‘I Love Tops’ pattern F – dress hack

‘I Love Tops’ pattern F – dress hack

Sometimes an idea for a project comes together so easily it’s like it was destined. The fabric you’re dreaming of appears before you – and it just happens to be the perfect drape and weight for the pattern you can’t stop thinking about. Meant to be.

Other times, the whole thing feels like an uphill battle – finding the right fabric and pattern to match the perfect fantasy garment swirling around in your head.

This make definitely fits into the latter category – it was a challenge to turn the dress in my head into a dress I could actually wear. It all started in the linen aisles of Tomato Fabric Store in Toyko – the last place you’d expect to have trouble finding dream fabric. The shelves were laden with gorgeous linens of all weights and shades, but the colour stuck in my mind that day was a very elusive green. A pure green with only a drop of black – not forest, not lime, not chartreuse and not olive. I paced and patted and paced and patted the endless rolls of every colour of linen amazingness under the sun, searching with militant focus for that exact green. Momentarily I was distracted by a very nice yellow. But my mission was green.

An hour later and Kate had to intervene to save me from leaving fabric Mecca empty-handed. To cut my riveting fabric story short…. I bought the yellow. This yellow. Which is pretty darn delicious. I’d call it a pure yellow that’s definitely not gold, mustard or ochre (can you tell I’m fussy with colours?) So I never did find my green but over time I’ve decided the yellow might be better. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.


I Love Tops - dress hack


I Love Tops - dress hack


My next search was for a v-neck dress pattern. Is it just me, or are v-neck patterns of any description difficult to come by? I had no luck finding a dress pattern, so decided to hack a new favourite: the ‘Pattern F’ from I Love Tops. I traced the original top but overlaid the bottom half of another favourite dress pattern to draft a quick pattern mash up. The dress is basically a wide boxy shape with the waistline restored by a fabric tie. I’ve long been admiring dresses with fabric ties (or should I say belts?) – everything from neat narrow ties to bold scarf-width swatches of fabric, like this and this and THIS!  My dress is a poor cousin to these but the flavour is hopefully there. It’s a nice change from a fitted waist or even the hidden elastic case.


I Love Tops - dress hack


Lengthwise this is the longest dress I own. I’d told myself long ago the midi length is no friend of the “generous calf”. But sad little self-imposed style rules are there to be broken, and I’m really enjoying wearing this length. And the colour? Leaving the house in a yellow this bright definitely takes me a few deep breaths in the morning, but it’s such a damn happy colour, it makes me smile. I’m kind of glad I never found that green.

Colour is complicated

This is such a great podcast that tears the rainbow apart and looks at colour through science and poetry…

No surprises here, the 2016 Pantone Colour of the Year is….an equal draw. I’d boldly say since the colours were announced, blush pink has risen to the top.

I’ve just discovered today my lost green ranks in the top ten 2016 Pantone colours and it’s actually called ‘Green Flash’…

And for all those children of the 80s – remember when everyone went crazy for getting their colours done? I never had a formal ‘analysis’ (my mum wouldn’t let me) but I was totally a Winter.


I Love Tops - dress hack


I Love Tops - dress hack


I Love Tops


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