Wool + Pleather Linden Minidress!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well and sewing up a storm! OK, question: do you have seasonal color palettes? I know I do! Sometimes I feel like my closet is split between two different people- winter me and summer me! In warm weather, I’m all about bright colors and fun prints, but in the winter, I wear much more subdued colors, like heathered browns, navy, or, my very favorite, greys. My cold weather clothing drawer is almost entirely grey! The unexpected benefit of this is that I have a really, really easy time getting dressed in the winter- my separates all mix and match, and for once in my life, even my boots, tights, hat, and scarf get along with the rest of what I’m wearing, yay!

Grainline Studio Linden Minidress | Ginger Makes

So, for February’s Mood Sewing Network project*, I decided to give one last hurrah to Lady Grey and choose this delicious wool blend sweater knit. Guys. It’s SO thick and warm, but it’s amazingly lightweight. It’s a nice firm knit, so I don’t have to worry about it being too sheer or bagging out, but the wrong side has tons of loft so it’s really incredibly comfortable in cold weather. I planned to look for a bit of pleather in black for a bit of contrast, but I found this beautiful grey Rag & Bone pleather in the vinyl section on the third floor and couldn’t resist it. I really like that the contrast comes from the textures rather than color- it’s subtle, but fun.

Grainline Studio Linden Minidress | Ginger Makes

The pattern I used is the Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt. This is actually the fourth Linden I’ve made this month, but I haven’t blogged any of the others. I made one for my #LindenSwap partner, another for my bestie, then one for me. So, this pattern was on my mind and I decided to just go for it. In Grainline sizing, my hips are two sizes smaller than my bust, so I just chose the size based on my bust measurement and dropped the hem by 9″ to give me this minidress length. The extra size through the hips gives me plenty of ease to move and sit. I used the hem band piece unaltered, since I didn’t add any additional width, but I shortened the sleeves by 4.5″ and adjusted the cuffs accordingly to give me a three-quarter-length sleeve. If I’d thought this through a bit more, I would have planned for the sleeves to finish at this length without a cuff… the cuff seam allowance is a bit bulky. I thought about cutting off the cuffs and turning under a hem, but I don’t really want to lose the sleeve length, at least not while it’s this cold! Lori suggested using the pleather for the cuffs with a v-notch detail, which could be really cute and would give me more ease (since the pleather doesn’t have any stretch, which you usually want in a cuff).

Grainline Studio Linden Minidress | Ginger Makes

For the pleather details, I cut two pieces 2″ by 24″ (a little longer than my sleeve length) and lightly pressed the long edges under by 3/8″. I tested this first on scraps, but I was able to use a warm, dry iron on the wrong side without any damage to the pleather. Then, I centered the strips over the shoulder notch and the midpoint of the wrist on the flat sleeve pieces and taped them in place with light masking tape. If I’d had a fabric glue stick, I would have used that instead, but I didn’t, so I was stuck with tape. I edgestitched the pleather in place, sewing in the same direction (i.e. top to bottom) for each side to help prevent pulling and puckering. I was a bit nervous about sewing pleather to a knit, so I did a few tests before I sewed on the actual sleeves. I had success using an 80/12 universal needle and holding the fabric in place firmly in front of and behind the presser foot so it wouldn’t stretch out of shape or drag. Then I trimmed off the excess pleather and inserted the sleeves like usual. Ta-da!

Ahhhhh… look at that soothing grey-on-grey action. It’s so comforting! It makes me want to get back into my winter cocoon and stay there til spring! Now, do you have a seasonal color palette, or am I just a crazy person? Do tell!

*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post. 🙂

101 responses

  1. isn’t there something magical about finding two so-very-different fabrics that work amazingly together? this is totally in my flavors, regardless of season. well, Pacific NW only has two seasons, 6 months gray, 6 months sun! This will be so nice and multi-seasonal-leggings-friendly. Love it!

