People often ask me where I get my ideas, and my answer is generally “I dunno.” They’re not often directly traceable, but they are usually the result of serendipity, I think — or paying attention to the signs. I thought it might be worthwhile to record them now and then, when they can be traced, so perhaps I don’t lose track of them and one or two might be brought to fruition! So here’s a little case study—
1) A few weeks ago I bought Butterick sewing pattern B6147 on a whim while ordering a different pattern for my sewing workshop. Didn’t have anything particular in mind at the time — I just know short-sleeved tops are a gaping hole in my wardrobe and this shape appeals to me. So it was an impulse buy.
2) While wandering around Imogene + Willie a couple of weeks later, it was brought to my attention that there were baskets of fabric bundles on the floor along one wall — remnants, presumably, in a variety of prints and stripes. When it became clear they were 5-yard cuts for $25, I snatched up one of each of all but one print. (There goes my no-fabric-stash vow.) Included was the ivory shirting with navy pinstripes above. Again, no particular plan in mind.
3) A couple of days after that, a Madewell email hit my inbox, and in it was a picture of this simple little pinstripe dress, which brought to mind that pattern and this fabric, and gave me the tangential idea of doing the short-sleeved version of B6147 (View C) at dress length, minus the elbow embellishments from either of the two reference points. And/or of making a similarly simple dress with this fabric and turning it cross-wise on the yoke.
Will it happen? I don’t know. But at least now it’s a butterfly with a pin in it.
Mm, beautiful fabric. I find most of my ideas are untraceable too, or if there was a beginning, it’s cobwebby and random. I really like the idea of recording their paths though!
I use to have a Butterick pattern like this by Kenzo. The most comfortable top I ever made. You might check out the tutorial that Jen at Grainline did on a Scout turning it into a Madewell top, with that same V neck.
Love this! Would love to have gotten my hands on some of that gorgeous fabric…good garment fabric is hard to find! I really liked that Madewell dress as well. It reminded me of Anna Maria’s Well-Composed Dress pattern, which I have made and love.
Brilliant. I’m trying to discipline myself to sketch (or write) things down when they occur to me…just in case there comes a shortage of brilliant ideas. I’ll be all stocked up! ;)
I was looking at this pattern about a month ago….for the linen I have in my stash. Easy, cool and airy…it would also be beautiful in washed silk. I was thinking I’d hand-sew a topstitch on the tucks. Somehow the linen just calls for it.
I am itching to do some sewing but can’t seem to get to it, alas.
Okay, love love love that pattern. I’ve been itching to sew something for myself. This may be it. Thanks, Karen. Gorgeous fabrics, I couldn’t have resisted either.
Thank you for the awesome inspiration! I’ve just moved and will actually have a sewing room again, so I’ve just started thinking about projects for myself. I love the structure of this dress and think it’s a style that’s timeless.
Karen, I keep thinking about skirt patterns you might like. Sonya Philip did Simple Skirt pattern for Robert Kaufman. Looks like it could be lengthened, if you find this too short.
Hi Karen – Just saw a similar dress at H&M, in case it is helpful to see another variation of this style: http://www.hm.com/us/product/02553?article=02553-B
OOOoh, lovely! I get sucked right into the Madewell dress emails. I have a tent-y striped one I got last summer which I haven’t had the courage to wear. You’ve got a great plan there!!
WoW! WoW! WoW! There’s an Imogene+Willie in Portland! And I’m going there tomorrow!
Really love this pattern and given the sale price its at at the moment, I’m going to snag it. As much as I sew sweet little things for my gallery, I haven’t sewn any clothes for myself in a couple of decades. Mainly because I can find great things at our thrift stores and I have direct access to artisan made clothing at our gallery for dress up. But my husband and I have been talking about sewing our own clothes again since I’ve been sharing your posts with him. I think this pattern tips me over the edge!
Love how simple it is! This is exactly what I need in this unbearable heat!
Based on this post, I just visited I + W and Craft South today while on vacation in Nashville – my purchases will be my favorite souvenirs!
Yay — hope you’ve had a great trip!
Reading along I thought you wrote “paying attention to the sighs”. Uh huh. Signs or sighs. I know that feeling. Lovely post, Ms. Templer.
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