This dress evolved over the course of time. It started with a serious crush on this dress Also pictured here, because apparently I’m a style stalker now (if you are curious, it came from this adorable little shop. I asked.). Now, I have enough self-awareness to realize that much of the appeal lies in the cozy scene and setting of this particular image. But that’s where my search for fabric that looked like it belonged on a couch circa 1976 began. My intention was to make a shirt dress in the same style.
One of the things that I love about the book Women in Clothes is that it totally validates whatever your style may be. To be honest, there are a great many days for me where the mood of the day can only be classified as “frumpy”. And I actually don’t mean that in a derogatory way, more that the message I wish to convey to myself and anyone else who happens to be paying attention is that comfort is a great priority and I have no interest in trying to impress anyone or calling attention to myself in any way. It’s kind of like going cocoon-mode. With this dress, I totally wanted to embrace that. This was meant to be my comfort dress. I was basically going for a glorified mu-mu. The first thing I would reach for when it was unbearably hot and I wanted nothing clingy or fitted.
In my great fabric search I found the fabulous cotton-silk blend voile (pictured above), which kind of changed everything. It somehow reminded me of this dress, which I’ve worn and loved for over 20 years now, but which is sadly starting to show it’s age. Instead of the makings of a crisp shirt-dress, I now possessed a fluttering, drape-y, semi-sheer cloth to ponder.
The final piece of the puzzle came when I was style stalking* that really beautiful woman who we sometimes see at local cultural events. She had on this beautifully simple, sheer brown paisley dress that cinched at the waist. It was a real ah-ha moment for me when I realized I could run some slender elastic loosely through the mid-section to make it a bit more flattering without sacrificing the comfort factor at all.
I self-drafted the pattern, using an old nightshirt as a reference.
* Just so we’re real clear, by “stalking” I mean when we happen to be somewhere and she, with no prior knowledge on my part, happens to be at the same place, I try to discreetly check out what she’s wearing. And yes, I promise to introduce myself the next time our paths cross!
What do you consider luxurious? For me it’s all about comfort, sensuous fabric and a departure from the practical.