WIW: summer dressing

Sometimes I have a hard time envisioning what something is going to look like before I make it. The dress I wore today is one of those items. The fabric is one I kept going back to, again and again. I was drawn to the drawing on this panel print. And the seller had combined the panel print with coordinating polka dot and stripe fabrics. I imagined some kind of tunic out of the combo.
So finally I bought it, and when it arrived, it was much more white than I had envisioned. Bright, white, summery looking fabric. I decided to try it in a new dress pattern I had bought, thinking I could wear it as a dress now and as a tunic in cooler weather. I like the way the dress came out, though I feel it is perhaps not what I was originally going for, when I first chose the fabric, which was more of a moody, arty look. Instead, I think it came out kind of cheery looking. (And in case you're wondering, I only used two of the pieces of fabric in the combo: the panel print and white with small black polka dots. I saved the coordinating stripe for later.)
I wore the dress to work today, in the spirit of celebrating summer's last hurrah.

The outfit:
Summer scene dress in white with black, taupe, and shades of gray, with longer short raglan sleeves and a banded hem (made by me); white footless tights with lace trim (Nordstrom); gray Mary Jane d'Orsay low-heeled shoes (Think!); jean jacket (AG, Robyn); gray backpack (Rebecca Minkoff).

Thanks for looking! I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    Being honest here, I am not a fan of the white footless tights with lace - in combination with the shoes, they seem too girlish for the outfit.  I'll confess I was never a fan of looks with white tights generally.  The tunic is a bit different and whimsical in an unusual way, but I think your sewing skills are incredible!

  • Brooklyn replied 5 years ago

    I love the dress but like AG I am not wild about the tights especially the lace. I think it would look great with plain grey tights however (or bare legged). Love it with the denim jacket and backpack. :)

  • unfrumped replied 5 years ago

    Love the print!
    I see about the lace tights thing.
    Know what would be a fab, though it may not exist? Leggings with jagged hems; sort of a Lost Boys ( the original) look.

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    Oh, unfrumped, I could make some of those! Raw-edged leggings.

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    Or black leggings with silky fringe - this has a flapper look...

  • carter replied 5 years ago

    Aside from the fact that all your creations are so beautifully made and fit you so perfectly, I just love that No one else in the world has this dress but you. I really must learn to sew something beyond a pillow cover.

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    Fringe? Are you serious or kidding, Una? I really can't tell. (Not sure what button to award--ha haha!) I do get the slight flapper idea.

    I also get that these footless tights might not be quite right with this dress. I got the tights to wear with the floral dress, below. I can also understand how they might not be right for any purpose, for some folks. Maybe they're too Cyndi Lauper for my style? I kind of like them, though, and I like the idea of covering my legs with dresses sometimes in summer. I got them in black, too, and almost wore those today but went for the lighter look overall.

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    I am totally not kidding! And I mean where the lace is... Ticklish but fun!

  • Ankita replied 5 years ago

    A big thumbs up for your sewing skills...this is awesome!
    I love the dress, love the shoes and the backpack & specially the denim addition...the only thing I'd change is the tights... agree with everyone,the lace doesn't look that great...but I bet there's tons you can do to change that ☺
    Incase I didn't stress on it before -LOVE the dress!

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    I love what you have done with the fabrics to create a summer dress that is fun and fresh. I wonder how the leggings look with the lace tucked up inside to simplify them. Maybe you could make slim pants with the striped fabric to wear with the dress.

  • Kiwimom replied 5 years ago

    I love both dresses, but not a fan of the leggings. Both dresses come to just above your knee - would you be comfortable with bare legs? If not I'd go for a thicker legging.

  • Word Lily replied 5 years ago

    I totally know what you mean about how when you're making something, sometimes you can't quite tell how it's going to come out (my latest sweater fits in that category). I think the dress is nice, though, even if it's not quite what you were originally intending.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 5 years ago

    Love the dress on you Sharan.  You did a beautiful job with the pattern mixing and print placement.  I am also not loving the tights with it but the dress is gorgeous on you and I can see it working into fall with the right supporting cast.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago


    How FUN to see white leggings with lace trim. WOOHOOOOO. The '80s.

  • Xtabay replied 5 years ago

    Sounds like maybe you should pass those leggings on to Angie, heh!  Nice summer dress, easy and breezy.  To me, it cries out for sandals.  What about these (on sale at Anthro!).

  • replied 5 years ago

    I like how simple it is. I think I prefer it without the jacket so you can really see the whole print.
    Very nice and fun outfit!

  • unfrumped replied 5 years ago

    Yes, I also think you can get a great tunic look as you planned--I think some kind of slim pant or something more subtantial than the tights.

  • barbaraq replied 5 years ago

    Great to see this dress on you!  It fits perfectly.  Lace-trimmed tights for summer, but maybe something more substantial for fall?

  • Parsley replied 5 years ago

    Love the dress, Sharan! Another winner from the Firecracker "Made by Me" brand!
    I hear you about the difficulty of envisioning the final product, but I'd say you do a great job.
    I'm not as much a fan of the white tights. I may have a poison eye for them after working for years in hospitals; they remind me of a nurse's uniform. (Although not with the lace, of course...)
    Black leggings would be worth a try, but in summer I think the dress would be great with bare legs, and with the denim jacket if it's cool.

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    Textile art!  Love it!  I think the look is still graphic and modern, and moody artists can get tiresome after awhile, so I'm on board with the cheerier than expected result!

    The dress is great for summer and transitional seasons.  What about trying a grey tight with this? Of course, most of us don't already have grey tights or leggings, but I think they'd suit your overall wardrobe and shoe collection.  It's true that white tights aren't universally loved, but I think it's so important to wear what gives us pleasure.  They look deliberate and polished as you're wearing them here and, hey, they made Angie's day! 

  • Style Fan replied 5 years ago

    Love the dress.  It does have a flapper feel to it.  I have to be honest and say I am not fond of white tights, leggings, jeans,......  What would bare legs and sandals look like?  I like it with the denim jacket.  Of course I like anything with a denim jacket.

  • Liz V. replied 5 years ago

    Agree about the white leggings. How about Capri length in gray or black? I second the sandals lavendermoon picked out.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    I can't get past the amazing tunic! What an incredibly fun piece!

    I have to admit I am not a fan of the lace bottomed leggings -- but I love the rest!

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    Love the tunic/dress! And I think the leggings work here too, although they seem tricky to get right.

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