Clever Charlotte

A Fall Starling - Version 2

Design Updates, Starling Dress & ShirtErinComment

Welcome back to the second installment of our variations of the Starling Dress pattern for Fall. This one I've dubbed the Butterscotch Dress. 

Butterscotch Dress1
Butterscotch Dress1

What fall line up would be complete without something that is menswear-inspired, a seemingly perennial theme for autumn fashion?

Butterscotch Dress 3
Butterscotch Dress 3

For this version of the Starling, I used a lightweight wool/poly suiting fabric in charcoal gray. It was easy enough to sew, though I had to set the iron to a pretty heavy steam setting to get any creases to hold. To modernize the overall look, I chose these buttery yellow buttons that look like--you guessed it--3 Werthers butterscotch candies down the front/delish. (The larger buttons, by the way, came from the Button Lady in Ann Arbor--but that's another story.)

Butterscotch Dress 2
Butterscotch Dress 2

So I've been kicking around this version in my head for some time now, ever since I picked up this beautiful collar from a local antique store. The edging is hand crocheted in a tiny violet pattern, and I can only imagine how long it took someone to finish this intricate design using such fine thread. I often wonder what happens to vintage pieces like this. Perhaps a child's dress is not the best use, but surely it is preferable to sitting around unused in the top drawer of someone's dresser?

And lest you think I would just throw the whole thing into the washing machine, I have only lightly tacked on the collar, with the intent that it be removed prior to laundering. I am thinking of picking up some sew-on snaps that would hold the collar onto the dress when worn, but would allow for easy removal for washing or when spaghetti and meatballs are on the menu. (The snaps themselves could be clipped off later without harming the collar.)

Butterscotch 4
Butterscotch 4

Now, I should probably admit here that in all likelihood the collar is meant to be worn Peter Pan style--that is, with the bow and opening in the front. However, since the dress has a center back zipper, I didn't see much utility in closing it up with the crocheted collar. This also gives the back of the dress something interesting to look at.

The only variations I made to the pattern itself were to extend the sleeves to 3/4 length and add a petite cuff with a continuous lap sleeve placket (I lightly gathered the sleeve too to add a bit of fullness to the look). I kept the yoke even though it is largely hidden from view--I thought this would be better in the event that I choose to remove the collar later. I also kept the front placket to add some dimension to the front of the garment.

Peter Pan collars from Mollie Makes
Peter Pan collars from Mollie Makes

Oh, and if you're interested in coming up with your own detachable collar, the first volume of Mollie Makes had this DIY article from The Savvy Crafter, though I can't tell from these pictures how they are fashioned. Do any of you have that magazine at home?? I am intrigued...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Happy sewing,

~ Erin

{Mom: Sorry there aren't any shots of Nora wearing the dress. It has turned steamy again here in Northern Ohio and I just didn't have the heart to ask her to put on the dress when she got home from school, what with her sweaty bangs all plastered to her forehead from playing on the playground.}