Black and White Spring Mini-Wardrobe

Last Spring, I made my daughter a black and white mini-wardrobe (here), and as I was making it, I was thinking all along, I would really like a lot of these for me too!  I typically don't wear black and white, so this is a bit of a style evolution for me.  Who can say what causes our tastes to change?  So, fast forward one year, and I put together a few things in black and white for me!  I think it might have been precipitated by the fact that my hair was gray, and black and white seemed to compliment that.  But, in the middle of sewing these items, I decided I was done with gray hair, and colored it.  LOL!  So, I hope that there is another reason for my taste change! 


The big difference between my daughter's wardrobe and mine, is she likes things fitted and I don't.  She has a defined waist and loves to show it off.  For me, as a rectangular shape morphing to an apple, I am just the opposite!  So, I chose all relaxed fit patterns from Closet Case Patterns.


My first Closet Case pattern was the Ebony- this is a swingy knit top and dress pattern. The fabric is a solid black rayon lycra jersey that came in a kit from Fabric Mart, and is very drapey.  I liked it so much that I made a second out of a black and white printed rayon jersey.  Really a super simple raglan sleeved design, that should look good on everyone! The hemline on all of the versions is a shorter in the front, and I made the difference a little less extreme in my top versions, as I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it.


So, then I decided to try making the dress length version, in a white and black rayon jersey stripe from a kit.  This is a completely different draft from the top because it has set in sleeves.  Well, what can I say, it was not flattering, in the least.  That's one nice thing about doing these blog posts, is that I can see pretty clearly in the photos when something isn't working.  So, what to do?  I thought about cutting it off to top length, but decided that part of the problem was the color.  I threw it in a navy blue dye bath, and voila!  Instantly loved it.  I really enjoy dyeing fabrics.  It's a great tool to have up your sleeve when projects aren't up to your expectations, so give it a try if you haven't yet!  One thing to note here- all purpose polyester thread will not dye, unless you are using a dye specifically for synthetics.  I had used all black topstitching thread, so it worked to dye the garment after construction, as the black was still appropriate with my color.  But, if you have used a thread color for topstitching that doesn't coordinate with your dye color, this may not be the best idea!


I got a lot of compliments on this the first time I wore this to work.  Apparently, my splotchy dye job made it look a little like velvet from a distance!  


I need pockets, and sadly, this dress has none.  Of course, that is an easy remedy, and I could easily add some side seam pockets if I make it again.  As far as the fit goes, I made the size 14, which I would take in ready to wear clothes, and I thought the fit in the bust, neck, sleeve and shoulder area was great.

For my next piece, I decided to make the Kalle pattern in tunic length, View B, with a little extra length, out of a black cotton voile pre-cut with a tiny bird print.   The instructions for the front placket are very clever, and in all of my years of sewing, I don't think that I've done one quite like it.   I think that this one turned out really nice!


And here it is from the back.   I again made the 14 with no alterations, except for length because of my height, and I'm not sure that I even needed that- it's pretty long!  But, the designer says that her patterns are designed for a height of  5 feet 6 inches, and I'm 3 inches above that, so I added 1-1/2".  I always forget how much time woven shirts take to make.  I think that I made ALL of the Ebonys in less time than it took to make one Kalle!  But I did enjoy the process, and sometimes it's good to make yourself slow down and focus.


And last, but not least, I tried the Charlie Caftan.   This one has two
lengths and two versions of the lower front.   I decided to make View B, with the pleated front.


This is a super comfortable dress, and I again, made no alterations to the pattern except for length.
I can definitely see making this one again, as it is pretty simple and I like the modern vibe.

I had enough scraps from the knit Ebonys to make one more top! The Ebony has one short top version, that is in the line drawings, view B.


Even though I had already added a couple of inches to the length of View B, it was still much too short for me. So in a "make it work" moment, I flipped the direction of the stripes from another scrap piece, and made a little addition at the hem.  I like this one a lot, and even though it's from the same white and black striped fabric that I ended up dyeing in the dress form, I think it works better here because there is the contrast neckband and sleeves to add in a little more color.

One more week of winter here!  Can't wait for it to warm up to get to wear these things.  Have you started Spring sewing yet?

Happy Sewing!
Ann


15 comments

  1. Okay, you've sold me. I've never dyed fabric but WOW what a difference that makes!!! I have a cotton lawn that's a bit too buttercup yellow for me but now I'm going to attempt to dye it.

    I love these looks so much. And black & white are so classic and these pieces will mix and match so well. Love, love, love. You could even blend items from this one with your other collections.

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    1. Great! I hope you love it too! Just be sure to do a test on a little corner first to get the color you want. A little goes a long way!

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  2. Your collection looks divine, and I love your new hair color too! I also think the dye turned your dress into an amazing piece. The Kalle is on my Spring sewing list, which I have started now. I love your version, and how the tunic length looks. Great work!

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa! I can't wait to check out your list!

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  3. The Kalle and Ebony patterns were on my list of makes but not in the top few, now they have jumped to the top of my list after seeing yours. Love your hair and am admiring your shoes. Thank you for sharing your wonderful makes.

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    1. Thank you, Linda! The shoes are from JCPenney- Liz Claiborne Warwick Sneakers.

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  4. Great mini-wardrobe! Love the shoes.

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  5. I really like that you sew a mini collection based upon a colour - it's a great idea and one I may be inspired by (copying- LOL)....and I have this piece of cotton jersey that I don't like the colour but, of course, I can dye it!
    Thanks so much for a perfect mini collection and much more.

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    1. Thanks, Ruth! I have been doing this for years, and find that it really helps propel me to sew things that I will wear.

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  6. I always love your mini wardrobes. All of your pieces turned out great and I love seeing the voile made up since I have that in my stash! Love your new hair too!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I still have two more yards left of it, and will watch to see what you make from yours!

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  7. Beautiful, and I love your sense of style....right up my alley :-)

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