Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Architectural Sorbetto Dress

When I saw the fabric used in this dress online a while ago, I knew I had to have some.  I'm an old building nerd, and well it's covered in schematics of old Paris buildings!   

It 's from the Moda Etchings collection by 3 Sisters, bought from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  The collection also includes the Paris map fabric used in this tank, which I have a chunk of as well, and may need to purchase the Wiksten Tank Top pattern for :)  

I didn't know what I wanted to make with the fabric, but I figured a dress or some sort.  I wanted something dead simple (and without the need to do too much fitting), but I couldn't picture it with any pattern I saw.  But I remembered pinning this dress, and thought, hey maybe that'll work.

So, like my inspiration, I pretty well just lengthened the Sorbetto shirt pattern from Colette Patterns (I totally want to make her Peony dress now!)  I also reversed the box pleat, lowered the neckline a bit, and added side seam pockets using this tutorial (super easy!)  I also attempted to widen the shoulders to make some sort of sleeve, but that was a fail and the arm holes almost came out too small.

Hence the sweater in the photos :)  I have plans to add in some set in short sleeves, but just haven't done it yet (and may not till it's warmer and I want to wear it without a sweater!  I also just made a little ribbon belt to wear with it as seen above.  Oh and excuse my bad hair, I was long overdue for a hair cut which has now finally happened! (and yes blog readers, that's me in the photos, I've decided to come out of hiding :)

I think I will need to redo the neckline bias finish (I admit I probably didn't pin it enough!) And in hindsight I can now imagine the fabric used with a bunch of patterns (in particular maybe a shirtdress pattern, my current obsession as seen if one visits my style Pinterest Board).  I still find it really hard to pick fabric for patterns, its hard for me to imagine what it will look like, but I'm working on it!  I thought this fabric would be a bit much as a dress, but I actually don't think it is, so next time, I think I will be a bit braver.  And I actually still have a huge chuck of this left that I think I'll make a shirt from (or something like this version of the Lisette Traveler dress pattern maybe?)

So I think I'm building back up my confidence to make some properly fitted clothes for me, which is a goal for this year.  I've made more fitted things in the past (hmm maybe I should take photos and post them here), but I was always frustrated having to take in the sides by lots despite the pattern telling me from its finished garment measurements that it should fit fine!

I'm curious, dear readers, how do you go about picking fabric for projects?  Does fabric inspire the project? or the other way around?  Any tips?

Oh and I'm excited to see that Blogger now has the ability to reply to comments! Yay!  I can now directly acknowledge all the nice comments my readers leave me, Thanks!


  1. Hi Johanna, this dress is so cute. I would never have chosen that fabric but you have made it work so well.
    In answer to your question, I usually buy my fabric when it goes out on special (I have a super large stash) and then I find a pattern I want to use then look through my stash to see what will match the pattern best. Alot of times if I like the picture on the pattern cover I'll use a similar style fabric because there is no guessing how it will turn out, like this dress: http://whatsherrymadetoday.blogspot.com/2011/12/blue-linen-dress.html

    1. Thanks Sherry! Yeah, I'm in danger of growing a large stash as well I think! Hmm and yeah its a good sea about the pattern cover photos, I've been known to do that before

  2. Love THIS! Such a great print for a dress, I think I like it better than the Wiksten tank version. I especially like your styling with that cardi and belt. Such a lovely job!

    1. Thanks Sophie! I do really love the print!

  3. I know this is late, but I saw this dress in person at work yesterday and I have to say "so cool!" I love the fabric. It's totally original and personal - the dress is as crisp and cute as anything you could find at a twee high-end boutique, but is special because as soon as I saw the print I was like "Oh, it's fabric made for Johanna!" and Parisian, no less.


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