You may have noticed that our last few patterns have been named after some of our favorite cities – San Diego, Madrid and Barcelona. Well, today we want to introduce you to the Memphis Dress. And, like it's namesake city, the dress is cool, comfortable and just a bit quirky.
As you can see below, the Memphis is made with almost architectural construction. The puzzle pieces of this dress come together to create one asymmetrical side flare, which contrasts with the opposite side, which is a classic straight shape. The flare on the dress gives the garment a gentle drape. The soft folds start at the more classically fitted bodice and flow down to the hem. This creates a sophisticated silhouette that is as flattering as it is comfortable. I know what you are thinking – so many pieces! Well, despite the crazy construction of the dress, it goes together in no time.
The Memphis was designed for knits and there are so many variations of the dress that can be made simply by changing the fabric. For instance, I'm so excited about making it in a stripe knit. By playing with the cutting layout you can create an exciting dress out of a classic print. Take a look at the Red on Navy Ponte Knit Stripe below. This Breton style stripe was originally found in French naval uniforms, until Coco Chanel borrowed their shirts for her groundbreaking looks. Since then a sailor stripe has always been a fashion favorite. Notice how we have created one side of the dress using a vertical stripe? Not only does it make the dress more visually appealing (especially combined with the diagonal flare) but it also lengthens the torso, breaking up those dreaded horizontal stripes. If red and navy are too loud for you, why not try something more subtle like the Bone and Grey St. John Stripe, or this Heather Rib Knit Stripe?
The Memphis is particularly suited for large-scale prints; the sizable pattern pieces create a fabulous canvas for the fabric. I love the idea of using the Multi-color Stained Glass print. It would be a show-stopper! And so easy to wear, just throw it on with some leggings and boots, and you are out the door. The Dash Pique is a textured knit that would also be a fabulous fabric to pair with this pattern. The Slash Knit in grey and fuchsia is a gorgeous fabric, which alternates between sheer and opaque. Because of the opaque pieces, you might want to line the dress with a solid knit. Or, wear it like an oversized sweater over fitted pants and a skinny shirt.
Are stripes and large prints too much for you? Don't worry, the Memphis looks great in a solid as well! Take our light to mid-weight ponte knit. I love the Eggplant color, it is subtle, but not entirely neutral, the same with the Wine. And of course, you can't go wrong with Black. The solid colors make the Memphis incredibly versatile. I've worn my black ponte version as a casual traveling dress on a a plane, accessorized with simple flats and a scarf, and dressed up for an event, with heels and statement jewelry.
Can't decide what fabric to use? Have some fun and use them all! Don't be afraid to mix prints, just be sure that you are combining designs that have complementary colors and scale. For instance, we have paired a medium scale Bright Poppy Print Knit with our Mini Floral Jersey Knit. To ground the garment, we chose to ground the design by making the neckline and bottom band out of our Captain Blue Jersey Knit.