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Lovely Stripes: The Mabel Dress

I love dresses. I always have. When I was in college, my sketchbooks were full of dresses: long ones and short ones, strapless and sleeveless, fancy dresses and day dresses--I never stopped dreaming about them. For whatever reason--perhaps because of the flowers blooming or general happiness in the air that winter is over--I get a little more excited about new frocks for spring and summer than I do at any other time of year.

As I honed my skills over the years and started my own clothing line, I came to appreciate a more classic dress rooted in vintage-inspired shapes and silhouettes--one with with fresh, modern details and crafted out of the most fabulous materials. My inspiration for this dress came from not only my love for a great spring dress, but also my appreication for some of the basic fundamentals of design--shape, line, balance, and proportion. By drafting the pattern and creating my own striped fabric, I was able to acheive a dress that is not only striking in its use of color and line, but one that is flattering as well. By placing the most narrow navy blue stripe around the waist and gathering the skirt, the dress reinforces the waistline and creates a lovely silouhette. Cap sleeves keep things on the modest side for those of us who are more comfortable in dresses with sleeves, and hidden side seam pockets add to its functionality and wearability.

Because each stripe is created in the pattern, construction took a little longer (so many seams!), but it was worth the effort. I even changed my thread color to match each section as I sewed the zipper in the back.

Sometimes, when you stretch the limits of your imagination, you can achieve some truly great things. I couldn't be happier with this dress, and I look forward to wearing it at every opportunity over the next few months.


Cotton sateen dress with fitted bodice, cap sleeves, gathered skirt, and side seam pockets. Fully lined, 24" from waist. Back zipper.

Pattern or design used: My own design - Mabel

Comments (6)

snowbird103 snowbird103 writes: Changing each color while inserting the zipper would definitely be time consuming, but the dress looks great! Great placement of stripes, too!
Posted: 6:25 pm on June 4th

SewingSadie SewingSadie writes: Your love for dresses shows! Thanks for sharing all the special touches you put into this work of art! It looks fabulous on you !
Posted: 12:07 am on May 29th

jcoutoure jcoutoure writes: Love it. Especially like that it has pockets. Looks comfortable, too.
Posted: 10:37 pm on May 18th

sewersteph sewersteph writes: Beautiful, well-made dress! Love the lines and proportions of the dress, and the cap sleeves.
Posted: 11:11 pm on April 25th

kneedlez kneedlez writes: Great design!
Posted: 6:35 am on April 12th

slmendes slmendes writes: Very nice dress! I love the seamed stripe placement and the pockets, great work!
Posted: 3:19 pm on April 8th

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