With the colder weather (we had the first stray flakes of wet snow today! I know it's nothing compared to the weather in other parts of the world, but it is definate proof of the arrival of winter) I wear mostly separates. In summer, I loved my dresses but in winter I find it harder to wear them well. Don't get me wrong, I have and love a few but generally speaking... A lot of styles just don't look very nice with a long sleeve. Three quarter sleeves can solve that problem but they can also be cold.
Then there's the issue of fabric. I love wool but they can easily be too thick, look too 'buttoned-up' and require lining. Of course, thicker knits work fine but I don't like my skirts sticking to tights.And if you're going to do lining: should you line the entire dress? And with what? Standard lining fabrics prevent 'sticking' but aren't very nice to wear on one's skin and for the likes of thin cotton, the opposite is true (don't mention more expensive lining fabrics, like Bemberg, I know that might work but I can't afford to spend that kind of money on lining a possibly experimental dress).
So, I largely stick with seperates and occasionally try out one option, or another. It's one of those I have on my mind right now, but I'll really need your help.
This fabric has been in my stash for at least two years. It's a cotton velvet knit in a deep gray. I love the look and feel of it, but find it very hard to envision it in my wardrobe (completely apart from the fact that it may just be an inadmissable transgression of my A/W colour scheme...)
I have thought about using it in a vaguely 30's shape (sleek, longish skirt, higher waistline and drapey, wider top bit) and I really like this dress.
Lanvin, winter 2009/2010. It's perfect, and would be very easy to knock off, but I want a more practical dress. Sleeves, people. Normal winter dresses need sleeves, don't they?
Of course, this is an evening dress but in this country, formal dressing is hardly ever required. Or even welcomed.
And despite long skirts getting more fashionable now, a full length skirt AND long sleeves, all of it in dark velvet is a bit too 'Ms. Morticia' for my taste.
So, I've been making some sketches. I'm not really happy with any of them but I feel like I'm stuck. Your imput might give me an opportunity to look at fabric differently...
All these are rough pencil sketches. I'm not going to put in a lot of time making no-good sketches in Illustrator, I'm not that good at it.
First up: Sleek skirt just past the knee, long fitted sleeves, big cowl neck with pleats on one side. I sort of like it, but fear it might be too frumpy.
Secondly, the same skirt and belt but a fuller top with a V-neck and a pleat at center front. Full-ish three quarter length raglan sleeves with pleat. I figured showing a bit more skin might do the trick but this doesn't feel like me and might just be more frumpy in that velvet.
Number three. Basics never fail. A simple fitted T-shirt dress with long sleeves and a fairly big cowl. It would work. But be boring.
Four. I have, so far, avoided gathers because they would get very bulky in this fabric. But how about tiny gathers or pleats? I didn't really have a clear picture of this in my head, hence the un-clear drawing. It has a fuller skirt than the other ones, and long fitted sleeves. I don't see myself in this dress...
Five is based on a wedding dress in "Revue". It has a gored skirt which flares out a bit at the knee and extends to a point above the waist, kimono sleeves and a surplice bodice with a wide, slightly draped neckline. It is pretty but there is another skirt on my to-do list with the same kind of skirt. And I'm not so sure a wide-open, has-to-be-filled-up-a-bit neckline is a thing for me.
So, this is where I am now. I guess I'll go and work on something else first... But seriously, I would love your imput on this. What do you think of my ideas so far? Did I miss any obvious hits? Do you have any suggestions or know anything I should look at (it doesn't need to be a pattern, I'm going to draft this myself anyway. It inspiration I'm after)?