Elegant, classic work dress

Bright, cotton, summery dresses are my faves, you probably know that.  But in the winter, and to make things that I can wear to work and to more everyday locations, it's nice to have something a little more substantial.

This post is a story about McCall's M5269, a pattern I have no memory of buying but somehow I own.

I was seriously about to put this pattern in the Goodwill pile because I thought it was hopelessly early 2000's, and didn't think I could ever be contemporary or stylish for my 2012 tastes if I made it.  But then I saw this on ModCloth:

 And, while we're at it, this is similarly shaped, too:

Hey, when I see it made up, it's not too shabby, is it?  I think it's something about the 90's-leftovers drawings on those pattern covers that make things look more dated than they have to be, sometimes.

I had just over a yard of really, super nice wool suiting that my mom or I had found at Goodwill for $3.99 or something.  I swear, when you find fabric there, you can get some amazing deals if they have good stuff!  I was in love with the dark grey for a work dress after I saw this J.Crew suiting dress:

I didn't have enough to make that style, but I did have enough for McCall's M5269.  It was annoying because I just barely had enough for all the pieces in the size I thought I would be, and worried about making my seam allowances very small, etc. etc.  Turns out, I put the dress on after assembling it, and it was mega-normous.  Like, a sack.  Quite unflattering.  So, I had to take in all four princess seams (well, eight, counting the lining), two in front and two in back, so it was even.  And re-do the hem.

This dress sat in my mending pile for quite a while waiting to be taken in, actually.  If I'm being honest!  But, I mustered up my motivation, and finally finished it!


I lined it fully in black china silk.  It feels so nice to wear!


It'll be great for days when I want to feel extra stylish going to work.  Pair with a blazer, maybe, or a structured cardigan?

How would you wear it?  I'm thinking belted would also be cute... hmm, what shoes?  Honestly I don't dress  quite so dressy for work most of the time, so I'd love some ideas!

27 comments

  1. Beautiful dress! It really looks fantastic on you. It's always nice to have a LBD or two in your closet.

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  2. What a fabulous dress, you look amazing! I would probably wear it with a belt. Maybe a fitted cardigan with the belt over it, or with one of those little half jacket thingies. Then again, I'm not very stylish/trendy, so you might not want to take my advice! ;D

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  3. See this is why I want to learn to sew! To make wonderful work dresses. I would wear a thin belt with tights, same colour as the dress opaque and grey flats. Then I would throw a colorful scarf in my neck with a silver necklace that is simple.
    Xx
    Callie

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  4. wonderful and neatly done. Its absolutely beautiful

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  5. It's a fantastic dress! I say you could definitely pair it with a colorful belt/cardigan/shoes and make it a great foundation piece, or wear it on it's own with a dramatic necklace for a nighttime outing. A very lovely piece!

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  6. What a fabulous dress! I would wear it with a red cardigan and a thin red belt. x

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  7. very cute! If you want to dress it down, I would try adding chunky knits - a big belted Cardigan or a cowl. Weraing boots as opposed to pumps would also make it more of a "day" look I think, or pair it with pretty tights and ballerina shoes and a blazer...

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  8. Suuuper cute. And you made it fit so well. :)

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  9. It's beautiful. I love homemade dresses because they fit so well!
    I'm looking to make more this year but its difficult to find patterns that I like in London!
    Have an amazing day!

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  10. What a great dress! You can accessorize this dress differently every day of the year! I love the fit, style and color, and I'm pinning it as a sewing inspiration. Thanks!

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  11. Beautiful! I think I may own that same pattern... I'll have to go look in my stash! Funnily enough I just bought a green dress in that similar style from H&M... and, I love it!

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  12. it looks fantastic on you! I dropped $100+ on a very similar style at Ann Taylor last year, I really need to work on my sewing skills....
    I wear mine to work a lot and switch it up occasionally by wearing a sheer long sleeved bow neck blouse underneath the dress (for a very pretty jumper effect). Sometimes I add a belt.

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  13. It was so fun to meet you at the blogger meet! I am excited to get lots of fabulous DIY ideas from your blog! :) Keep in touch!

    <3 Denise

    http://allthingsnew-denise.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aaw, thanks! It was great meeting you, too, we'll definitely stay in touch! Your blog is super cute, love your outfits!

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  14. This is gorgeous. You have a real energy about you at the moment. I have so enjoyed the range of your posts lately. Learned a huge amount from the photography one, have strong views on the house buying one (know yourselves and be true to that, quality costs money but yields daily satisfaction , if children are a possibility get a little space/garden/storage) and am making raw brownies and raw cashew cheesecake at your indirect encouragement. Many thanks and perhaps you might enjoy this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RazhSe84LU

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    1. Thanks!!
      Wow, it's so cool you noticed--I've actually been describing my feelings recently as "a lot of blog energy"! Awesome that you picked up on it! Lots more fun stuff coming up on the blog, I'm excited for it, hope you enjoy it too. Thanks for the house tips--and OMG I loooooove raw brownies. And that video is awesome!

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  15. Lovely dress you can wear so many different colours with it!

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  16. Brilliant dress, although i would take it pu a couple of inches- with your figure you can show off your gorgeous legs a bit more! I have definitely taken the notion of this pattern on board now!

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  17. that is beautiful!! i need to make dresses for work... everything I make is too bright!

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  18. you are uber talented!

    http://forallthatjas.blogspot.com/

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  19. You all have such great outfit ideas for this one!! I guess it really is a classic style--lots of you have similar things at home, it sounds like! Thanks so much!! =)

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  20. Beautiful dress :) The design suits you really well, very flattering and well-made!

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  21. I really love your dress. I agree with the other comments for your body build, you should go a little shorter. I am inspired!

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  22. Thanks!!

    Hmm, a little shorter would be more playful... maybe I'll wear it a few times as is and then change it! A whole new dress!

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  23. That is really, really nice! Not 90s at all. And now I must go sort thru my old patterns for something like it. ModCloth is a great idea bin, isn't it?

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  24. I just picked this pattern up in a local thrift shop for a £1! Totally at the top of my pile, you've done a really lovely job on it- I'm inspired!

    Freya May
    thedressmakingdiaries.blogspot.com

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