Midi Dress Styling Part I: Smart Casual Looks

Mac of Sew Altered Style shares the first two smart casual looks she created using the Seamwork Lane Midi Dress as a base. Features the Itch to Stitch Hvar.

I am THRILLED to continue our ‘One Handmade Staple, Four Stylish Looks‘ blog series by sharing two of the four ways I styled my Black Midi Dress!  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I used the Seamwork Lane as a base for my MBD (aka Midi Black Dress), and paired it with a black rayon knit from KnitpopSeamwork,  KnitpopItch to Stitch and Patterns for Pirates are all sponsoring giveaways this week to celebrate with us (we just hit 3,000 followers on IG and over 1,500 members in our facebook group).  Make sure to read to the end to learn how to enter.  Let’s dive into the first two smart casual looks, shall we?

The Base: MBD (“midi-black-dress”)

I shared some pictures of this Seamwork Lane dress in yesterday’s post – but I just have to share more:

    To tell you a little about it, is a princess-seam shin-length dress, with long ties at the side seams.  The neckline, and armholes are finished quite simply by turning under and stitching (I chose to draft bindings my armholes to bring them in a touch since I am petite and really should have removed length). Quick patterns that can serve as wardrobe staples is the hallmark for Seamwork patterns.  Oh, and you should know – they are designed for a C-sewing cup!  Hooray for avoiding a full-bust adjustment (FBA)!! (If you want to learn more about sewing cup sizes – click here)

      The dress is BEYOND perfect in a heavier rayon spandex knit – and this Knitpop brushed rayon knit is absolute perfection.  One of the comments on my instagram asked if they were secret pajamas — honestly, it’s a little hard to answer because I don’t feel like I am wearing anything at all!

      View this post on Instagram

      I want to tell you all about how my handmade dress makes me feel. ✨ I feel like I can celebrate 🎉 my post-two babies 🤰🏼, softer than I like 👅🍟 , ever evolving and fluctuating 🌊body. . . I SWORE that making a dress with a knot/tie in front – at an area I typically want to hide – would be quite possibly the worst idea ever. Instead – it made me feel strong and proud and like my curves are in all the right places – even the ones I’m less excited about. . . I will be talking a lot more about this @seamworkmag #seamworklane dress, the @knitpoppa fabric I used (swipe 👉🏼 for more pictures), as well as the four ways I styled it for Fall all this week – oh, and did I mention there will be giveaways for our seamstress friends?!? So much good this week my friends – let’s make it a good one! _____ #slowfashionoctober

      A post shared by Sew Altered Style🧵Katie & Mac (@sewalteredstyle) on Oct 28, 2018 at 7:06pm PDT

      There are lovely side slits in this midi dress, that add movement and interest to the silhouette.  I can envision pairing this dress with colored tights and shoes – with that perfect pop of color showing through.  Luckily – the day we took these photos, it was a PERFECT Fall day with temps in the high 60s/low 70s – so I was perfectly comfortable with a top, sweater, or just the dress alone!

        I thought I would absolutely HATE having all that bulk at my (post-two children) belly – but instead of standing out, it adds visual interest and drape.  I feel absolutely fantastic and love how much it hugs my curves without being overly tight (the benefit of pairing it with a fabric with a little more weight to it).

        Smart Casual Look 1:

        For this first ‘smart casual’ look, I paired the midi dress with the Itch to Stich Hvar Jacket that I made (linked here from the Itch to Stitch Blog Tour last year).

          This jacket is one of my favorite things in my closet – hands down.  But I really couldn’t figure out what to pair with it… Until now!

            You can see that I hacked very cute – but terribly unfunctional pockets into it! Ha – but I love that pop of faux leather accent, so I won’t let it bother me.

                I paired the whole ensemble with this super cute maroon hat I picked up at Ann Taylor Loft.  I was smitten from the minute I saw it – I pair it with everything.  Matchy-matchy color scheme be damned.

                  Smart Casual Look 2:

                  For this second ‘smart casual’ look, I paired the midi dress with a duster sweater that I picked up from Old Navy.

                    Would you believe that this was the only version in the store – in the perfect size for me (someone returned it from online), AND that I had a coupon!!!  Seriously – the shopping Gods had smiled down on me, which made my children a bit sad since it was supposed to be a back-to-school shopping trip!

                          Of course, there are a ton of duster/cardigan patterns that can be used to recreate the look (Seamwork, Patterns for Pirates, and Itch to Stitch all have cute versions that can be hacked to achieve this look).  However, here at Sew Altered Style we thoroughly believe that you don’t NECESSARILY need to sew every single garment in your wardrobe – which allows you to invest your time in the projects that really make a difference to you (like this DRESS)!!!

                              Questions for you all

                              I’m really digging these two Smart Casual looks – what do you think?  Also, which duster/cardigan sewing patterns would you recommend that we include in our round-up?

                                Giveaway details

                                Ok – onto the Giveaway for today! (Remember – you can review the whole schedule in this post from yesterday)

                                Head over to our Facebook Group and answer the prompt there.  While you are at it – please turn on your notifications so that you can make sure that you are getting access to our blog posts, contests, resources, and challenges!


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