Black and White Classical Stripes – Project Sewn


Let the competition begin!

We were challenged for Week One of Project Sewn to come up with a black and white look, which seems to be one of this Seasons hottest trends. Ummm…what? I honestly had no idea. And after immediately googling Spring fashion trends, I soon realized just how behind the curve I actually was. Ha!

I ended up becoming quite introspective while designing this look. At what point did I stop wearing these fashionable colors? Was it when I left the working world? Had children? At some point my life seemed to become more colorful, and my clothes with it.

But as for black and white in my evening wear, well that will never go out of style.


When designing fitted clothes for myself, I always like to start with a basic bodice block that I know fits well. In this case it is the Burda Cap Sleeved Dress Pattern. I brought the neckline up, brought in the bodice back to become slightly more fitted, and altered the cap sleeves for a more sleeveless look. To make the knot front, I used a technique found in Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi. This book is a fabulous read to give you some fun ideas on how to alter fabrics. But if you are looking for step by step instructions, you will not find it. You need to know basic sewing construction already. The bodice of this dress took me about 2 days to sew together alone.


But once I had it altogether, I was in love and knew exactly what I wanted in the skirt of the dress. A nice classic, thick black and white stripe. Wanting the skirt fabric to match the bodice exactly, I ended up piecing the black and white fabric together to create the stripes. This also allowed me to get the exact thickness desired.


And naturally, no dress is complete without pockets. I will be forever grateful to Sarah Jessica Parker for that trend.


The end result is something I absolutely love. A classic, beautiful look that will never go out of fashion. I am so proud of this dress, and thankful to be a part of a competition that will continue to grow and stretch me as seamstress and clothing designer.

As for the photos…



Let’s just say they were taken in our neighbors backyard in a hurry. ¬†She didn’t know I was back there, and I was so worried she was going to look out the window and see me and freak out! ¬†Trespass much?

Be sure to hop on over to Project Sewn and vote for your favorite look! (mine of course – ha!)

And let the competition begin!

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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    • Jess says

      Thanks so much Emily! I feel bad, this post wasn’t supposed to go live until 8am!!! But I didn’t think to check what time zone my new WordPress account was set to when I scheduled it – have to assume its GMT now that I see this posted early. Will need to change that for next time. Can’t wait to see what everyone else did! I am so excited!!!

  1. Mie @ Sewing Like Mad says

    WOW, totally LOVE this. And you look stunning! Oh, I can imagine the stress sneaking into your neighbor’s garden….but everything for a good photo, right ;-)

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Zoe! I am totally freaking out over the other looks too, everyone did such an amazing job!

    • Jess says

      LOL – I love that! Photo location NINJA indeed!!! I am like that with every photoshoot I do of myself, I pull up the car, jump out – set up, take as many photos as fast as possible, jump nack in the car and go. It is so embarrassing….lol

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Kristie, I bought the shoes just for this dress. And have gotten loads of use out of them since. Good Marshals buy :)

    • Jess says

      oh la la indeed – ha Kim! At least now I can’t complain that I never have any pictures of myself :)

  2. says

    Oh my gosh Jessica this is so gorgeous.. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something just like it on the runway during fashion week. I am so impressed with the skill required to pull this off. That bodice alone is like a haute couture creation. Bravo!!!

    • Jess says

      You are way too kind Justine, thank you so much. I am honored by your comment! It means a lot coming from you.

  3. says

    Where to begin? That bodice is ah.may.zing. Like, really. The fit is perfection and I adore the stripes so very much. And I am laughing so hard that you tresspassed in your neighbor’s yard for the photos! hahahahahahah! It was worth it, though. Gorgeous. All of it. And the icing is the visual of you running around, in that amazing dress, dragging your tripod and dressform. I die.

    • Jess says

      You have no idea Sabra, what you describe doesn’t event begin to go there. LOL! After seeing todayt’s competition, I feel like I completely need to start again for the sundresses. My look for next week wouldn’t even come close to standing up against this crowd! Need to step up the sundress look!

  4. says

    So very elegant! LOVE the whole outfit and that top… perfect. The photos are loevly and so are you. OK- going to vote…

  5. says

    lol! Stealth photo shoot! i LOOOVE it, Jessica! ah-mazing!! The bodice…wow. and I love the wide stripes and pocket. High five!

    • Jess says

      hahahahha – so far all of my photo shoots have been stealth, I feel like such a dork! I have people walking by me saying ‘ say cheese’. I want to melt right into the ground :)

  6. Dagny says

    I LOVE the outfit. The fit of the top is spectacular (that’s why we sew for ourselves though, right?) and I love the detail in the front.

  7. says

    WOW, WOW and WOW!! So beautiful. It’s so funny that you say that Black and White, is the hottest trend. I actually just posted on my Instagram yesterday that B&W are my go to colors. Who would of thought, I was trending.. LOL!!! So funny about snagging the picture in your neighbors back yard. On my way to VOTE!!!! :)

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Now I just need an occasion to wear it, something where I can say – ‘yes, I think it came out rather well’ :)

  8. says

    I’m absolutely in love with this skirt, and it look all the more awesome contrasted with the pink flowers!
    The fashion “powers that be” really aren’t doing a very good job promoting this B&W trend though. I had no idea that was a thing either!

    • Jess says

      SO happy I am not the only one!!! lol, after I googled and picked up some major magazines, thought perhaps I had been living under a rock.

  9. says

    What a way to start the “show!” I can’t even imagine making that bodice. It is so amazing. The fit? WOW! So beautiful- I can’t wait to see all of your looks! Voted… (for you!)

    • Jess says

      Thank you so very much Jen!!! You are such a good friend :). There is so much gorgeous work there, I am absolutely blown away!

    • Jess says

      You are so sweet Caroline! Your dress is stunning as well, something I would definitely buy off the rack – love it!

  10. says

    Beautiful! You and the dress! Just the other day I photographed a quilt on my neighbors garage and was hoping I’d finish before she came home! shhhh…. :) Congratulations, this dress is fantastic!

  11. Moriah says

    I totally loved this dress, the bow is genius! I will say I think you need to show a bit more leg! I think it should be knee length to make it even more youthful and modern. Are you going to post a pattern for it at some point….? hint hint

    • Jess says

      I must admit, I generally like to show a tad more like myself as well :) – thanks for your input! I just may shop this skirt off yet :)

  12. says

    I am really inspired together with your writing skills as well
    as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to peer a great weblog like this
    one these days..

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Kellie, what a very kind comment. I recently switched from Blogger to WordPress, and purchased a theme with the switch. I used the Genesis Framework by Studiopress. Good luck if you ever decide to make the switch!

  13. says

    Jess, this is just gorgeous! Definitely my fave look of the week! I would wear it in a heartbeat, but you just look so lovely in it I guess you can keep it :)

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