Ever since the hashtag was introduced a few years ago, I've always been fascinated by the concept of #sewfrosting. For those of you who haven't kept track of it, it's a concept started by Closet Core Patterns and True Bias to feature items that you may not wear all the time, but are treats. Your every day, ready to wear handmades like t-shirts and pants and button ups are the staples of your wardrobe, but sometimes you want dessert, your "sewing frosting," if you will. These are projects that maybe feature an unusual fabric or a different shape, or a piece of clothing that you want for a special occasion. They are the projects that are simply fun to see if you can do it, without a purpose or application.
Historically, our November Boxes have been holiday themed, so it seemed like a great opportunity to combine this with #sewfrosting for some really fabulous dresses. Last year, we mostly missed out on the holiday parties and gatherings that usually define the holidays. While it still remains to be seen what the next few months will hold on that front - let me tell you, it's weird planning two months ahead in this pandemic era - we've decided to help you sew up party-ready dresses that you can wear this year, or next year, or just around your bedroom when you want to feel fancy.
Wrap dresses immediately came to mind for our #sewfrosting projects because they are so versatile and easy to fit. You can make a glam dress with one fabric then turn around the next month and make a weekend dress with some cotton or a vacation dress with a nice linen. These are patterns that can do it all in your wardrobe!
But this round, we're dialing the luxe factor up to eleven. Each fabric we've chosen is lush and rich, whether it's the color or the feel or both! We've gone full holiday toned with deep reds, verdant greens, and fabrics with sparkle and shine, all in the hope that they get you excited to have your sewing cake and eat it too!
So let's take a look!
Sew Essential Box: Highlands Wrap Dress from Allie Olsen
I'm writing this blog right after watching the Met Gala red carpet, and I must admit, while I love the drama of some of those outfits, I'm always drawn to the styles that make a statement through their simplicity. That's what the Highlands Wrap Dress from Allie Olson does so so well.
If you break it down, it really is a basic v-neck bodice with arm and neck facings, and a straight skirt. But it is so much more than the sum of its parts! Together, the dress is simply stunning, the long wrap skirt with side slits adds drama and movement, and the elastic at the back of the waist creates a gorgeous silhouette. We can't get enough of it.
With such a classically simple style, the dress really lets your fabric shine, so we knew we needed to choose some options that made a statement. That's what led us to fabrics with a ton of drape and some bold and opulent colors that will make an impact and make you feel amazing. So here they are!
- Cream and Black Pin Dot Crepe - Do you remember the craze over the Zara dress back in 2019? I know, I know, it feels like decades ago, but there was a time that everyone wanted this amazing pin dot print to make a dress. Well, we got our hands on some, in our staff fave Moda Crepe, and it will work so well for this wrap dress. The fabric is thin yet mostly opaque, a feat for a light colored crepe, and the fluid drape is silky and divine. The cream color is the perfect winter neutral gives you an ideal palette to play with jewelry or colorful layers. A gorgeous fabric for the holidays and beyond!
- Burgundy Rayon Challis - As you scroll, you'll notice a theme this month with deep, rich reds. To me, as the temperature gets cold, I just want to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine or better yet a cup of mulled wine and stay cozy. This fabric, a floaty, silky soft challis, is that feeling in a fabric. The semi fluid drape will give great movement and swing to this dress, and the color will add instant luxury. Go glam with some dramatic make-up and a matching lip color, or soften it up with a cream cardigan and some flats. This dress can do it all!
- Night Sky Navy Rayon Challis - I must admit, I've been trying to use this fabric for several boxes, and I'm so glad to finally find the perfect application! The constellation print has a hint of novelty to it, without veering into costuming, and I love the contrast of the deep blue with the bright red stars. The long length of this dress allows the print to really shine, and the semi-fluid drape creates flow to the dramatic wrap skirt. If you want to make a statement dress, look no further!
Sew Select Box: Eve Dress from Sew Over It
With the Met Gala still on my mind, always find it fun to watch celebrities on the red carpet or at award shows try to move in their outfits. Often, what looks great in a photo will reduce the wearer to a penguin when walking. And good luck sitting down in some fancy dresses and still being able to breath.
One of the best parts of a wrap dress is how much it moves with you. And that's exactly what drew me to the Eve Dress from Sew Over It. It oozes with ease. the fabric is soft, the fit loose, and yet it is sophisticated and chic. It's the type of dress you could wear to an elegant party, then plop down the couch after without feeling the immediate need to change. And did I mention it's also just gorgeous?
For fabric, this dress is all about the drape, so we found some luxurious fabrics that have shine and color and just the right amount of patter. So here they are!
- Hunter Green Viscose Twill - This twill is one of our all time faves. It's soft, silky, and has a lovely hint of shine in the right light. Essentially, it feels like loungewear but looks like silk and who could ask for anything more. The deep hunter color is perfect for the holiday season and beyond. Seriously, you'll want to wear this dress everywhere!
