Speaking of Styling Licorice for Winter, Redux: in which you can actually see the DRESS!

19 Nov
Licorice Pattern from the Colette Sewing Handbook   

When I responded to the Coletterie post regarding Styling Licorice for Winter I jumped the gun a bit, as I didn’t have a clear picture yet in my arsenal that actually showed the dress!  Rookie blogger mistake, as I’ve learned as I find google referrals to my shy little blog from all over the planet looking for content about Licorice, and me with just the one Licorice-obscuring picture.  So, to correct this oversight, the lovely Licorice* and I are back with some snaps in which the dress is finally visible. Isn’t she a beaut?

*[For those not already poring over their own copy, that’s the new Colette Patterns Handbook which comes with several new patterns including this dress, called Licorice.]

I used what I hoped would be a transitional-season linen; in one of my longtime favorite yellow-green colors, shot with black. I love it! It has that subtle sheen to it that I think dresses up/dresses down down really well- although that is one of the strengths of this particular design too. The full sleeves really hit me at the right time in my life too since I have been busily making all these butterfly wraps and wide-sleeved sweaters and jackets, so I have oodles of things to layer and wear with this, and it slots right into my wardrobe so perfectly.

I lined this with china silk- super decadent, and the result is I want to wear the dress every. single. day. I am usually the girl who when faced with optional lining will chose not to on a time/material expenditure-per-use rationale vs. why-not-wear-a-slip, but this dress is really converting me to linings, one wear at a time. Particularly considering that some of my favorite pairs of crochet tights are made out of some kind of microfiber that can only be cousin to velcro, and these have battled and won against all my slips. This might seem like a silly detail to harp on when there’s all this style/pattern detail to talk about but I gotta say, on a per-wear basis it’s getting a lot of happy attention in and out of the Hillary home.

In these pictures, it’s shown with a plaid linen tie-belt from another project of mine, vintage brooch, and windowpane sweater jacket. Not shown are my ever-present elbow-length gloves. Indispensible!

Here are a few other thoughts on styling Licorice for Winter, since cold-weather dressing is a particular specialty up here.  With my cozy silk lining, I have every intention of wearing my linen Licorice as long as possible into the season:

Licorice with favorite tweeds and silk

This is as “me” an outfit as ever was: here is Licorice with some of my favorite wardrobe staples, the wool tweed wrap I made last year that as far as I’m concerned goes with everything, the vintage, recycled Japanese silk crepe belt (all I did was face it with harmonizing silk crepe and add bias tape loop closures on the end), my favorite-favorite shoes by Biviel, and favorite tweed ivy hat.


Licorice with vintage pumps and coral jewelry

One of the things I love about the dress is that even without a belt, I think is it seems to give me a little more shape than I actually have. I’m not quite sure how that works but I am grateful for it. I have a fairly blockish shape (ie. the “rectangle” that hardly ever shows up on Vogue “Figure Flattery”), so I appreciate a dress that gives me an illusion of curves. This one seems to do this- it’s something about all the curved seams here and there, the curved collar hanging down accentuates the dress’s darts nipping in at the waistline, the draping teardrop sleeves hanging from the flattering narrower armscyes, etc. Very flattering, graceful fit!


Licorice goes for groceries

Accidental, irresistible Brady Bunch shot! Licorice with one of the umpteen butterfly wraps I’ve made, I look at this outfit and it makes me smile, I see all the influences of coming of age in the 90s, and the “throw on a pair of combat boots and the outfit is fine” mentality I had, lol. Also featured is my “lazy frog belt” which I love: it’s a super easy to sew/easy to wear belt that’s just a piece of wide black elastic (they sell this at Joann’s or whatever by the yard) with ready-made frog closure sewn on and hidden velcro for reinforcement. Inherited from my dad camel wool ivy hat.