    Like

  2. I just love the pleather stripe! So smart. I have a habit of reaching for grey all winter also, so I made a couple bright colored knit tees to break up all the dull colors!

    Like

    • Thanks, Lisa! It’s a good idea to reach for some color. I need to force myself to do that! On my last fabric shopping expedition, I bought these two pieces, plus a black and white sweater knit and a black knit! I must be moping! Better dig through the stash and find something colorful!

      Like

  3. What a great idea to make a dress out of the Linden! I really love your fabric combination – the pleather accent is subtle but still interesting, and it gives the dress a bit of luxury. My color palette is definitely different in winter vs. summer, but I tend to just wear darker versions of my summer colors in winter. Then again, you can find me wearing bright yellow and orange all year long. 🙂

    Like

  4. It’s like you read my mind! I was wandering what the Linden would look like as a dress, but wander no more! Love the combination of textures and I may give this a go next winter (I’ve sewn just about enough winter things for one year) 🙂

    Like

  5. This is something that makes you look like you Ginger. I’ve read your blog for a long time and to be honest, this outfit looks so right on you. Perhaps like Carolyn your true summer look is a lighter shade of winter? But of course we can all say poo to public sentiment and wear whatever we damn well please. Luvverley dress.

    Like

    • Thank you, lady! I do lots of experimentation in my sewing, which is way fun, but I don’t always feel like myself when I wear those things. This one does really feel like my style, strangely! 🙂

      Like

  6. Hell, grey is my second favorite color, so while I have a lot of it, it’s not “seasonal” for me. Guess I’m just moody and broody all year. 😉

    Cute dress, I like the texture of the pleather, a fun combination!

    Like

  7. I think I tend to wear BRIGHTER clothes in the winter, if that’s possible (I have about 3 black items of clothing, no grey or brown). It’s probably in order to cheer everyone up (I often get comments on it) but also because I find it hard to buy dark fabrics – bright patterns are so much more exciting.

    This dress looks so cozy though. Our summer hasn’t even finished yet and I’m getting jealous of all the warm stuff people have been sewing.

    Like

    • That makes sense! It’s nice to have happy colors in lousy weather. I definitely used to wear brighter colors, but I felt like I really stuck out in the NYC winter! I remember meeting a friend in Grand Central Station, and he could see me all the way across the room during rush hour because I was the only person in a bright-colored coat! I’m less talkative and outgoing in the winter, so I think I like a little less attention now when it’s cold. 🙂

      Like

  8. I love this Linden sweater dress! It looks really comfortable and warm. The pleather is a fantastic detail. I most definitely have a ‘uniform’ color palate. However, mine isn’t seasonal. I wear grey and black all year round. I’m making a conscious effort to incorporate more color. It’s not easy to teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m getting the hang of it as I go.

    Like

    • I’m surprised to hear that, actually! I think of you in colors and especially florals- it seems like you sew and knit with a fair amount of color, at least in my mind! But I bet it’s easy for you to mix and match outfits that way!

      Like

  9. Wow this dress looks so deliciously snuggly! I bet you want to wear it all the time. I love it with the boots and tights – love that look! So simple but the pleather accents give it a nice edge. I tend to be bold all year round which can create wardrobe malfunctions. Winter is approaching here in New Zealand so I’ve done something sensible and bought grey fabric for the first time ever. Seeing your photos I’m glad I did!

    Like

    • I think it’s awesome that you’re bold year-round! Our winters are so severe and I hate them so much that I sort of just withdraw until spring… I don’t want any attention and I don’t want to go out or have fun. Weird, right? I hope your winter isn’t so rough and that you enjoy your foray into grey!

      Like

  10. Cute, cute, cute! I love greys…and black! I’ve had to work really hard to put color into my winter wardrobe. In fact, right now I’m wearing a grey sweater (with a Boston Terrier on it!), black pants and black boots. But at least the coat I wore out today is red! 🙂

    Like

    • I wasn’t sure if it would work, but since it does, I think I’ll make a few more- it’s about the quickest dress you can possible sew! I think you would look CUTE in a tunic/dress version!

