject a bit of femininity into my testosterone-ridden house (they're all currently watching Top Gear after a session of stunt sledging), I thought I'd talk about dresses today. 

To start things off, I'd like to confidently predict that 2012 will be the year of the dress.  Not just for me personally, but for the world at large. Primarily because of the V & A's forthcoming exhibition - Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950.  
Need I say more?  Everything I love most all condensed into one exhibition.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm already dreaming about it…

So why do I love dresses so much?  It could be the fact that an entire outfit is sorted in one fell swoop.  Or that they're indisputably feminine.  Or perhaps because no matter how plain and simple the shape and design, one always feels just that bit more dressed up when wearing a dress.  I nod my head to all these reasons, but above all, I love dresses just because they're so pretty!  Here are a few of my favourites.... 
My all time favourite: Lauren's beautiful polka dot Ceylon dress

Julia Bobbin's gorgeous gingham Peggy dress

Scruffy Badger's flirty vintage pattern gingham dress 

Casey's breathtaking floral print Swing Dress
For me, if a dress features polka dots, gingham, an old fashioned floral print or a vintage vibe, then I'm smiling.  Thus inspired, here are my dress plans for the year.

A Peony Dress
I haven't seen a version of this dress that isn't totally gorgeous, but I think my favourite would have to be Roisin's.  
I love the floral print and the way she's styled it - especially the handbag!  I've also chosen a floral print for my version (hhmm, a rose print, surprise, surprise!)  
I'm about half way through making mine and it's looking good so far….

A Gingham Dress
I simply love blue gingham, preferably with red accents. 
Scruffy Badger and I in matching gingham, courtesy of Tilly and the Buttons
Having seen Scruffy Badger's dress in real life, I can confirm it's a stunner.  I want one…. Not sure what pattern to use though, maybe another Peony? Then I can do red piping….

A Polka Dot Dress
Maybe something simple using this McCall's "quickie" pattern?  With a matching head scarf if you're lucky.

A Classic Shirt Dress
I'd like to give this Vogue pattern a try.  
It's certainly not a quickie, more of a "longy", but isn't it a beaut?  I'm quite tempted to use this Boden dress as inspiration and make mine in linen….  
Boden Weekender dress
I could go on (and on and on and on) but that might have to be it for the moment - I don't like planning too precisely or too far ahead when it comes to sewing.  It will be interesting to see just what my final frock tally turns out to be.  How about you?  What dresses/patterns inspire you?  I'd love to know so I can steal your ideas gain further inspiration! 

I feel much better now, that little interlude definitely seems to have done the trick.  Happy Sunday everybody and keep warm! x

55 comments:

  1. I LOVE dresses too. Infact I can't stop making them. I intend to make loads more dresses this year. They just make you feel so pretty. Your rose fabric looks lovely. where did you get it? I am crushing on it right now. lol

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    1. Oh good, glad it's not just me Dibs! The rose fabric was from Toni's Textiles on the Goldhawk Road, they do it in a few different colour ways. x

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  2. I hope you feel better soon, Jane! My mom used to say, "If you don't take care of a cold, it will last 14 days. But if you take care of it, it will last two weeks!"

    Your Peony is looking gorgeous - I can't wait to see it! I ought to get back to mine; I'm having so many fitting troubles that I put it on the back burner.

    Other than the Peony, my must-make dress this spring is Victory Patterns' Anouk: http://www.victorypatterns.com/products/anouk/

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    1. I've been stalking the Victory patterns site too, very tempting! By some miracle, my Peony has been mostly trouble free so far with fitting. The front bodice was fine, I just had to fiddle with the back a bit, fingers crossed my luck holds out! x

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  3. I think you could be right about the Year of the Dress - and that V&A exhibit looks fantastic...sigh - so much for 'stitchers' in London!
    Your Peony dress is looking gorgeous...cannot wait to see the unveiling.
    I am inbetween projects at the moment and although I think I should make some tops I am very tempted to get stuck into New Look 6000!
    And I think we will be seeing a lot of Bombshell dresses and Vouge 'couture' dresses thanks to the Craftsy courses available at the moment.

