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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Inspiration · Plaids

Otherwise entitled: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??

On our last excursion to the Land of Stash Feeding (commonly referred to under the unassuming title of JoAnn Fabrics), I couldn't resist the siren call of the clearance section.  Yet again.

This time however, I came home with plaid.  And 2 different plaids, at that!  If you'll recall, my distaste for plaid has a long and prosperous history.   There seems to be a change in the wind however, as these 2 fabrics positively begged to be loved!

Actually, when JoAnns first got this fabric 2 years ago, I horrified myself by actually liking it.  It is a light-weight poly taffeta (much nicer than the stuff that usually comes to mind!), and it would be ideal for a fall/winter church dress since it's dressy but also washable. :-)  However not only is it plaid, but they're rather obnoxious ones at that!  Why in the world would I like something like that?!

I resisted purchasing it at that time, since I was certain I'd soon wake out of my uncharacteristic and unexplainable Plaid Affection.  Well, it persisted, despite all odds.  Every time I went to JoAnns, I'd check back- surely this time I'd realize how ugly and unappealing that fabric really was, right??  Eventually it went on clearance, but it was still too expensive to justify making a dress out of something that seemed like it was just a "fad" for me.  Until this time. ;-)

I thought it might be fun to do something a bit different from my normal blogging routine, so I'm sharing a bit of my inspiration/design process before I dive into these projects and I might be sharing a few in-progress posts. :-)  Hopefully it also might provide me with some motivation to get these finished sooner rather than later *cough*.... so feel free to keep reminding me for an update if it's taking too long. ;-)

There was only 2 1/3 yds left of this butter yellow/rust/purple plaid, so I'll have to be a little creative with my dress design.  I think it's begging to be made into a 1930s dress, with an accent fabric to help stretch the yardage.

It seems like 30s evening wear doesn't usually feature large amounts of contrast fabric like day attire can, so I might go with a more "nice" day dress instead.  This one is still very early in the idea aspect, so I'm keeping my eyes open for inspiration. :-)  Here are the most probable ideas at this point. ;-)

All photos taken from Pinterest- original sources here.

I really love the plaid/bias details going on in this one!  But it doesn't have any contrast material...

I love this one, but I'm hoping for long sleeves, and I don't think I'll have enough for a full-length skirt.  Also, there's the lack-of-contrast issue.

You might wonder why it made it into the inspiration list then.  Good question.  I think I just really liked it. ;-D

I think this dress is my current favorite!  It features a long-sleeve idea, as well as being one of my very favorite pins for years. ;-)

This rather, ummm.... colorful fabric is destined to become a 1950s dress.  I'm thinking something pretty classic- full, flared skirt and 3/4 length sleeves, maybe a V neck?  I'd like some interest as well though, so I need some good ideas. :-)

This sums up my original idea.  After pondering it for a while though, I don't think a high neck and wing cuffs will make me happy in the long run.  So I need some different ideas now! ;-)

I do love how the center front skirt seam is on the bias, so I think I'll make that a priority.

I like this one for the neckline, although I'm not convinced I want a contrast fabric... like the bow though!

This bodice is so simple and classic- I love it!  The boat neck/bow combination is a favorite of mine, I also like the bias bodice.  But those sleeve cuffs are so fun!  I might try to incorporate those into my design.

Lest you think that I just contradicted my "no wing cuffs" rule, I do consider these cuffs to be different- they don't stick out like the others did, so I think they're better. :-)

This pattern has been a *huge* favorite of mine for a couple years, and I'd love to finally make a copy-cat version of it!  This also has potential for contrast material, but it would be interchangeable and smaller, so I think it has an advantage over the other "contrast" option.

This dress.  Oh my.  I LOVE it!!!  But I really don't think this is the right inspiration for the fabric. :-(  This dress is made from organdy, which makes the bow so dreamy!  I'm afraid my taffeta wouldn't give the same effect.  Sigh.  Inspiration for a different day, I suppose...

Example of bias bodice with straight-grain skirt.  Now I'm conflicted about the skirt, because I like this, too!!

Idea for another boat-neck/bow option.  This would be pretty simple to do, although I would make my version higher.