      Like

  11. My fall/winter colours are mostly brown and dark green, accented with burgundy, cream and gold. My summer colors are anything bright and colorful plus lots of white.

    Like

  12. I cannot believe that you ever doubted the awesomeness of this dress! Did you change the cuffs at all, or do they just look great as is?

    Like

  13. This is SO good! Love the pleather contrasts, and it looks super cosy!

    My colour palette isn’t seasonal, but thinking about it, I don’t wear prints in the winter months: checked flannels, the odd stripey tee, but mostly chunky knits in solid colour. But spring and summer: all the prints!

    Like

    • I wear lots and lots of plaid flannels, too! And I have two striped pullovers that are on constant repeat… in fact, I’m beginning to worry that my friends think I only have two winter shirts! Oops!

      Like

  14. Actually almost all my wardrobe is navy, gray, black, and cream, except for my dresses. So I guess my wardrobe colours are garment specific? Also: love the dress. I will now have to buy the Linden pattern…this seals it. Unless maybe I can just lengthen my hot cocoa sweater to do something similar….hmmmmmmm…..

    Like

    • It makes sense that you would branch out when it comes to dresses, since they’re self-contained outfits and don’t need to go with anything else. When it comes to separates, mine just don’t get worn if they don’t go with jeans!

      I bet the Hot Cocoa sweater would work! I would just measure another knit dress to make sure you’ll have enough ease through the hips. And if it doesn’t work out, you can just cut it off into a sweater!

      Like

  15. Sonja this looks amazing!! I love the wool, and the pleather sleeves are so cool! Yours looks so much better than mine, and you make me want to attempt it again with better fabric. I don’t think I really have a colour palette at all. I seem to be all over the place no matter what the season. LOL.

    Like

    • Thanks, girl! Yours turned out super cute! But it does change the look a bit to use a super thick fabric… this is barely drapey at all, so it’s a little bulky under the arms and whatnot. I’m excited to try it in a lighter knit like yours!

      Like

  16. This is my first real winter (wearing a permanent winter coat everyday!) and everything is black/grey with one splash of colour (the dress, or the tights or the scarf or the shoes) added along with the outfit. Of course, I’ve sewn not a thing this year, so will start to plan my summer wardrobe here!

    I love those side panels!

    HI AND YAY I LOVE SEEING YOUR GORGEOUS FACE AGAIN!

    Like

  17. Lovely dress! I never thought about turning the Linden into a minidress. This is really interesting. I’m not really into bright colors, so my color palette doesn’t change dramatically with the change of seasons, but I tend to stick to some colors more over the seasons, usually black and greys over winter and cream, white and pal colors over summer.

    Like

  18. Best ides ever! I love jumper dresses and linden makes the perfect one. I love the pleather accent too. I’m a bright colours all year round kind of person. Living on the GC winter is kind of lame so we can get away with wearing brights still. Although I do still love a bit of black every now and then.

    Like

  19. I agree with every positive thing that everyone has said so far. Did you do something different with your makeup? You always look great, but in these photos everything seems especially on-point.Whatever it is, it rocks. Just thought you should know. 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you so much! You are too sweet! I actually DID change my makeup- I started thinking my usual blush and lipstick are too summery, so I switched to more mauve/brown shades. I wasn’t sold on them, so thanks for the vote of confidence!

      Like

  20. Cool! This would be good to add a new lease of life to existing clothes too.
    I’ve never noticed if I have a pattern to my sewing colours with the seasons, but I do know I need to put more thought into what colours I choose then at least I can mix n match my clothes.

