Half the fun of sewing is customizing a basic pattern to your own style, so when PatternReview.com announced a contest for variations on a single pattern I jumped in. It was great fun getting to play designer and my sweet husband was happy to play fashion photographer. My starting point was a basic sheath dress (McCall 6920) fitted with shoulder princess seams. Here are the looks I created …
The rules allowed for changing necklines, sleeves, length and embellishments, but ruled out many other variations that were included in the same pattern. I started with View D so I got the pencil skirt and a sleeve to work with. Here are my three finished garments – one classic, one sporty and one cocktail look. The quick descriptions below link to more details is separate posts if you’re interested.
In each one I added a center front vertical element in some way, hoping to make my figure look a bit taller and trimmer.
The first one – a classic look – is brown ponte knit, outlined with a self-binding in the blush color of the same fabric. I was going for “classic” here, but the finished dress was too classic – bordering on boring – and needed an accessory. The neckline shape didn’t lend itself to my usual scarf or necklace, so I settled on this pin-on flower. You’ll laugh at the extremes I had to go to find a blush flower in a store in December.
The second one is the sporty variation – also ponte knit. I had that fabulous teal decorative zipper on hand, so that inspired the teal/pale gray/charcoal gray color scheme and color-blocked detail. I wore it last night with tights and chunky short booties for an even more casual vibe than this photo.
The cocktail version – the winter white ponte one – gave me a way to use those fabulous lace motifs that I’ve had since I-can’t-remember-when. (I have them in white too. Does anyone else over-buy like that?) Using them at the neckline and hemline and extending them with beading gives at least a hint of that vertical effect I wanted. Since the contest parameters ruled out a front-V neckline I cut a V in back instead, and emphasized the mitered trim with more beading.