Licorice with Grandmother's stole

A very fun way to wear Licorice in winter, particularly if your fur is faux. A stole or capelet really lets all the design features of your dress show when you move around so much better than a jacket does. You can still see the interplay of the sleeves and collar so much better. I do have volumes to say about vintage fur and my ambivalence about it although this isn’t really the place for it; this was inherited from my grandmother, not that that makes the ethics straightforward. I have a faux-fur capelet on the brain/drawing board, which will eventually be easier for me to wear, because I have decidedly fallen in love with the aesthetic since inheriting it. I am no longer sure that the argument of not wanting to perpetuate a [faux]fur-based aesthetic is one that has the weight it used to, when faux fur is everywhere and so firmly grounded in the culture now, but it is still one I struggle with. I am extremely wistful about remaking 1930s coat patterns with faux fur, for example. But I still hear that lingering tinkling bell of guilt about anything that might potentially romanticize or glamorize fur. In any case, complicated but potentially lovely. Next!


Licorice with 60s Vogue 4180 (again)And finally, because from day one I wanted to pair the two together, here again is a terrible picture of Licorice with the suit coat my Grandmother sewed for my mother circa 1960, from Vogue 4180. Also, another of my belts sewn from vintage Japanese fabric, this one in some really amazing wool, I faced it in silk organza, and at some point I went back in and added some strips of elastic ruching at the sides- which sounds like sacrilege but gives it some much-needed shape. Further accessorized by wool tights and kitty hiding behind my legs!


Hope you have enjoyed what has really been a great excuse to play dress up for me, and share a dress that I believe turned out quite well, and that was a pleasure to sew. Thanks and props to Sarai for giving us another wonderful pattern, not to even start yet on the BOOK, which is a topic for another post!


9 Responses to “Speaking of Styling Licorice for Winter, Redux: in which you can actually see the DRESS!”

  1. Cecili November 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Your dress is gorgeous! I love every single one of your outfits 🙂

    • atelierfargo November 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      Thank you! It’s fun letting yourself run with it sometimes 😉

  2. aviewintomyworld December 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    HILARY WHEN DID YOU GET A BLOG???? and yes the capitals are intentional, when I read that lovely long comment you left me and i saw fargo in the name i was hoping it was you 😀

    as always i love your pics, particularly like the capelet one, i hear you on the fur – i think similarly about leather, cos yes i like to give myself conundrums!

    licorice is top of my list to make from colette handbook, once i get my present making done, is it very loose fitting? i think it looks looser on the model that in the line drawings…

    • atelierfargo December 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

      Hehe I threw it together really quickly after months of dithering, WELCOME- thank you very much! And for relating on the fur, I’m glad I’m not the only one who creates palaces of overthink for myself on these things. Coincidentally I’m working on extremely-faux fur capelet to wear over unseasonal silk dress next weekend so there we go!

      There are sooo many different ways to make Licorice look. Do you have the handbook? It looks so different depending how much ease you put in, like you can see Sarai chose not to use much ease for hers, like pp63, 74-75, or the model in the black and white silk/cotton version on the back cover and front flyleaf- I love that version especially- the really slim bodice offset by the wide teardrop sleeves. With zero stretch in my fabric I erred on side of a shade too much ease below the armscyes. So mine turned out more like the turquise sueded silk or whatever it is on the model on p158 with more ease through the body than I’d really prefer, because it doesn’t create quite so much contrast, but it’d of course be an easy fix if I were really that bothered. I have 2 Licorices in my head that I’d like to try (out of the heat of the time-crunch testing moment, you know)- one in a super soft drapey silk twill, and the other in a lightweight (stretch!) wool suiting, so approx same drape as the linen only fuzzier, tweedier, wintrier, lusher. Opposites. We’ll see what I get to b/c I’ve still not finished with fall projects. Plus I REALLY want to sew coat before end of winter, ha and double ha. Anyway, can’t wait to see yours!!

  3. Sølvi December 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Yay! You´re blogging! Hurrah! I just read about it over at Louise´s! 🙂 Very cool!

    • atelierfargo December 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      CHeers right back at you, Sølvi for the support, many thanks!! 🙂 How cool is Lou to say something, that girl rocks!!

  4. Amy Tuite December 12, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Your liquorice is GORGEOUS! Love it.

  5. Miss Crayola Creepy December 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Your dress is so cute! I think I like it better than the ones in the book!

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