- Winterberry Rayon Voile - It's not exactly the holly and the ivy, but this fabric hints to that holiday spirit. A dark navy background features large scale branches of bright red berries scattered across the front. This pattern is bold and beautiful and only gets better when you feel the silky hand fo the rayon. So light and soft, it will show off the flutter sleeve and hi-lo hem of the dress wonderfully. A stunning fabric for a stunning dress!
- Burgundy Floral Dobby Viscose - From the looks of this fabric, it should be heavy and stiff, like what you find on a table runner, that sort of damask print. But instead, it's gloriously light, silky, and thin, exactly what this dress calls for. the floral pattern is woven into the fabric, adding texture and catching the light as you move. And the deep wine red is ideal for the holiday season, a grown up cranberry red that will look stupendous as this dress!
Sew Curvy Box: Eve Dress from Sew Over It
We don't often repeat patterns in our themes, but we loved the Eve Dress so much that we couldn't help it. Recently Sew Over It expanded their size range (Yay!), which means that they off this dress in two blocks and we can offer both size ranges for this month.
Everything I said above about the Eve Dress still holds in this box. But because the Sew Curvy is intended to be a touch more luxe, we couldn't help but up the ante for fabrics. That's why we went with texture and depth for our options, including some embroidery, a gauze, and a nubby crepe. All three fabrics are deeply saturated and oh-sew-wearable, so without further do, here they are!
- Smoke Blue Viscose Linen Crepe - The soft drape and cool hand of the fabric is perfect for this dress. And the color! A dusky, muted blue is not your typical holiday color, but has the cool, iciness to remind us of the winter season. The fabric itself is sort of the lovechild of a rayon challis and a crepe, combining the silky hand of your favorite challis with a slightly nubbly texture you get with crepe. The combination will give you a dress that is both relaxed and elegant. A lovely choice!
- Stardust Amaranth Embroidered Dot Gauze - The amaranth is a plant that has deep red flowers that grow in the fall, so this color seemed like the ideal option for our holiday dresses. Lush and saturated, this double gauze is an instagram favorite, probably due to its gold embroidered dots that add a refined element to a simple cotton. With a floaty drape and super soft hand, this dress will look like your fanciest dress but feel like your favorite nightgown. The ultimate in secret pajamas!
- Black Embroidered Cotton Voile - When this fabric popped up at one of our wholesalers, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to put it to good use. A simple black voile has embroidered with an intricate white thread floral, and it is simply a sight to see. The cotton is super light, making it a great choice for the draped style of the dress, while the embroidery gives it a couture feel, as if you spent hours hand stitching your dress to perfection. A fabric as unique as you are!
Sew Indulgent Box: Hannah Dress from By Hand London
One of the favorite things I've ever made was a fancy dress, some might call it gown, from By Hand London. It was the Anna Dress, and I love it to bits. So when I decided to do frosting dresses, I knew the company I was going to explore.
Right before I launched Needle Sharp, By Hand London stopped production on their paper patterns, but recently they have decided to start releasing them again to my great relief. Their patterns are fashion forward yet completely wearable, my favorite combination. The Hannah Dress is no exception, with stylish touches, like multiple sleeve options and a glamorous scooped neckline. It's the kind of dress that you just want to twirl in!
For fabrics, because this is box is all about indulgence, we went with simply scrumptious options. These are not the fabrics to wear to brunch but the ones to break out when you really want to shine. Heck a couple include some metallics even. And they are definitely #sewfrosting ready. So let's take a look!
- Silver Ring Chiffon - There's something impossibly chic about chiffon. I always think of JLo's Versace dress that looked opulent and dreamy. This chiffon may not be Versace green, but it still has all the elements that will make you love it for a glamorous dress. The modern silver ring pattern has a midcentury feel to it, and the black background is perfect for an elegant night out. Oh, and we're including a silk/cotton voile to underline the bodice and skirt, so you can be glamorous without showing JLo levels of skin.
- Amaranth Viscose Crepe - As we said above, amaranth is the quintessential fall red for us. In a viscose crepe that you'll swear is silk, it's all the more ideal for you holiday dress. A fluid drape, cool hand, and subtle sheen will make your dress something to behold. And we swear, people will be amazed when you tell them you made it. Always the fun bit of making your own clothes, right?
- Calacatta Marble Printed Tencel - Our boldest print in the bunch, this marble print tencel is a knockout. Calcatta marble has veins of color, ranging from pale pink to bright gold, that give this fabric a truly unique look. The color is cool and opulent, which matches the incredibly soft hand of this tencel. A slight sheen adds even more interest too! If you're looking to make a one of a kind, "oh my god, where did you get that?" type wrap dress, this is absolutely the fabric for you!
For our Tried and True series, we wanted to stay holiday themed, but in a completely different way. Perhaps holiday parties aren't your thing and the season means being cozy and comfortable. For that reason, we're reviving our Leggings Boxes, so you can have a stretchy waistband for Thanksgiving and some amazing layering pieces for when the temperatures start to drop. Not a bad thing, if you ask me.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their kinds words about our new website and also thank subscribers for having some patience as we experience some growing pains during the transition. You all are amazing, and I wouldn't be so excited each month without your support. ❤️
Until next time. . .