Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dress vs separates...

The other day I got a newsletter from Pepperberry with a sample of their new range for this season. One item that particularly caught my eye was their "leaf print dress" (pictured below). It reminded me how much I loved Tilly's Autumn Maples Skirt and had been wanting a pencil skirt with a print for a while.

I looked at it further and realised that it's a dress, which made me go "hmm", and I pinned it and thought no more of it for a while. Then when I got my digest email from pinterest and saw how many people had re-pinned it I was reminded of it, so started thinking about it again.

In the meantime, due to the easter weekend I'd gotten out my fabric stash and had a look through looking for inspiration so the fabric I have was near the front of my mind. Last night I suddenly put two and two together and realised that I already have some fabric that might be perfect for a pencil skirt made out of a print.

I have 2.6m of this fabric. It's a sateen with a tiny bit of stretch that I bought in New York but never really knew what I was going to make out of it. I figure the piece is big enough to make a pencil skirt and the remaining fabric still be big enough to still make something from it. (Although that does raise the question of whether the print is too distinctive to have two garments made out of the same fabric...?)

The big question is, do I just make a pencil skirt, or do I get some solid sateen and make it into a dress like in the inspiration picture above?

I'm not sure what I think about dresses like that that look like a skirt/top combo but are actually a dress. In the past I've always thought them a little limiting as you don't have the option of making a different outfit from it. But then when I think about it, a lot of my skirts I just wear the same outfit over and over again. A prime example of this is my first Crescent skirt, which I pretty much always wear with a black t-shirt and a red cardigan. However, the key phrase there is "pretty much always", not "always". I have the option of wearing it with other things (and will when I finally get around to making a red t-shirt with the red jersey I have stashed). However, the lovely princess seamed bodice of this dress looks so smart compared to a t-shirt....

Another pic with a spool of thread to show the scale of the flowers

My thoughts are going to keep going round and round in circles if I keep on like this, so I'm hoping for some input please...

What would you do?


  1. I'd probably make a skirt and top . It gives you more options really. I love that Pepperberry dress the fabric is gorgeous.

  2. I agree. A skirt and top is more versatile. Lovely print for the skirt you have too. This would be nice with a plain black top!

  3. Either way, I love the print :)

  4. Make them separate! High waisted pencil skirts are fab for staying put, and separates mean u can match with a singlet top, a blouse or a long sleeve tee... Plus, the simple colours of the skirt mean it could be matched with a range of different colour tops. You know me - I love colours!

  5. I would say make it separate as you could have short sleeves for summer and long for winter then.

  6. I want to mention that even if you made it as a dress, you aren't as limited as you might think. Several of the fashion bloggers I follow put tops over dresses quite often. Since this top is not apparently very stretchy, maybe it wouldn't be the most comfortable to wear under another top, but something to keep in mind.

    Also, try to pick from your closet right now what you'd want to wear with the skirt. If there's just 1 thing, maybe you'd appreciate having a dress so you don't have to match top and bottom.

  7. With this style, I'd say: dress. An attached top keeps the elegant slenderness of the profile, and the waist. Tucking in a shirt, blouse or t-shirt might cause visible bunchiness around the hip area. Unless you generally wear tops over the skirt? A dress looks a bit dressier than separates (pardon the pun).

    An idea for the left-over print fabric might be: the front two panels of a vest, with a navy or black solid back, to be worn with navy or black skirts, trousers or jeans (over long or short sleeved tops. Just a thought!

  8. I vote for a skirt and I'm a HUGE dress girl, especially this style. Then you could make 4 tops that pick up the colors in the skirt: white, blue, grey and black. And if you alternate the styles of the tops, you can dress up or down the skirt ie white blouse, black knit top, grey shell (like Colette's Sorbetto) and blue tank.

    As for the left-over fabric, you could make a bolero jacket...if you have enough fabric and it fits you shape, of course.

  9. Separates are also a winner for me. Versatile. A dress is a dress. A skirt and top can be reworked into any number of combinations.


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