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Back to the Basics!

One of my favorite things about sewing, when I started really getting serious about it almost 11 years ago now, was the possibility associated with, in detail, curating my own wardrobe. Handpicking fabrics and designs finally meant I could wear exactly what I wanted to!

The last several years have been all about color. Playing with and finding new ways to mix color. Mixing prints and solids, of the same or opposite color palates. I’ve also focused on learning and perfecting new techniques. As a result, I feel confident in front of my machines, taking on a new pattern or creating one of my own. I also have a colorful wardrobe that helps me stand out from the crowd, feel fabulous and uniquely me.  

Lately though, I’ve had a bigger desire to get back to the basics. I don’t know exactly why.  Have you heard the saying that an artist likes to live in a muted color palate – thus helping to spark greater creativity? I don’t know if this is it, or the fact that living in a household of six, with four aged 10 and under, has developed in me a desire to create more calm in life. For whatever reason, I’m almost craving simplicity and normalcy. Ha! I’ve made so many fun dresses, tops and bottoms, but the truth is I love a good basic as much as I do zany, sporadic and fun pieces. A basic wardrobe staple allows a bold lip to pop, a hat or necklace to steal the show, fun shoes to finally get noticed and offers the ability to dress up, dress down, blend in or stand out.  

This make is intended to be such a basic. I’m learning I don’t always want to stand out. I don’t always want loud and crazy. This Linen Fabric from Minerva allows for breathability, easy, everyday wear. It is a beautiful, simple, natural fabric made into a classic silhouette.  

The fabric for this dress comes from Minerva. Isn't it dreamy?! It is a linen and cotton blend in grey. It has the tiniest bit of horizontal stretch, and a greater stretch on the bias (which I did use quite a bit for this project). It isn’t itchy, irons easily, and looks effortlessly beautiful. Just the perfect fabric for using the South Port Dress Pattern by True Bias.  I love the flow, neckline, button front and ease of wear this dress pattern allows. 

I also knew I wanted set in sleeves though. And I know converting a sleeveless dress to one with sleeves involves more than just simply adding a sleeve. One of my favorite sleeve slopers and general silhouettes of a top is the Panama Tee by Alina Sewing and Design Company. I used the shoulders and sleeves of the Panama Tee (adding width to the sleeves as the panama tee is made for knit fabric and I was using a Linen/Cotton non-stretch blend). I did make the sleeves longer than the Panama Tee as I wanted them to look a little more eloquent and less t-shirt like. 

I cut out a size four. Additional adjustments included taking out some of the width of the bodice, raising the neckline ½” (although I think next time I will raise it a full inch as it still felt a little low, probably in large part due to my small bust). I brought the slit up about an inch and a half. I also used snaps instead of buttons.  

I am really happy with the final product of this dress. Admittedly, I used my seam ripper on this project way more times than I usually do, due to my own adjustments, sewing late, and my general perfectionistic ways.  

Yay to growing my wardrobe basics, and continuously working to feel so good in the clothes and skin that I’m in! Sewing my own wardrobe does truly feel like a superpower!

Thanks for reading,

Jill @independentclothinginitiative

Comment (1)

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sueek said:

Perfect! Well done. Love the pattern, love the grey and I'm a great fan of linen. Shoes are spot on as well. I can see that dress accessorised with touches of deep apricot or little mustard yellow neck scarf............. Hmm, planning begins. · 2nd Sep 2019 10:11am