FO Friday: Cowl Neck Ebony Dress

FO Friday: Cowl Neck Ebony Dress

Pattern: Ebony T-Shirt & Dress by Closet Case Patterns

Fabric: ponte knit in olive (sorry y’all, I never look at the end of the bolt)

I saw a dress in a store window a few months ago, and immediately started planning my own sewn version of it. It was a sweater knit swing dress with a huge cowl neck that looked comfortable and cool. I stopped by my local fabric store and picked up a beautiful olive ponte knit to get the weight and drape I was after and started poring through my pattern collection for a match. The very next day I saw Heather Lou’s Ebony Dress on Instagram, exactly what I was looking for! I just needed to draft my own cowl.

I am pretty new to drafting anything myself, but adding a cowl to this pattern was easy. I chose the scoop neckline so the cowl would be loose, rather than a turtleneck. Once I had sewn together the shoulder seams I measured the circumference of the neck opening. I also measured the height of a favorite cowl on a ready to wear tunic. Then I cut a rectangle – the circumference wide x twice the height (with seam allowances). Then I folded the height in half, sewed it into a tube and attached the tube to my neckline.

I really love how this dress turned out – it swings wonderfully when I move and makes me feel cool. This is the sort of dress I never would have bought in a store before I started making, because it “isn’t flattering” to my figure. But my wardrobe priorities have shifted as I make my own clothes. I bought clothes based on “the rules” of to mask my flaws and highlight the parts of me that were acceptable. Now making something that I enjoy the look of, that feels good on my body, and is enjoyable to make feels more important than dressing to look as thin as possible. It does a better job of making me feel good in my clothes. Every time I wear this dress I think about Erin McKean’s well-known blog post You Don’t Have To Be Pretty, which now 10 years later I am finally starting to believe.

Do you make different clothes than you would buy? Has making changed your wardrobe priorities? Let me know in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “FO Friday: Cowl Neck Ebony Dress

  1. This looks SO GOOD on you! I’ve made the tunic and am almost done with a tee from that pattern…you may have convinced me to make a dress, too.

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    1. Thank you! Now I want to make a shorter version for summer – I think color blocked with a different colored back than front. I hope you share pictures of yours!

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  2. You’ve put into words exactly what I’ve been thinking. I definitely bought different clothes than I make, always trying to find that thing that made me look the thinnest… but in making clothes I love the looser fitting silhouettes; they feel so luxurious and like a splurge because I feel so great wearing them!

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