A kick off for 2011. I’m a big fan of resolutions, plots and other such advanced planning methods that rarely lead to success. Or, er, follow-through. Half the fun is the plotting. And January 1st begs for such plans. So here’s mine…

First… the non-sewing related plot. I’m going to try my hand at a 365 project… you know, taking a picture a day for a whole year? I thought of just snapping the shots of the boy and the hound and getting the pictures bound next Christmas as a gift. I also considered setting up a flickr pool for the project, but what with rumors that Yahoo is closing down the site and general unattractiveness of Flickr (although I do love the functionality) I finally decided to set up a WordPress blog because there are great photo-blog themes for just this sort of project! I’ll have one picture a day with which to apply as many Photoshop actions as my little heart desires. So if any of y’all are interested in a probably-only-interesting-to-Mr.-Bug-and-I-endeavor, tune in to www.snugbug365.wordpress.com for a daily fix.

On to sewing. I’m fighting off a hankering for Spring, spring dresses, lightweight cotton, nice, shiny blindingly white legs not in need of tights or leggings. I’ve been pawing through current patterns and scrolling through the websites of the Big 4 obsessively. I finally decided to make 2011 a year of dresses. Twelve dresses, to be exact. Well, twelve year-of-the-dress dresses. I suspect there might be some offshoots. Side projects. Second passes. Here’s what I’ve come up with – nine dresses, enough to keep me busy with a few spots left for anything interesting that comes up and the inevitable sheath-dress-interest that fall will bring. Here’s the rundown so far. Pictures first, then after the jump a few comments (click on the photo to see the source!)

01_McCalls597402_mccalls509403_chantilly

04_vintageportraitcollar05_voguegreendress06_voguechiffon

07_vintagevogue08_shirtdress09_vintagecoolback

McCall’s 5974 – top row, left

OK! We’ll start on the top row, on the left, with the lovely version of McCall’s 5974 (my favorite version I’ve seen is this one by Andrea from the New Vintage Wardrobe.) This is a dress that looks way better to me on a real person than on the pattern envelope. I chose it to work on first, as it’s meant for knits and I’d like a cozy dress to wear with boots and leggings now! I’m going to try to follow Andrea’s lead with the empire waist, as I think that’s crazy cute (a lot of the other versions have the bottom of the midriff band closer to the natural waist.) I bought some funky Michael Miller interlock for this project, but then remembered that we have some slippery stretchy-type fabric at the shop with cool patterns, so we’ll see what I decide.

McCall’s 5094 – top row, center

Omigosh! Omigosh! Omigosh! I’m so in love with this pattern – in fact, I think it’s what started the dress lust. Different bodice versions, a full circle skirt (actually, from the looks of it, it’s a 3/4 circle skirt.) I seriously considered just making this dress 12 ways. Boring. It’s a completely not-great pattern choice for me – among other things it only runs up to a size 18, so there will be major alterations before the first muslin. I really love the shape, though and thought this photo that I found on Craftster was adorable! And yellow!

Colette Chantilly – top row, right

Yes, I’ll still be working my way through the Colette patterns (won’t I look foxy in the Negroni?) and Chantilly is a beautiful dress that I think will be flattering on me! It has a curved midriff band, though, like the one that’s plaguing my Parfait progress! It will still be lovely. Perhaps in a nice Voile…

McCall’s 4430 – center row, left

I bought this vintage pattern a few months ago from an Etsy seller and love the envelope artwork so much! I’m a sucker for portrait necklines!! Of course, this pattern is missing part of the bodice and is a vintage size 12, so this will be half drafting, half grading and at least four muslins – I’ll give it a shot, though – it’ll be good for me to stretch a bit!

Vogue 8380 – center, center

I fell in love with this dress last spring when I was plotting a dress to wear to a wedding. I ended up going with a frankendress from Butterick 5348 and 4657 (patterns already on hand) but I remember loving Sunni’s version to death – this was before I was blogging, so I only knew her as one of the cool chicks on pattern review! Small world. I do have some reservations about this dress and it’s wearability with a bra, but I really love it for a casual summer dress.

Vogue 1178 – center, right

I almost died when I saw the super adorable version of this Anna Sui wrap dress that Jaimielee made! I had noticed the dress on the Vogue site – how could I not? Theirs is made up in pink and purple! But I rejected it as too flouncy, vaguely cowgirlish and of an unflattering style for me. After seeing Jaimielee’s, though, I nearly went out to buy all the supplies immediately! The addition of a few curves under the dress make it fun and funky and I love the pattern mixing potential!

Vogue 2960 – bottom, left

My favorite style of dress is the fitted top, full skirt 50’s bit, so I wanted to try out a few more options (even though I have such high hopes for the little yellow McCall’s dress in the first row) and combed through the Vintage Vogue offerings. Most of the Vintage Vogue patterns don’t appeal to me for one reason or the other, and this is actually my least favorite, based on the photos from the company. That being said, a lot of the finished photos are cute, and if I can get the midriff to hit in the right place, I think it might work for me – with the gathers in the upper bodice, hopefully I can get the midriff nice and snug, and still have room for the female attributes! I thought this version was just lovely, again, found on craftster – and destined to be a wedding dress! Divine!

Vogue 8577 – bottom, center

I’ve also been jonesing for a Lucille Ball-style shirtwaist and bought this pattern last summer (and even cut it out!) to try. I like that it has the separate midriff band to reduce blousiness in the bodice. It also has cool giant pockets! I think Stitchywitch’s version is lovely, although I will probably opt for sleeves and a collar for the classic shirtdress look.

Simplicity 4650 – bottom, right

Another vintage pattern from Etsy, I thought this seemed like a nice basic dress with a funky collar option – I love the back view, not so sure about the front! This one is closer to my size – a size 38 bust – actually, perfect for my size, using the high bust + FBA method of sizing, which I should obviously do for such a fitted bodice!

And that, ladies (and Mr. Bug?) is the run-down so far. Nine dress to tide me over at LEAST through September. My thought is that I will work on pattern alterations the first week of the month, muslins the 2nd, construction the 3rd and final touches the fourth week. But, as they say, the best laid plans….

And with that, I’m off. Tomorrow’s the first day in two weeks I’ll be at the shop alone with the possibility of some sewing time and forward progress on a completed Parfait!

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