Everyday Dresses

Emery Dress and Red Velvet Dress Sewalongs

A few weeks ago I realized that I don’t have any everyday dresses in my wardrobe. Not one. I have everyday skirts but no everyday dresses. Yep. I’m more of a separates kinda gal so that’s part of the reason. And I guess the other reason is my attitude toward dresses. I guess I think of them as being something that you don’t wear everyday.

The five dresses I own only get worn a couple of times a year or not even that. They include a vintage black dress that I got years ago; the dress I wore as a bridesmaid to a wedding; two dresses I made from vintage Vogue patterns, and the dress I made for my BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern contest entry earlier this year (I was a finalist but didn’t win). I usually end up wearing a vintage hat with these outfits and even a crinoline with the one I made for the sewing contest – not exactly everyday wear but I do wear them to work when I’m in the mood and the weather is warm enough in San Francisco.

So when I heard about Christine Haynes‘s Emery Dress and the Red Velvet Dress by Cake Patterns – I had to take a closer look. At first I thought the Emery Dress was a touch too girly for me – I think the bow made me hesitate. But then I saw the striped Emery Dress by Devon of Miss Make blog and it convinced me that I should get the pattern. She cut the collar on the bias and it looks fabulous, doesn’t it? She kindly let me repost this photo from her blog post Emery Dress Pattern.

Emery Dress - sewn by Devon of Miss Make - pattern by Christine Haynes

The Emery Dress Sewalong has just started but Christine is only on fabric and notions. Muslin sewing starts on Oct. 30. You can view the schedule here. I think you could still join in on it if you order the pattern right away. In November Christine will focus on bust adjustments – small and full. I’m looking forward to that!

The Red Velvet Sewalong starts on November 11! So there’s still time to participate.It’ll be a series of ten sessions over two weeks. I participated in the Cake Patterns Hummingbird Sewalong earlier this year, which was a lot of fun. So far I’ve made three Hummingbird tops, which you can see here.

Melizza of Pincushion Treats was a pattern tester for the Red Velvet sewing pattern. You can see two of the dresses she made here.

And I also love the Lady Skater Dress that Katie of Kadiddlehopper made. She wrote about it in Lady Skater: Sakura Blossom Style and graciously let me post this photo of her twirling around in the dress. Check out her post for more photos of this pretty dress.

Lady Skater Dress by Katie of Kadiddlehopper

And last but not least, today my copy of Clothing for Everyday: Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori arrived! I pre-ordered it on Amazon.

Clothing for Everyday Wear: Stylish Dress Book by Toshiko Tsukiori

This is the English translation published by Laurence King. There are dresses, tops, jackets, and pants in this book – a total of 26 garments – according to the book flap. There are plenty of photos in the book – slender, winsome, and unsmiling  Japanese models, which probably means grading the pattern up a bit for me. The pattern is sized for XS, S, M, and L. No XL folks.

The dimensions for large are 36 5/8″ (93 cm) bust; 29 1/8″ (74 cm) waist, and 38 5/8″ (98 cm) hips. Based on that, I’m more of an XL in the hips and height. Oh, and the pattern gives the same height for all four sizes – 63″ (160 cm), which must be a mistake. 63″ is 5′ 3″. I’m nearly 5′ 8″ so who knows what the height measurement means.

I’m looking forward to adding everyday dresses to my wardrobe. Have you made any dresses that fall into the everyday category? What patterns have you liked? Have you  made anything from Japanese pattern books? What was your sizing experience like?

And do let me know if you’re participating in the Emery Dress Sewalong or the Red Velvet Sewalong. I’d love to see what your version looks like!

Follow on Bloglovin follow us in feedly




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Chuleenan Svetvilas is a writer who sews and collects hats and shoes. She is a fabric addict and loves classic films and vintage clothes.

