In the summer of 2020, I found myself staring at my closet… again. I tend to do this a lot. When I have conflicting ideas about what I want to wear, I often sit on my bed and stare into my closet until I decide what to put on. If I am unsatisfied with my choice, I sit back on the bed and stare again. It was a hot summer, and because of COVID-19, we had very few activities to do outside of the house that were indoors and air conditioned. Personally, I don’t usually enjoy wearing shorts, so I either wear a pair of light pants or a skirt during the summer months. Each dress I already had felt like it was wrong in some way. My chambray dress wasn’t comfortable around my waist, my shirt dress had long sleeves, and my silk dress was too formal. I wanted a dress that I could slip on and go about my day comfortably no matter what I was doing that day.
I remembered when I saw my cousin, Kirsten, back in November. She had the beautiful dress from Chile that she had bought at a market. The dress had a loose waist, but still a waist line, shorts, flowing sleeves, and a silhouette that flowed away from the body. I. Looked. Everywhere. for a dress like that. I couldn’t find it, especially in a way that was ethical and sustainable. The woman who sold the dress in Chile most likely did not have an online shop. So I went about making one for myself. I asked Kirsten to send me pictures of her dress, and I got to work.
I ordered a fabric I had been eyeing for a while, and drafted my pattern. There were a few things I changed from Kirsten’s dress to my dress. I changed the neckline from a square-neck to a v-neck, the sleeves to be a bit shorter and not as billowy, and the length of the ruffles. Her dress was covered in these gorgeous pink, orange, green, and blue abstract flowers. I decided to go for a solid fabric with texture instead. All of these decisions made it exactly how I envisioned my perfect dress.
On this dress I taught myself everything. How to sew a clean V-neck, how to use a facing, how to make ruffles that are well proportioned to your garment, and many other sewing skills. Once I finished the dress, I posted it on Instagram, and I got a huge response from those who follow me. Though my account is small, I have never had a response like this on any other post of mine. Friends commented how they wanted one too! I got to thinking, maybe other people are looking for the same things that I am in their closets. Comfort, versatility, and effortlessness. That is how The All Occasions Dress was born.
I have had several people ask about this fabric, and unfortunately it is unavailable to order again. I have chosen black and purple as my starting fabric colors as I find them to be the most seasonless. Black of course goes with everything and is classic for versatile dresses. The purple was carefully chosen to be light enough to wear in summer, and dark enough to wear in winter. Both dresses are equally versatile in the many different ways you can accessorize them.
My beautiful friends and family helped me model these dresses last weekend, and my dear friend Rachael McMillan took these gorgeous photos of us. I am so thrilled with how all of the pictures turned out! I love how each woman made the dress her own with the shoes, jewelry and accessories she brought to wear with the dress. Many more photos to come, so stay tuned for more pictures and stories!
Thank you so much for reading about my dress! I am so passionate about helping women find confidence through the clothes they wear. Each of these girls look so beautiful in these dresses, I can’t wait to see who else will find comfort, versatility, and effortlessness in their own dress from me!