As a teenager, I often bought clothes because they had a detail, feature, or color that I liked with little regard to whether they actually looked good on me.  As a wise old lady well into my 30s, I’m much more careful when shopping to make sure a cut and color are flattering (or at least not unflattering, as it is often difficult to find things that are actually flattering in RTW.)  

As someone still relatively new to hobby seamstressing, I find it somewhat more challenging to make things that flatter me and avoid trends that simply don’t suit me.  First of all, it’s hard to predict what something is going to look like without trying it on first, and trying it on requires making it.  Secondly though, some things just look like they’d be fun to make.  

For example, this dress from Ann Taylor. It looks like it’d be an easy, satisfying draft.  Simple, elegant, dartless.  A long sleeve sloper adjusted for minimal ease, a single style line with that circular flounce inserted.  Who doesn’t love the magic of watching a circular ruffle cascade into place the first time you hold it up after stitching it?


But do I love this dress?  I’m not sure.  That ruffle is going to look dated quickly, the fitted knit will be unforgiving of anything but a perfectly trim figure, and I’m pretty sure the long, slim, fitted silhouette isn’t the best choice for my rather shapeless, compact frame. The back view is even making that slim and gorgeous model look pear-shaped- it can’t possibly work on me. So why are my fingers aching to draft this?

Much like the black bike shorts with the floor-length, circular, black and white striped chiffon drapes attached to the bottoms that I bought in high school (and then later gave to a tall, lanky, blond male friend who liked to dress in drag and looked amazing in them), it’s going take a while to curb that instinct.