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    1. You should definitely make the New Look 6000 Suzie, it's a perfect winter dress. x

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  4. I can't wait to see your rosy Peony, Jane. That fabric is gorgeous! Like you, I don't like to plan my sewing too meticulously but I am already dreaming of a few spring and summer dresses to supplement my wardrobe - starting, possibly, with a red cotton sateen Sewaholic Lonsdale dress.

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    1. Ooh yes, the Lonsdale, I forgot about that, now that would look good in polka dots....! x

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  5. I love dresses too! And I CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT EXHIBIT?? Meet-up potential???

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    1. I'm arranging a meetup - date still tbc but I'm thinking early-mid June? x

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    2. YES YES YES!!! You've got to come down for the meet-up Debi! x

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  6. Ooo your Peony is looking so elegant! I absolutely love dresses. I like that you put it on and you have an outfit ready to go. I feel unique in a way too because many women seem to prefer jeans, etc. I've started wearing tights this year so I can wear dresses in winter, too. Beautiful dresses you've spotlighted, thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I've definitely become more of a dress wearer since I started sewing and I LOVE tights with a dress in winter too! x

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  7. I can't deny a good dress! I've always kept a closet full of them and when I'm looking for something to sew, there's nothing like a dress to inspire me. Love your inspiration dresses and your Peony is looking amazing!
    Like Gail, I'll definitely be making Victory Pattern's Anouk this spring.

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    1. You're right Lizz, there's nothing like a dress to inspire me too! x

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  8. The year of the dress sounds like music to my ears. As a classic pear shape there is nothing more flattering for me to wear than a dress with a nice full skirt. I am also in the midst of making the Peony dress in a yellow floral pattern and am looking forward to wearing it constantly! Dresses are for every day!

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    1. Well said! I'll be looking out for your Peony dress. x

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  9. Lovely dress round up. I definitely want to make something in gingham this year.

    I'd also potentially be up for the meet up too - I saw it mentioned on Roisin's blog.

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    1. Ooh yes, come down, come down! x

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  10. I love dresses and I don't know why,but If I have to think about a new sewing project..100% times is a dress! hahaha :D

    http://alicecloset-sewing.blogspot.com/

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    1. Me too, I have to keep reining myself in! x

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  11. I think you've nailed it with the 'entire outfit sorted' thing. I like that shirtdress pattern you picked. Just wish the weather would warm up a bit! Hope the cold improves quickly.

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    1. Yes, the 'entire outfit' thing really appeals to my lazy side! x

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  12. This is a lovely post, Jane. Such pretty dresses! That Peggy one has blown me away (I've been planning to recreate that dress for months but too scared to start!) - thanks for directing me to Julia Bobbin's blog, I hadn't seen it before.

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    1. My pleasure! Isn't her Peggy dress darling? What's more, on Julia's blog post about it, she virtually takes you through how she made it step by step - talk about temptation! x

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing the info on the V&A exhibit! I was already planning on going to the Hollywood Costume even later in the autumn and this one overlaps wooo!!!

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    1. Oh good, I can't wait, I'm so over excited about it! x

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  14. OOOH Jane I do love dresses and I love all the ones you have picked out. OMG how did I not know about the swing dress or that pattern line ??? I love it and I am putting that on my list for sure.

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    1. You should definitely check out Casey's Swing Dress sew along posts - they're invaluable. There's a button on the RHS of my blog that links to them all. x

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  15. Oh Jane, you've got me all fired up with this post! I haven't had much luck sewing dresses so far, but I hope that I can make one or two beauties this year. Thanks for sharing all this inspiration, I might linger on this post a little longer ;o)

    Hope you feel much, much better soon!

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    1. Thanks Marie, I felt better as soon as I'd written it! x

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  16. Oooohh!!! What gorgeous dresses, I LOVE the first gingham one! I fully intend to make my first dress this year, as I own one shop-bought fitted dress that sort off fits. And my planned dress is going to be gingham!!

