Here's a two-in-one post, of tried and true patterns: The Seamwork Mesa Dress, and the Grainline Morris Blazer. I've made the Mesa twice before (here and here), and I sewed this striped version several months ago - in September or October of last year. The Mesa is probably my most used and loved pattern because it's super fast to sew, and can produce very different looks depending on fabric selection. It works great as a casual weekend summer dress, a go-to staple for the work week, or even a fun party dress, like my sequin bridesmaid version. I just finished a fourth one last week in a bamboo rayon knit - it's a bit looser and I added some ruching to the sides for the growing bump...but I'll write about that one another day!
Thiis striped one is my workweek Mesa. It's a medium- to heavy-weight knit with some texture from Designer Fabrics. I wore it through winter with tights and a cardigan and into spring with a blazer and sandals - it's always super easy to throw together and really comfortable too. It was a good dress to wear to work after I'd started sharing that I was pregnant (I think I'm about 4 months along in these photos).
Now onto the Morris. I bought the Morris Blazer immediately when it was released but it took me a while to get started on it. My plan was to make a wearable muslin out of this plain black woven with a bit of stretch I had in my stash, but whenever I have a project lined up in a plain fabric, it sits there for weeks, as I get easily distracted by florals and feathers and stripes and ikat, etc. etc. In any case I finally decided I desperately needed a plain black blazer so I got started.
My fears of boredom from plain fabric were soon overcome. Making this blazer is SUPER fun. After the first 4-5 steps, the main body of the blazer is basically constructed and it's really motivating that you just want to keep going and sew it all in one sitting (almost possible!) And it was so straightforward to make, with no modifications needed!
The Morris is a perfect first-time blazer patter - especially if you've never made a blazer before (me) and you feel slightly intimidated by making a seemingly complex article of clothing like a blazer (also me). The lack of a lining omits a lot of complexity, and the collar + lapel design a really smart and simple way to achieve a nice look.
As I was making it, I was dreaming up several more versions I was going to make: a floral one (obviously - already in progress and almost done), an olive green one, and I really like the contrast sleeves version that's on the Grainline site. I haven't tried a knit version yet so will add that to the list too (the pattern is drafted for both knits and wovens - such a bonus!) And I'll eventually want to try some modifications too, like lengthening the sleeves or making a looser, "boyfriend blazer" version like this one from Katie. Lots more Morrises and Mesas in my future!
How about you, what are your tried and true patterns?