Sometimes a fabric just calls to you. When I spotted this coral and blue buffalo plaid jersey at Girl Charlee I just wanted it. I can’t really explain it, but it had to happen. I wasn’t sure what it was going to become, but I bought two yards and said “we’ll see”.
I’ve noticed in the past few years that I never have any suitable winter-y clothes by the time I go to an actually winter-y place at Christmas – and this year I finally figured out why. Our climate here in coastal southern California is such that it doesn’t get properly summery (with sun and temperatures above 70) until it’s basically fall. Then there’s no fall to speak of, and suddenly in the first week of December it’s winter and here I’ve been making summer clothes all October, but I sure haven’t made anything with sleeves since the previous January. Sometimes I can eke out something fall-ish in November, but this November was totally consumed with craft fair prep, so here I was the week before Christmas and I just really, really wanted to make something seasonally appropriate. Enter the buffalo plaid jersey.
My first thought was “shirt-dress”, which was swiftly followed by “wait, no, that’s stupid, I don’t have time for buttons and collars!” So then my third thought was “cowl neck circle skirt dress?” And down that rabbit hole I went.
Although I was almost certain I either owned or had seen a commercial pattern for a cowl neck circle skirt dress, after some interneting I conceded that I was imagining it and set about to Frankenpattern one. My trusty Tiramisu half-circle skirt pattern came out first, this time cut on the fold because I didn’t want a center seam. I cut my usual 3 inch tall rectangle waistband, but on the bias for plaid interest. And for the bodice, I dug out Kwik Sew 3740, which I had made once years ago, pulled it out of the back of the closet on a particularly cold December day recently, and thought, this is lovely, I should use this pattern again. I thought it a good candidate for a dress bodice because it’s very close fitting (read: tight) through the waist and I thought it would attach easily to my waistband. This proved to be true. I put on my existing top and measured from the front center neckline seam to my waist to determine where I needed to cut the pattern for just a bodice. It mostly worked, but I think I was too generous with my seam allowance estimation and the waistband ended up just a smidge low for my preference (hence extra fabric in lower bodice).
It sewed together really fast and I was actually able to take it to Nevada and wear it in real winter weather. I also was able to photograph it in front of the beautiful new garage that my father built and sided with reclaimed wood and tin, which turned out to be kind of a perfect backdrop for this dress. Having grown up in the country, I’ve always avoided typical “country” clothing, but this dress with my new brown boots has a slight country vibe that I’m actually really digging.
See, sometimes the fabric knows better than I do.