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16 degrees Fahrenheit, winds gusting at 25 miles per hour, and the tiny white streaks you see are the snow.  Needless to say, this was the shortest outdoor photo shoot ever. And seriously, go make yourself a Vogue 8379 if you haven’t already.  If you have, make yourself another one.  This pattern rox my sox.

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Just a quick progress report and followed by a quick lament:  Vogue 8379 is coming together quickly and neatly.  Everything is done except for the hem and the sleeves, and the bodice is fitting like a dream- who ever thought that I might one day wear a wrap dress without a strategically placed safety pin! (Obviously, if this was something you ever wondered about me in the past, you might do well to pick up a few more hobbies or something. Or at least turn away from your computer for a few minutes a day.)

The lament: I’m starting to fall for this dress in its sleeveless state. It’s something about that sleeveless wrap bodice and that sharp collar. I’m tempted to cut in the armholes a tiny bit, find a way to finish them neatly and call it a dress. The only thing keeping me from it is that this dress is 100% wool, which would seriously limit its season in a sleeveless incarnation.

I’m feeling a sleeveless ponte de roma version in my future…

I’ve been gently chided from time to time by readers for always sewing in neutrals and dull colors, and it’s true. For color, I rely on crimson, violet, or leaf green sweaters that I’ve knitted or purchased, or basic knit tops of the H&M variety since I’m not so jazzed about sewing basic tops. When sewing, however, I stick mostly to black, white, grays, and browns, and also their good friends taupe, tan, charcoal, cream, and beige.  When I’m feeling a little crazy, I toss in some olive green or navy. Not to mention my penchant for solids, subtle stripes, and saner plaids, with frequent forays into herringbone. What can I say?  I try to sew what I know I’m going to wear a lot, and that means more brown than fuchsia. But, in light of some gentle and encouraging prods to incorporate more color and pattern into my sewing, I’ve decided that maybe I should heed your advice… later. When I feel like it.

For now, I want a solid black wrap dress.

And not just any black wrap dress, but the most austere, un-whimsical, and un-fun wrap dress you can imagine. The kind of sleek black wrap dress you accessorize with nothing more than high cheekbones, black wedge sandals, Prada sunglasses, and a frosty attitude. (I do not possess any of these, but I think I can probably cultivate the attitude with a little effort.) No cheerful print, no summery colors, no superfluous swing to the skirt, just enough fullness to keep it from looking like a bathrobe. Sort of like dress 114 from Burda 9.2006 (minus some of the details), which I unfortunately do not have:

Such a dress may seem like an unusual wish for someone who can make her own clothes and therefore can wander somewhat freely through the realm of creative possibilities. But I have the kind of figure that RTW wrap dresses NEVER fit.  It’s Gape City with a possible side trip to Safetypinville when it comes to me and wrap dresses. And I have wanted a black wrap dress for a long time.

I’m going to start with the ever popular Vogue 8379:

Hmm.  I am already skeptical of those pretty, friendly-looking pleats and fear that they might soften up the “don’t-talk-to-me” attitude of my dress. But ultimately I think they’ll be more shape flattering than a flat fronted dress on my already flat front. I’ve already started grading down to a 4 (this pattern starts in an 8, so twice the grading fun!) and done an SBA on the bodice front pattern.  I’m definitely going to take fullness out of the skirt by slashing and lapping, or maybe just taking it out of the sides. And the whole thing will be rendered in one of the current reigning queens of my stash – gorgeous super-soft solid black wool doubleknit. 

Those of you who are shaking your heads in sadness and disappointment over my very dull choices and lack of creativity can take heart:  I plan to muslin this (or at least the bodice and sleeves) in this hideous, very 2002 print knit which has been in my stash forever:

And for those of you who may be tempted to try to convince me to make a “production” level version of the dress in this print?

NO.

(Look!  I’m already cultivating the frosty attitude to go with the dress!  w00t!)

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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