March 20, 2012

On second thought...

Thank you all for weighing in on the topic of capes. However... I'm not going to make one right now. I might be able to change that little cape/jacket thing to work for me, but to be honest I'm just not that thrilled about it.
Rationally, it is a really good plan to make another piece of outerwear for this intermediate kind of season. On the other hand, I don't really miss an item like that in my wardrobe as it is. Add to that: I'm busy, so I want my sewing to be fun and relaxing. And at this moment, designing, drafting and sewing a cape is not.

Yesterday evening, I cut out the fabric for another pair of high waisted, fitted trousers. These will be in cotton twill with a little bit of stretch in a really nice colour which something between mustard and olive. I'd like to get started on sewing them, but I don't have thread in the right colour... Hopefully I'll have time to go out and buy some tomorrow.

Other than that... Well, spring is upon us, isn't it? I never got the hang of sewing ahead of the seasons, but now, I've seen enough sunshine to want to indulge in making colourful things for warmer weather. I bet I'm not the only one who's thinking of dresses.

Even ever-sophisticated British Vogue was commenting on this trend in the March issue (I rarely buy glossy magazines, just the occasional 'collections special'): the shirtwaister.
They seem to suggest there's some major difference between a 'shirtdress' and a 'shirtwaister'. I may be showing myself here as someone who isn't a native speaker, but... eh... that one escapes me. Vogue itself, quite helpfully, doesn' elaborate on that point.
Anyway, I love shirtdresses, especially those with big, full skirts. I've drafted several myself and I now have a number for vintage patterns for them as well.
Shirtdresses are the kind of dresses you can wear almost anywhere and for any occasion without looking under- or overdressed. With variations on collars and sleeves, they can be made to flatter a whole range of figures.
The changing tides of mainstream fashion couldn't stop me from making at least one more this spring, but it is a happy coincidence that it has, in fact, turned my way.
I don't plan on replicating any of these looks, but there is definately inspiration here. How cool is that black dress on the right, with the wide band of bright red at the hem? I'm not even sure that really qualifies as colour blocking but it's a great way to spice up an otherwise 'safe' choice. Oh, and really like that mustard coloured one, top row, second from the right. It's completely shaped with tucks and pleats in what looks like a crisp cotton. I'm always a bit hesitant about tucks but this looks really flattering. And, as you know, I love that colour.

This is hardly a proper 'what I plan to sew for spring' post, but you know I'm more of a spur-of-the-moment kind of planner. I will be back later to consider issue of dresses for spring more seriously.
Do you have any specific sewing plans for the new season?


  1. I'm fairly certain (from reading Anne of Green Gables - but hey - period vernacular) that shirtwaist is an old-fashioned term for shirtdress.

  2. Actually, I believe a "shirtdress" is the one that looks like an menswear shirt extended to dress length, from a mini to above the knee are usual. A "shirtwaist" is a dress that is cut like a shirt to the waist, then it usually has a full gathered skirt well below knee length, a very fifties look!

  3. I just received in the mail Vogue 8785 (love those $3.99 online sales) -- a full skirted shirtdress that looks very vintage. Excited to get started on it in green linen. Been a lurker here for two years -- love your blog and am inspired by what you sew. Thanks!

  4. I agree with fuzzywool. That's what I've always understood from my vintage sewing books and patterns.