Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Spring Cowl Neck Dress DIY & Resolution Update

According to the groundhog, spring is coming!  I have to admit I was a bit hard-pressed to believe the little guy but it is nearly 50 degrees outside today (it was 8 degrees just a few days ago) and I am now super excited about the nicer weather.

In honor of warmer temps and my love of all things nautical, I bring you a knee-length Spring Cowl Neck Dress in white with red stripes.  This dress utilized a striped knit fabric from Joann's and Butterick pattern B5246 view B with the following modifications:

  • Made sleeveless rather than 3/4 length sleeves
  • Doubled the length of the cowl (original length did not have enough drape for me)
  • Looped sash to tie in front rather than back to define the waist a little bit more

Dress: DIY
Shoes: Gucci d'Orsay Pumps, Camel
Necklace: Long string of pearls 

Looking at these photos, I think I need to add some kind of accessory that will pop because the pearls just get lost in the mostly white background.  How would you add some oomph to this?  Maybe a nice brooch?

When the year began, I made a resolution to curb my spending habits on clothes and only purchase items that I loved.  I wanted to give an update on where I am so far:
2010 Monthly Average: $350
January 2011 Spending: $98
February 2011 Spending (so far): $112
I think I'm making pretty good progress (though I realize Feb is only halfway through) and hope to continue sticking to it.  How have you been doing on your resolutions? 


  1. I love all things nautical too, so you bet I'm loving this dress on you :) Perhaps wear pearls in a different color, or one of those Lanvin-inspired ribboned pearls. I like to play with sashes, so maybe use a sash in a different color, like navy blue? I'm sure you'll find multiple ways to create different looks with this dress!

    I'm surprisingly doing ok with my resolutions so far. Congrats on staying true to yours and keep it up!

  2. What a great spring dress! I think a bold colored necklace would look great against the stripes or a colored brooch. I've been doing alright with my shopping at all this year (yet)! But I haven't even started looking for a way to learn a new language. =P

    Keep up with your resolutions, you're doing great soo far!

  3. This dress is so versatile! I think there are lots of options with this one. How about really playing up the red and tying on a red belt and red cardigan? I can also see this more subdued with a nautical/preppy blue blazer and a brown belt. Even simpler would be to tie the waist with a big black sash/bow and pair with black heels.

  4. I like the the colors of this instead of the typical white and blue...great job on the dress!

  5. You make me want to dust off my sewing machine and learn how to sew!! Amazing job on the dress!

    I think a bold gold necklace would look great with that dress. I think gold is a great accent for nautical pieces. :)

  6. The dress is so pretty! I wish I was as talented as you are<3 Great job staying on budget!!! I'm on budget for Jan & Feb as well : )

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  7. This dress is so pretty! And quite unique but I can see it being really versatile. I agree that the pearls get a little lost (especially in pictures) but I love the design of the dress!

    I have trouble believing that Spring is here I wish that were true!

  8. I think some great bangles or statement bracelet with red gems/stones would bring a nice pop of color.

  9. I think some sort of chunky bracelet, maybe large round beads in bright yellow or blue (or black) would look nice with this.

    You know what's funny? I read a lot of sewing blogs and most of them note that JoAnns does not have the best options for apparel fabric and caters to the quilting/crafting community. I admit it that it's not exactly Mood, but I find that I do pretty well if I select the right pattern/fabric combo. You have similar results.

    It's warm here too! It was 30F when I went to bed last night and 34F when I got up. After weeks of dressing in layers I am excited to try and wear some dresses this week. I just made another one yesterday, it's an Inspired by Kate Spade piece and I promise I will post photos/blog about it on Tuesday morning.

  10. Wow great job!!! I think maybe adding a DIFFERENT pop of colour like turquoise might look nice!

  11. Temperature update: it was 54F when I got out of work at 3pm today. I have all the windows opened in my house to get some fresh air in. Although, this is unseasonably warm for Feb 14 in NH.

  12. cute dress and i like the modifications you did! you are doing great with your budget. i was doing so well until i blew it this weekend. lol

    the weather has been so nice here in sf, except it's going to rain all week. ehhh!

  13. This dress is so cute! You have real talent. I wish I could make my own clothes.

  14. Cee - Aww, thanks so much! Good idea on the sashes! I don't have any in navy blue but I bet I could sew one :) Yay on doing well on your resolutions!

    Stylepint - Wow! I'm so impressed that you've been able to completely abstain from shopping - that is some iron will!

    Petite Mom - Great suggestions - thanks so much! I can't wait to try those combos :)

    Really Petite - Thank you for the kind words!!

    Michelle - Thanks so much! You should learn - I would so love to see your projects!

    Jessy - Congrats on sticking to the budget! I'm proud of both of us :)

    Elle - How's the weather there? It was 70 degrees today! Can you believe it?

    Jarucha - Those sound like they would pair together beautifully! I'll definitely have to try it out - thanks so much for the suggestions!

    Kerry - Oooh super excited about a new Kate Spade piece!!!!

    LOL - I'm one of those who frequently complain about Joann's but there are definitely gems to be had! I went to some fabric stores in NYC (including Mood) and was drooling at all the options they had. They were definitely pricier but I just felt like I could make whatever I could dream of with the materials there.

    It was 70 degrees here today!

    Curls-and-Pearls - Thanks so much! I LOVE the idea of adding a turquoise touch!!

    Ping - Thank you! Aww, we all have a few setbacks - at least you got some BEAUTIFUL loot! :)

    Laura - Thanks for the sweet words! You should give it a shot! I only started to sew last year.

    I Love Mochi - Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting such kind words!


I'm the type of gal who gets giddy when I receive mail - it's no different with comments! I really appreciate the feedback and love hearing from you :)


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