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Daily Archives: February 23, 2017

planning the Florida collection

I usually decide what projects to make next with a few unsurprising factors in mind. Things like the weather and what fits into my lifestyle and what fabric I have in my stash often steer my sewing in one direction or the other. The mild Texas winters have kept me from making a tailored coat for years now, yet I’ve gone out of my way to make a couple tulle skirts and one of the most sparkly sequin skirts ever simply because I wanted them. Both are equally as practical as a wool coat in Texas but here we are.

Sometimes, an event or trip comes up that requires a little more thought and planning. Next month, Ty and I are going for Florida for a long weekend at the beach. It’s a company sponsored event for select employees based on performance in 2016, and I’m so very, very proud of Ty and his hard work. We are really excited for this little vacation.

There are a few events over the course of the weekend with a specific dress code, which means it’s time to make some new clothes. I was just about to dive into spring sewing when we found out about this trip, so I rearranged my production timeline a little, added a couple of items to my project list, and I was ready to hit the ground running. Luckily, we’re going somewhere warm where a lot of what I already had planned will be appropriate.

Besides a couple billowy tops with fun sleeves to travel in (interesting sleeve details are huge this year), I need a beach cover up, a sundress or two, an outfit for an afternoon of exploring Miami, and a cocktail dress. I can hardly believe this myself, but the one item I still haven’t finalized is the cocktail dress. I have the fabric, but I can’t seem to settle on a design. But, look! I already have the shoes and handbag. That’s progress, right?! This is a floral brocade from Promenade Fabrics. And yes, it’s on the pricey side, but what else is a girl to do with her birthday money but spend it on fabric for a pretty dress?

Whenever I sit down to plan a collection, I have a process in place to help me get organized and inspired. Because this is the first group of projects for spring, it was easy to dive in and get excited for bright colors and florals and linen and ruffle tops and sundresses and all the things that make spring the best season of all the seasons. I’m doing a lot of coral and white and the Pantone color of the year, greenery. My interpretation leans a little more Kelley green than the moss green of greenery, but I’m all in for the green this year. What a fun, refreshing color. I got 6 yards of this green gingham linen (yes, it’s linen!), so I can make a dress and a top. This Butterick pattern is new for spring, and I absolutely love it. Fabric can be found at Fashion Fabrics Club.

Whenever I make a list of projects, I always include pattern numbers or other notes about the design in my design journal. Most things are straightforward, like if I’m using a commercial pattern or my own. In some cases, it’s a combination of the two, which I call “hybrid” garments. Again, still a big question mark next to the cocktail dress.

I’ve posted about Vogue 8825 twice before (here and here), and it’s such a fantastic dress that I’m making it again in coral. I have a feeling the coral dress will be my favorite. Fabric is a rayon ponte knit from Mood. (Tip: rayon/nylon ponte knits are better quality than their polyester cousins, and they feel better too.)

One of the things I love most for spring and summer is linen pants. Like many of you, it’s been a challenge to find pants that fit properly. Enter, this Vogue pattern. I’ve had it for ages, and I even cut it out in ivory linen about two years ago. Never did finish those pants (now they’re a size or two too big), but I’ll finish this pair for sure. If making pants is something you’d like to get into, I’d recommend starting with a design with a wider leg. That way, there’s less fitting to worry about. This pattern is out of print, but I found it on eBay a while back. I like it because it sits at the natural waist, which is flattering on my body type. It’s worth finding, for sure. This fabric is 100% white linen from JoAnn. These pants and a pretty top will probably be my Miami outfit.

For one of the blouses and a sundress, I’m using this gorgeous floral sateen from Fashion Fabrics Club last year (sold out). I made a dress last summer and had about two yards left over to make a top. So, I’d say that worked out well. This fabric is magical. The pattern is another oldie but goodie, McCall’s 7163, and I cut view D, because I like my shoulders and upper back covered.

The last item on my list is a swimsuit cover up, and mine will be in the form of a skirt. I have a few scars to cover up (and I absolutely have to protect my skin from the sun) so my swimwear needs are unique. I got this incredible long sleeve one piece from J. Crew (and it’s my favorite color!), so my idea for the cover up is a flowy, swishy skirt. I designed a wrap skirt a few years ago, which I think I’ll use to make the cover up. I might add elastic in the back waistband for a little extra comfort. I found this star print rayon a couple weeks ago that I think, paired with the navy suit and gold sandals, will be the cutest thing ever. I also have a red swimsuit and rash guard, so it will work nicely together. It’s almost like I planned it . . .

You can find this fabric here.

That’s it! I’m about halfway finished with construction for these projects, so I’m making great time. Only a few weeks to go and we’ll be beach bound!