21 Responses to “Everyday Dresses”

  1. November 23, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Hot damn, lokoing pretty useful buddy.

  2. October 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Such fun! I do love everyday dresses!!! I’ve just had a wonderous parcel of autumn Female, Pochee and the comfortable clothes made by cotton & linen arrive from Japan so I’ll be joining you in Japanese sewing! ;)
    I’ve found most of the Japanese styles are fitted in the shoulders & bust only – the large in DrapeDrape is ok, but I am a small bust. The armholes are far too small for me and yes, the length is the same between sizes (it makes it easier to print I think!) they’re usually straight hems though, so easy to lengthen ;)
    I adore the blog: http://www.japanesesewingbooks.com/2013/09/30/magazine-review-female-autumn-2013/
    and The Monthly Stitch is ‘sew from a sewing book’ this month, so maybe I’ll see you over there as well? ;) – as well as the Cake Red Velvet sewalong? ;)

    • October 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      I’ll have to check out that blog! Thanks for the link! I guess the small bust works in my favor but having hips seems like it could be a problem. ;) I was flipping through the book last night and wonder how well those styles will work with my body. I have my doubts but I will give it a try. Maybe I will see you at the Monthly Stitch. I cam doing the Red Velvet sewalong so see you there! =)

      • November 23, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

        I was thrilled to find Mrs. Stone featerud here! I’ve known her for about a decade, and every time I visit your site, I say to myself, “Mrs. Stone is the doyenne of advanced-style, SHE should be featerud!” My wish has been granted!Isn’t she amazing? The most stylish dame of Gramercy Park.Keep on truckin’, Mrs. Stone!

    • November 23, 2014 at 4:06 am #

      Leuk gecombineerd zo met het denim jack erveor heen aan! Ik had die maxi dress ook aan een dagje in Vegas! Echt een heerlijk ding om in te slenteren! =P Alleen ik denk dat ie nu rijp is voor de prullenbak want de onderkant was helemaal zwart ipv zwart wit ;)! Beetje vieze straten daar haha! Oh wat nice dat jullie daarna ook weer terug keren naar Vegas! Haha, ja gelijk heb je hoor! Het was dat mijn New York hotel opeens het dubbele had gekost dan in mijn budget omdat de hotels die mij geadviseerd werden door iemand die ik ken wel lekker cheap waren maar via zo een vakantiewijzer echt super goor bleken te zijn! Thanks but no thanks! Haha! Dus toen werd m’n hotel in Vegas maar even wat minder spectaculair! =P Ik vond MGM ook heel erg mooi trouwens! & dat nieuwe gebouw van Hollywood zag er ook erg goed uit! Maar om in die andere drie hotels te verblijven is zeker geen straf! Het ontbijtbuffet in Bellagio is heerlijk! =P Hahahaha, ja heerlijk toch! Ik heb ook wel eigenlijk elke dag wat gewinkeld! De ene dag wat intensiever dan de ander maar oke9! =D Ik heb zoveel gekocht dat ik niet eens meer na kan noemen wat allemaal precies haha! Zo hebben we het graag! =P Ik heb in LA alleen op Third Street geshopt, niet heel erg boeiend ofzo wel wat leuke winkeltjes en verder niet! Echt jammer! Want ze zullen er ongetwijfeld genoeg leuke boetiekjes en vintage stores hebben! Yara zal vast wel wat goede tips voor je hebben daarover! We waren idd van Vegas naar LA gereden met als tussenstop Death Valley! Als ik er weer allemaal aan terug denk heb ik zin om weer meteen te gaan boeken en alles weer even overnieuw te doen! Het lijkt nu allemaal alweer zo lang geleden! =PXX

  3. October 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I doubt the height is a mistake – Japanese people tend to be quite short! I myself am 5’1″, so I don’t have a problem with that aspect of Japanese patterns, but the L would not fit me at all! Which is a shame, because it looks like a beautiful book and I love the style, but they’re just too tiny for me. I love your everyday dress plan – I have made dresses, but they’re too fancy for everyday wear so perhaps I need to follow in your footsteps!

    • October 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      The dimensions for large aren’t very big, which is too bad. Is it that hard to add XL or XXL? (sigh) It’ll be an experience in grading. So you have the everyday dress issue, too? Glad to know I’m not the only one! =)

      • October 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

        Maybe not, actually – I have one “stylish dress” book but when I got it I was fairly new to sewing and wouldn’t have the faintest clue how to grade up. Maybe I should take another look at it now!

        • October 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

          You definitely should!

          • November 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

            Fidinng this post solves a problem for me. Thanks!

        • November 23, 2014 at 9:05 am #

          wow you are so lucky! i cant believe you just go and buy three all at once!! what do you do for work if i may ask? do you work in fiosahn?very jealous of your wardrobe!