Ever have times when you wonder why an image made it onto your inspiration board?  That's kind of how I am with this one...  I'm not sure why it made the cut??  I really don't like the skirt, and it's hard to see what's going on with the bodice...

(At any rate, it's an unrelated project- but her coat is so fun!)

I like this skirt, and the contrast between bias and straight grain on the bodice and skirt is fun. :-)  But what I really like is the unique neckline!  I'm not sure my plaid is quite right to give the same effect, though.

I'm still on the lookout for more ideas in both of these categories, so if you come up with any other good ideas, please pass them on! :-)

· Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas! ·


  1. Lily, you crack me up! I personally adore plaids (must be the Scottish in me), but I understand what you mean about being shocked at yourself for liking something you usually despise. I had a similar experience with the color orange. That is, until I discovered it's sister coral, which I've been in love with for a couple years now. (Especially when paired with navy or light teal in a nautical look.)

    That first 30's dress is my absolute favorite. I can't decide on my fave of the 50's options. I really do like the boatneck & bow idea.

    I simply can not wait to see what you come up with! :D

    1. Michelle, well, I have absolutely no Scottish ancestry so maybe that explains my reluctance to plaid! And agree about coral- it's one of my very favorite colors!! Although I do have a bit of a fondness for most oranges anyway.... ;-)

  2. Those plaids are fabulous!! They are bright and colorful but by no means too bright. For some reason our JoAnn has an absolutely boring and detestable clearance section. *sigh* There's never anything this beautiful in there!!
    For the 1930s plaid, I thought this was a cute idea, although I don't know if you could squeeze it into 2 1/3 yards.
    For the other plaid, I positively love the 3/4 sleeve dress that is in the first picture. :)
    Have fun!!

    1. I like that 30s dress a lot!! Thanks for the idea! :-)

  3. I've always loved plaid, though I like more earthy colors and 'traditional' plaids. I find it so hard to find plaid, though! Is it just me? It seems like the only kinds I like are so expensive that I can't justify buying them. It's also difficult to find ready-made plaid dresses/skirts that I like :(

  4. These are very tasteful plaids! When I see plaid, I see 1950's circle skirts, the kind girls wore to school which could be totally adorable but I'm a 1950's freak so...
    (p.s. I made the comment on Facebook and I'm feeling like an internet stalker but you are too delightful and I think it's good for people to know the good things people think about them! Good luck on your plaid adventure!)

    1. Courtney, thanks so much for commenting! :-) I really love hearing from my readers!

  5. I love plaids! And I really love the plaids that you picked up! Love the colors on them both. Can't wait to see what you make!

  6. These plaids are lovely Lily! I think your ideas will turn out beautifully. The plaids sort of remind me of Molly's plaid dress from the Movie of Wives and Daughters... I always loved that dress, though not as much as some of her other dresses. :)


    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Heehee! Actually, they reminded me of Molly's dress too! I was wondering if any of my readers would notice. ;-) Part of me wants to turn it into a fabulous 1830s dress, just because those scenes in the movie are one of my favorite parts. :-D

  7. I think both fabrics are lovely but I completely understand what you mean about being shocked by liking certain fabrics. I find myself drawn to certain colors or prints for vintage and/or historical clothing that I would NEVER wear for everyday clothing. lol!
    I like the idea of using a contrast fabric for your 30s dress. It will certainly help the fabric you have go futher but it's also good to break up a busy fabric. :) I have this pattern in my stash, not sure what size you are but I'd be will to trace a copy for you if you are interested.

    Emily's Vintage Visions

    1. Emily, thank you so much for the offer! I'm not sure yet if I already have an appropriate pattern, but I'll keep yours in mind- thank you again!! :-)

  8. Looks like someone will be busy!!! I can't wait to see what you accomplish.

  9. Not only does this remind me of Molly's dress, but also the scene in Return to Cranford where they're all debating what plaid to buy for Lady Glenmire's visit. With such pleasant connotations, I can't believe you haven't embraced plaid sooner! ;-)

  10. Replies
    1. Mary, hahaha!! I actually wondered if anyone would come across this and call me out.... I think you could say that it has been a successful integration into the stash. ;-) Although I'm still thinking fondly of it for this season!



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