    Like

  21. a Linden dress …. cooool !!! after I manage to actually make a Linden … right now fabric and pattern are starring accusingly at me – they must have abandonment issues!
    guess what colour is my fabric 😉

    Like

  22. Oh geez ABSOLUTELY. Grey and navy in winter…blue and menswear-pink in summer…mustard in fall…EVERY COLOR ALL THE TIME IN SPRING. MY EYES ARE HUNGRY. And brown and camel year round. : )

    This is so cozy and wearable and chic!! Will you be making the new Grainline coat, do you think? I really like it but finding toggles I want and can afford is hard, she whines, with the whole internet at her fingertips.

    Like

    • That’s a super fun palette! I’ve never worn camel but it’s such a chic, cool color!

      Girl, I DESPERATELY want to wear the Grainline coat and I even have fabric for it (OK, I’ve HAD the fabric for ages), but I’m totally out of steam after two coats this winter. I think I’m going to make it in the fall! As far as toggles go, have you tried Pacific Trimmings? Their website is pretty bad, but they have lots and lots of ’em, although I don’t remember the prices…

      Like

  23. Love love love this!! I think I will need to steal the idea and make a Linden dress too, it looks so great as a dress! I definitely wear different (brighter) colors in summer than in winter too though I try to break up my winter navy blues and browns with a bit of warm red and yellow now and then 🙂

    Like

    • Warm red sounds so nice for winter! I tend to shy away from reds because my is often irritated and red in the winter so I feel like a firetruck! But a nice soft red would be fun to wear. The Linden is such a quick and easy dress- you could make a whole fleet of them in no time at all!

      Like

  24. Team Grey for winter all the way! I love this for the understated sassiness of the pleather 😀 Though kinda want to steal your boots- looking for my own pair for winter this year!

    Like

    • Thanks, lady! These are Frye Veronica Shortie boots… they’re not cheap at all, but I’ve had them for two years and worn them constantly and they’re holding up beautifully!

      Like

  25. Love love love this! Such a good idea to lengthen the linden in to this great dress! And I totally get your summer/winter wardrobe thing, I’m the same, I’ve been living in black & grey since November!

    Like

    • I’m ready for spring- won’t it be nice to wear some colors again? Sadly, it’s snowing AGAIN today, so I don’t know if it will EVER be spring, but it’s good to keep hoping, right? 😀

      Like

  26. Lovely dress, it seems comfy and worm too? I like the pleather addition, have never use it as I find it a bit intimidating to mix fabric types but deffenetely gives an interesting result. My winter wardrobe colours are mostly black, all shades of blue, dark brown and green.

    Like

  27. Oh, this is so cute! Love the bit of interest you added with the pleather- it’s so fun to play with texture! I’ve been wanting to make a sweatshirt dress for ages, so maybe this will be the kick in the pants to get me moving on that. 🙂 I totally dress more vibrantly in the warmer months but love black, white, blue and grey pretty consistently too. It already seems like spring here, so maybe I’ll be buying more color soon!

    Like

  28. Your dress looks so snuggly. Making the linden into a dress is a great idea. I’m the same my winter and summer wardrobes could be worn by two different people. I go mad on colour in the summer and am more sombre in the colder months.

    Like

  29. Absolutely adorable! Love the faux pleather detail! I still need to make up a Linden for myself. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for. Making it into a dress/tunic is a fantastic idea.

    I’m with you on the seasonal color pallet. I really love wearing color, but in NYC, I think it’s just natural to try not to stand out too much during the winter! I used to have a bright pink wool coat that I absolutely loved. When I got on the subway or walked through the streets, I felt so singled out in a sea of black coats.

    Like

    • I know the feeling! I had a bright red coat when I first moved here, and I remember meeting a friend in Grand Central and he could see me across the room, in a sea of people, because I was the only one not wearing black!

      Like

  30. You’re definitely not crazy, I have different seasonal palettes and also different occasion palettes. Like dark (somber officious) colours for work and bright colours for the weekend.
    What a great job you have done combining the pleather and knit, it’s not easy combining different stretches but totally worth it when it works! Awesome job on a fabulous looking dress.

    Like

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: