A Designer Interpretation in Linen

 

I like the designer, Barbara Tfank, for her ladylike dresses.  To me they express a classic elegance that epitomizes the look of the 1960s.  Her dresses speak of Grace Kelly’s and Jackie Kennedy’s style and panache to me.  So even though my original idea was for a sheath dress and jacket in black linen, this style spoke to me even more.

black linen dress

Now there’s loads of black linen at the Mood NYC and LA stores and online at MoodFabrics.com. I know linen is a basic and not a flashy designer fabric BUT it is a staple in my summer wardrobe.  It has been an especially busy summer meeting-wise at my job, so my black garments have seen a higher than usual wear which has caused me to become tired of them.

Because of that, I wanted a new dress for meetings at work.  For this one, it’s definitely the details that were featured in the designer’s line that convinced me that a similar dress had to become part of my wardrobe.  I love the neckline, the waistline detailing and the pleats in the front and back of the dress.

black linen dress

The pleat in the front can be a little tricky for a plus size woman but using this crisp fabric and some edge stitching to hold it flat worked for me.

black linen dress

Of course the topstitching detail at the neckline and waistline add to the elegance of the design and also help to give the dress waist definition…

black linen dress

…and I love the full skirt with all of the pleat detailing in both the front and the back.  It’s not one of my typical dress silhouettes but sometimes we step out of our comfort zone, right!  I started with my TNT dress pattern, Butterick 5147, which is sadly out of print now.  The dress’s construction details can be found in this post.

black linen dress

It is the perfect summer dress.  Add a short linen jacket or cardigan for work and meetings or as pictured below with a short sleeve cardigan for a dinner date or afternoon wedding.

black linen dress

I love linen.  It’s easy to wear, sews up beautifully making the most amazing garments and I think the wrinkles give it character.  I hope you’ll try a garment made from linen this summer too!

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Comments


  • Ginger
    July 30, 2013

    I always look forward to your designer interpretations! The topstitching is a KILLER detail, and I really like the unusual pleating. This is a departure from your usual dress shape, but I really, really like it!

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks! It doesn’t hurt to change things up a bit silhouette wise and I’m glad this little experiment turned out well!

  • Lauren
    July 30, 2013

    This is incredibly perfect on you! I love the pleating and that green topstitching really makes the dress special. I love that it’s linen, such a wonderful fabric for summer weather.

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Lauren! I was thrilled with the green topstitching when I made my sample up and it’s so kewl that it actually works!

  • Amy
    July 30, 2013

    I can’t believe the detailing is just topstitching. It stands out so nicely against the lovely black linen. What a clever idea – something I plan to store away for future makes. And, I agree with Ginger – I always look forward to your designer interpretations!

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Amy – please use the topstitching idea on a future garment. Not only is it easy to do but it adds such an impact. Can’t wait to see what you finally settle upon to use it with – maybe a maternity dress!

  • Lori
    July 30, 2013

    Carolyn, that is a wonderful dress with perfect topstitching. As always, an amazing job.

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Lori – compliments are always appreciated!

  • magaroni
    July 30, 2013

    beautifully made! don’t know what are the alternations but your dress is so much better than those on pattern envelope.

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      There is a link in the post that takes you back to the construction details on my blog. I’ve detailed all of them in case someone else had the pattern and wanted to make the journey.

  • Stephanie
    July 30, 2013

    The dress is great and I love the top stitching.

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Stephanie!

  • BeaJay
    July 30, 2013

    I love that dress – so sophisticated. Love the pleats and the top-stitching. Perfect with that little green cardi.

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      BeaJay if you’ve got this pattern, you should think about making one. It would look awesome on you! And thanks for the compliment!

  • gMarie
    July 31, 2013

    Carolyn – another winner! The green is the perfect accent and I can’t believe you had green shoes. Love the deep pleat in the front. This is a wonderful interpretation. g

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Gay. The pleats were easy to make but gave alot of visual impact…and that front pleat is the design detail that drew me to the designer dress. I’m just thrilled it worked out.

  • Sandra
    July 31, 2013

    I always look forward to your posts. I think this dress is stunning with some really sharpe details. The pleats on the back are perfect and I love the way you have put it all together. A-MAZ-ING!

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Sandra – thank you so much! Such a nice thing to say and I’m so glad that you like the dress!

  • Sarah Gunn
    July 31, 2013

    Carolyn this is a beautiful dress! OMGosh- the edge stitching alone is terrific! The lines – the fit – the style are all elegant .

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Sarah! I’m kinda partial to that front pleat because it turned out so well.

  • Elena
    July 31, 2013

    This looks great on you. Bravo!

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Elena!

  • liza jane
    July 31, 2013

    Love that green top stitching.

  • ThisisCarrie
    July 31, 2013

    The green topstitching on this dress really makes it. Great job.

    • Carolyn
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks Carrie!

  • Maureen O'Danu
    August 5, 2013

    This is a gorgeous, gorgeous dress. The topstitching simply MAKES it. Thank you yet again for the inspiration.

    • Carolyn
      August 5, 2013

      Maureen thanks so much! And I’m glad you were inspired!

  • Claudia W
    August 5, 2013

    Just lovely!

    • Carolyn
      August 5, 2013

      Thanks Claudia!

  • crystalpleats
    August 16, 2013

    Your dress looks wonderful with all the detail lines in contrast.