    I'm feeling your pain re the cold, I have it too. Unfortunately I think we just have to ride it out. :(

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    1. I've got a real love for gingham, I can't get enough of it. Good luck with your first dress! x

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  17. I love dresses too - put them on, find some shoes to match, and you're good to go! The ones you've featured are lovely, and I look forward to seeing your creations this year - that rose print is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Sherry! You're right, dresses are so easy aren't they?! x

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  18. Eep!! ALl the way on the opposite end of GMT, I just bought a coffee and grey version of your rose fabric!! It was irresistible (I too have a magnetic pull to fabric with roses in it!)

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  19. Jane thank you so much for featuring my dress on your blog! It has made my day :)

    I too hope your prediction is correct, that 2012 will be the year of the dress! If you open my (very crowded) closet you'll see a zillion dresses (slight exaggeration) and maybe two pairs of pants. I love beautiful fabrics and shapes and I lean towards vintage and dresses seem to be the best at harnessing all of those qualities in one.

    Hope you're feeling better soon :)

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    1. It was my pleasure Julia. Looking forward to more of your beautiful makes. x

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  20. So much inspiration! Thanks Jane!
    I have not made many dresses - but I hope this is going to change in 2012. I have the Lisette Passport dress to try out, and a 1950's wiggle pattern... though that one scares me!
    Your rosie Peony looks amazing!

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    1. Oh you've got to make a wiggle dress! x

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  21. Just love your monochrome rose print fabric! Can I ask where it is from? I was thinking of something like it(with black piping) for a Walk-away dress(Butterick 4790).I think the dress bug is catching, I have 2 other patterns waiting to be made!

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    1. Thanks Lynn! I got it from the Goldhawk Road - Toni's Textiles to be exact, they do it in other colou ways too. I'm also thinking of adding black piping to mine. x

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  22. I love a good dress! I wish warmer weather would come here (to stay, I mean - it's warm right now but I'm so it is going to suddenly drop back to freezing & kill all the flowers that are starting to bloom :\) so I can start sewing sundresses! I actually have a gingham dress in the planning... just hope I have enough fabric for it :X

    I am dying over your peony - how perfect is that fabric!?

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    1. It's very perfect, I keep stroking it! x

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  23. This is p*rn of the sewing world.....so much to drool over in one post! I do love dresses too, am constantly inspired by others' makes & Dolly Clackett's wardrobe! I'm looking forward to seeing your pretty peony too .......

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    1. I'm constantly inspired by others too - I have to stop myself blatantly copying a lot of things I see though! x

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  24. I am in love with the Vogue shirt-dress and am hunting it down online. Sadly they've reused the pattern number so it's not easy. But I do love a challenge!!! Can't wait to see your version.

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    1. Good luck with your hunt. If you can't track it down, you're welcome to borrow mine to copy once I've fiddled with it. x

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    2. Oh my goodness. That's very generous. I shall keep on searching and let you know if I get stuck. Thank you so much. x

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  25. I love your dress wish list, I especially can't wait to see your version of The Peony as I've got that pattern sitting on my desk waiting to be made up. Beth xx

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  26. I actually made an informal resolution to myself to wear more dresses this year - I'm always so drawn to them but alas - i haven't got many dresses, and when i do wear one it's for a special occasion LOL. Not to mention, our weather here isn't always conducive to baring one's legs ;) I just started sewing recently and have a bunch of dresses I'd like to make up this year, so hopefully I'll manage to make something I can actually wear LOL.

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  27. I second this movement, dresses are stylish, pretty, and best of all, you only have to decide on one thing to wear in the morning, haha. My big exciting dress plan right now is this nightdress , shortened to knee length, in a flowy black fabric. In my head I've nicknamed it the brides of dracula dress, and I'm picturing it with stompy boots and oversized jewelery :).

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    1. Oh wow, I'd be tempted to keep it as a nightdress and swan around the house in it! Totally gorgeous and SO GLAM! x

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  28. Hope you are feeling better Jane. Hope too that this cold snap hurries up and goes away! I'm so looking forward to that exhibition... can't wait!

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