      • November 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

        Ossian Ossian Ossian :) och se5 ne5gra kilo le4ttare..det var det be4sta, och se5 att du skickade lite mer ve4rme hit! Det blev fstkiakt varmare nu, men regnar som bara den och e5skar – riktigt omslag! Ff6rste5r din klimattvekan till att flytta hem. Jag skulle ge4rna flytta upp medelhavsve4rmen hit – e4r inte riktigt gjord ff6r en kall maj, och det var det absolut se4msta med maj, att den var se5 kall! Underbara bilder som alltid. hur tusan hittar du alla underbara “ordspre5k” f6verallt? Finns de bara de4r – pe5 ve4ggarna i mellanf6stern?fantastiskt anyway! fe5r nog skriva egna, he4r, litef6verallt! Jag syns idag, rent bokstavligt – hu – det de4r med att ne4rma sig speglar igen. och ser man verkligen ut som man gf6r pe5 bild? ke4nner mig alltid se5 annorlunda. finns bara i fantasin, liksom…imorgon skriver jag till dig och bere4ttar..Me5nga le5nga kramar Lycke

    • November 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      helena, nu c4R det sommar. bara me5ste vara! bara armar e4r ve4l ett se4kert sokcmrteamen… kramar till dig finamarguerite, wow bikram is intense vond ik toen ik het probeerde. leuk! c, GRATTIS pe5 ff6delsedagen, f6nskar dig ett fint nytt e5r i livet. le5ter roligt med ditt ff6retag, nyfiken!kramyaelian, och inte se5 sakta men se4kert he4r i israel. me5ste ve4nja mig lite vid ve4rmen igen. kramarpatrice, wat fijn met een boot, waar ligt die? mireille, dankjewel! ik heb goede herinneringen van zwolle. ooit een keer was ik daar in het theater. was een heel gezellige stadt volgens mij? liefsiris, klingt als een heel leuke dag! hopelijk meer daarvan in juni! bedankt! en liefs!lycke, pe5 tal om att skicka se5 har jag inte kommit mig ff6r att skicka det jag vill skicka dig. be4ttre sent e4n aldrig, ska ta tag i det… och ordspre5ket pe5 den he4r bilden fotade jag ff6rra e5ret i zagreb. men det finns me5nga he4r pe5 ve4ggarna. ve4ldigt fin gatukonst f6verhuvudtaget he4r. tack ff6r ditt fantastiska mail. har druckit kaffe och le4st och njutit. skriver ne4r jag kan. varma kramaranne, wat leuk, wat ga je doen???magdalena, drinking beer outside is a must! i did so aswell. hoegaarden is my new favorite. or kriek when i can find it. yours? thank you for the sun. it is shining here.

  4. October 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Those all look like great patterns. I’m sure you will do them all justice! I have a Japanese sewing book Feminine Wardrobe by Jinjo Matsumoto and the patterns are all so huge! Even the XS size is generous. I have no idea how folks figure out their pattern sizing it all just seems so random.

    • October 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Wow – so funny that the patterns were all huge! I do have Shape Shape by Natsuno Hiraiwa and large was more like a medium on me. That’s the extent of my experience w/Japanese patterns. ;)

      I’ll definitely be making a lot of muslins!

      • November 23, 2014 at 4:36 am #

        I’m not really woknirg on anything big right now, but I am woknirg on a few smaller things. I totally get what you are saying! The internet is the hardest one for me. I really find it helpful to (this is going to sound totally lame but) set a timer. Yes, an actual timer. For like 30min. And for that 30min, you stay away from what is distracting you. Let me tell you, once that timer goes off, it will feel like no time has gone by at all! You can get really wrapped up in your work. And seriously, what is 30min? One half of a hour. Not much time at all. You can do it!!

    • November 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

      This shows real exseptire. Thanks for the answer.

  5. October 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    You are going to be so fashionable this and next season :)

    • October 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      =) Thanks! I hope so!!

      • November 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

        Dear sarapirat,these ones are so lovley especially the first and the one with these two little sugar girls!!! my may was full of moments with smile, flowers, drinking beer outside and enjoying time. wish you so much that june will be a little bit more summer although its almost summer in yourenvironment!^^I’m sendign you SUUUUUUN!


  1. Hips and Japanese Sewing Patterns - C Sews - October 31, 2013

    […] it when I was in the midst of my I-don’t-have-everyday-dresses-in-my-wardrobe revelation (see Everyday Dresses). I liked the images I saw on Amazon so I pre-ordered it. This will be my second book of Japanese […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: