The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

It’s Fall now, so that means it’s Spring in the Fashion World

Yeah, I know it’s crazy – as the models say they freeze in winter and burn up in summer – they wear bikinis in the winter and heavy coats in the summer.

And even though we’re seeing all the latest Fall stuff in the stores (you can subscribe to my newsletter for details on the Fall fashions and patterns and modifications to use to get those looks for your wardrobe), the Spring shows are all the buzz.  One of my fav sources for “real” clothes are the stores – Neiman’s and Bergdorf’s and Barney’s are some of my favs, so when Neiman’s sends out a catalog of the latest spring looks, it’s always worth a look.

And I love what I see:

 So here are some of the looks

Who doesn’t love Carolina Herrera – and here’s a beautiful dress…with some art type play in the dress….the panels are easy enough to draw on a block or standard pattern (don’t use a sloper or moulage as they will fit too tightly – you want something that already has the ease built into it), and then the skirt pieces are done in pleats – just plain pretty and what a nice look.  With some jewelry this is perfect for evening;  with a nice tailored jacket, it’s totally appropriate for work.  Not only that, but this is a style that works for this year, next year, the next 5 years and probably the next 10 years….if you spent $300 on some silk for this dress, that would probably cost you about $30/year – a bargain!

This is a great Jason Wu and I like the inset piece, and he did it right – that’s what the big designers get paid for….he put the receding piece on the side so that the model looks thinner – which is something we all want.  Another great idea for work or evening or anytime you need to dress up a little.  Interesting boots – they work here because of the proportion – this is one thing to really look at closely with designers is how they play with proportion and believe me it’s not just smattered together.  They actually do know what they’re doing and this is why it’s worth a good look.  To take this look for your look, you can shorten or widen the model to match your croquis, which is an outline of your figure.

Derek Lam is a favorite of the first lady, but this has all the great points for spring – lace, pretty, blocking and lots to take away from this style.  First it’s basic and classic, so the lace (pretty strong here), and blocking have room to show off.  The other is that Lam’s design is just a tad off – off center in that the sleeves are the same color so they don’t offset each other, but they are both yellow, which is not at center front, and more at one side – less yellow on the dress but balanced by more yellow in the sleeves.  These are the fun details that you can take away from designs like this.

Zac Posen is another fav or Mrs. Obama, and this cute little outfit is just pure feminine and pretty.  The gathering around the neckline is a little much, but if you’re in the mood for something really fun, it’s worth a try….it’s a basic very full shawl collar, but gathered at the notched point which is an interesting and very couture touch.  But you don’t need it to have this look work for you.  The look here is the contained and fitted jacket (and since you’re making it for yourself, that’s easier than buying it), and the fuller frilly skirt, but contained in the middle.  Notice how the designer put the fuller parts at the shoulder and hem, but contained and fitted the middle part – that way it’s not a fly-away or design that isn’t full all over – the accent is around the middle and the waist.  If you have an hourglass figure, this is made for you.  If you have a thick waist, raise the waist and accentuate that indentation under the bust, then keep the middle fitted (not tight, but fitted) and a little fuller at the hem, maybe with some godets or something like that.


All of these pictures are linked, and just check them out (and check out the prices too) on the new looks for Spring to kind of help you keep these in mind.  You can always do a Pinterest to keep track of them.







  1. I would love to hear your thoughts on the coat dress and how to create one. I purchased some beautiful gray flannel for a suit but I would love to make a coat dress with it! Looked online at patterns and “zip” no luck finding a pattern. So a coat pattern works but what do you do to change it to a dress?

    Thank you!


    • Judy – great idea – this sounds like a blog and TMI to include here – I’ll post one here real quick!

  2. Excellent – looking forward to the read.

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