Recently I’ve found myself with all this time to make but yet very little motivation or inspiration to get anything done. After I shared my winter collectionI felt so blah. What was the point of sewing for spring if we’re not leaving our house and at my house it’s still snowing?
I don’t think you have to be “productive” during this strange time, but I do know that when I have a project I tend to feel better about life in general. Which is why I took on the task of my works in progress and why I decided to go looking for inspiration.
I decided to bookmark anything that inspired me on the Madewell and Anthopologie websites. I did this more with the intention to be inspired by details or fun fabrics, but ended up finding a dress that I immediately thought- hey! I could make that!
This is a simple shift dress from Madewell and the thing that caught my eye was that patchwork detail. I love those colors together and I love that otherwise it’s one of those dresses you just throw on and go, something I can totally see myself wearing all summer long.
The idea sat in my head for a few weeks and while I was organizing my office to make room for Chris to work from home, I came across a Needle Sharp kit that had the Cielo dress from Closet Case Patterns and a black linen. I immediately thought of the Madewell dress and decided to make this happen! Here’s how I did it
First I cut out the front of the dress and changed the neckline from the rounded original of the pattern to a square more like the inspiration.
Then I got to work on the patchwork. I actually already had these squares in these exact colors cut out from a quilting project I abandoned years ago. This quarantine is making me never want to throw anything away ever! I just followed the pattern from the original dress and used strips of the same fabric to bind the edges together and finish off the patchwork rectangle.
From there I sewed the pattern as is, changing the sleeves with a sleeve from a different pattern, to match my inspiration. I also ended up not putting in bust darts to get that looser fit.
Here’s my final dress
I think it’s pretty close to the original idea and I love it! This whole process was very inspiring and got me thinking more about how I could use what I have, how I could problem solve, and ultimately made me examine the details of garment making in a way that I haven’t in awhile.
I hope to make this a regular thing and would love your thoughts. Any parts of the process I left out? Any looks you want me to recreate? Let me know in the comments! I’ve also posted a video of the whole thing that you can find here.