It looks like I often go to Nordstrom and Anthropologie to find inspiration! I started with the Un-fancy wardrobe worksheet to pick out colors (photo of one page below), but mostly I just chose colors I liked and felt were seasonable. Colors that I already owned, since I don’t want to make many new purchases. Hopefully my inspiration board will help you as well!
I already own a pink buttondown + grey hat from H&M, so it was fun to find an exact photo of what outfit I could wear on Anthropologie’s website. I also recently purchased white jeans from Gap (I have zero desire to make white jeans, and I tried on many to get a non see-through pair), so am looking for outfit ideas to pair with that. I’m already planning to make a copy of the orange/red midi dress. Those shoes are so pretty, but not necessary/ in my budget! And that Valentino resort dress is just for eye candy as it costs over $4,000!!!
I bought this fabric a while ago (two years ago?) and while I really like this print, I don’t know what to do with it! Part of my wardrobe planning must include: No fabric bought without a plan for it (that fits in with my wardrobe goals)!
It was easy for me to decide how to use a muted large scale floral fabric but I needed some inspiration for how to use a dramatic floral print. Thank goodness for Pinterest, which allowed me to collect images on the web AND link back to give them proper credit!
1. Vintage rayon dress from Dear Golden Vintage on Etsy, which has a beautiful curated selection of vintage. Long sold out. I actually have a vintage shirtdress from the 1970s that resembles this, I don’t need another one!
2. Topshop dress from Nordstrom. I think it is very cute, but when would I wear this dress? It is not that versatile, and I rarely wear spaghetti straps.
3. Geoscope Jumpsuit from Anthropologie ($128). I like it, and I don’t mind the cropped bottoms since it means pant legs won’t get in my way. But when does one wear a cropped jumpsuit? Do cropped pants also work for autumn? Will this look weird in-person?
4. Jumpsuit by Leith ($79). I love this jumpsuit from Nordstrom. I could make a similar one using my fabric for much less…
5. Mara Hoffman culottes($265)- I love Mara Hoffman and her printed styles. Culottes are in right now, but are culottes in trend only once every 10 years? These are lovely but these are not for me.
6. Romper – Yumi Kim is a designer with a lot of floral designs, who has some beautiful maxi tank dresses, knee length wrap dresses, rompers (like the romper pictured sold at Saks).
If you are looking for floral inspiration, google “large scale floral dress” to come up with a variety of very nice dresses! Now that I have plenty of ideas to choose from, I will just have to narrow down which style I will most likely wear before I start making!
I’m not really a dress wearer as my wardrobe planning is indicating, and though I like loose silhouettes it may be more flattering to have waist definition. So I think/hope the neutral colors and print of my Helmi tunic dress will make it something I will be happy to have in my wardrobe. Good thing I have enough fabric to make a self-fabric tie for more wearing options.
Using a PDF Pattern
Assembling the PDF pattern was easy; I don’t mind putting together PDF patterns and Named Patterns had many useful features. First off, the entire pattern fit on 36 pages which was great because I have printed out 60+ page patterns. There was a layered PDF option, which meant you could just print out one size and save ink (though I didn’t realize this until I read their instructions afterwards). Their seam allowance is 1cm, which saves fabric.
I assemble PDF patterns by cutting one long end and one short end off, and then glue stick the pages together. I prefer glue stick because otherwise you use too much tape and liquid glue gets gloppy. Just remember to print the PDF at “actual size” not “fit to print.”
On Shopbop.com I discovered what Phillip Lim used the matte rayon jersey fabric on – their Surf Floral dress and top. I must say, I much prefer my use of the fabric. Looking closely they cut out the flowers, removing the white fabric areas, to let underlying fabric show through. The yellow one I think could be a statement piece, but the teal/orange/pink one is pretty out there…
I paid $27 for the fabric, and the yellow dress is $696… Even though I’m used to buying fabric cheaper, since I’m aiming to buy more selectively (and not just hop on online fabric sales), buying in-store, especially at good stores like Mood Fabrics, is usually more expensive. It’s hard to determine how much my dress costs, since I don’t count my own labor costs. And it is not like I’ve saved $600+ by making this dress, since I wouldn’t have purchased the designer dress in the first place! In the end, my opinion is my version > designer version…
You know that old adage that we only wear 20% of our closet? Well that certainly holds true for me. I have so much clothing, but not a whole lot to wear!
I downloaded the Marie Kondo app Konmari in an effort to really hone in on what I love and will often wear, and to get rid (donate or sell) what I never do. Her first step in organizing clothing was to put all your clothes in one place before you start. I knew what would happen if I emptied out my dressers, closet, underbed storage… I would just end up spending hours putting it all back! Maybe I should read her book first…
Baby steps – I have Pinterest boards where I post inspiration for what clothing I like, but I need to actually hone in on what I like and will actually wear. One dress I love is the L’Agence Cameron dress available at Net a porter. A green maxi shirtdress with side slits, it just looks so effortlessly comfy and chic. What I did not love is the price of $545! (It’s on sale in different colors at other online retailers if you can swing the sale price!)
I was feeling a little out of sorts today so I went to Mood Fabrics for some pick-me-up. They have an incredible selection of fabrics, 3 stories worth. And everyone that helped me today was so nice! It was so pleasant – I haven’t been in a year or two but it will be my first stop from now on. I used to go to Paron Fabrics on West 39th Street a lot, but they unfortunately closed last year due to rent hikes 🙁
First I found a rayon matte jersey with a large scale floral. It has kind of an sophisticated and clean vibe – an ivory background with a floral that looks like it is made out of lines, and was marked from 3.1 Phillip Lim. But oops that was an unintended purchase since my main goal was to find a fabric to recreate the L’agence dress. Green silk crepe de chine had the same drape I was looking for, and a high level of opacity. After some dithering I bought it! (I only realized after that the inspiration dress was also silk crepe de chine, so no wonder why ).
I was going to use some patterns I already owned to try and get the look I wanted – perhaps extending the Grainline Archer shirt and adding slits. But I had been browsing Instagram today and saw a tunic I loved, so I went to Named Patterns for the Helmi tunic… and then found almost exactly what I (didn’t know) was looking for!
They have a midi shirt dress pattern with slits! Did they read my mind??? It was kismet!
The model is even wearing mules, the shoes that I’m obsessed with for spring! Now that I have so many things I want to make, must make time to do so! Yay!!