Today I’d like to introduce you to my Named Clothing Gemma Dress. My inner 90’s girl jumped for joy when stretch velvet started making a comeback a couple of years ago. I first fell in love with the sweatshirt version of the Gemma pattern, but have yet to find the perfect fabric combination for it. When my cousin got engaged earlier this year and announced that she’d be married in December, I knew this was the perfect excuse for making a new winter appropriate dress.
I snagged this olive colored stretch velvet and the Gemma printed pattern from Stylemaker Fabrics during their Black Friday Sale. I ordered on Thursday and had the goods in my hands by the following Monday. Michelle currently has a great selection of stretch velvet available and I’m doing my best to convince myself that I don’t need it in every color of the rainbow.
Styling this dress presented me with a bit of a conundrum. You may have noticed that I always wear the same few pairs of shoes. Almost two years ago, I decided to purge and scale back my shoe wardrobe. I had nearly 30 pairs of shoes that were rarely worn or falling apart because they were poorly made. I love a good pair of shoes, but these were just feeling like a waste of my space and money. I made a list of shoes that were necessary in my wardrobe (snow boots, athletic shoes, a pair of dress shoes, etc.) Eventually I whittled my collection down to 8 pairs of shoes. This system has worked quite well for me over the last few years. It’s encouraged me to be more intentional about shoe purchases and creative with my styling. I’m not great at scaling back in many areas of my life, but this one has brought me a little peace of mind. Here’s my little soapbox of the day: You don’t have to Marie Kondo your entire life to feel peace of mind. Find one thing that you can live with less of (decorations, shoes, pants, t-shirts, pens, etc.) and start there. Maybe you’ll be surprised with what you can live without, or maybe not. I’m really no expert here.
Now that I’ve presented my little soapbox, let’s get back to my styling conundrum. After seriously considering purchasing a new pair of shoes, I decided to dress the outfit down a bit by wearing my Teva ankle boots. While not the prettiest option, they were certainly my most practical when presented with the thought of walking on ice and winter slush. In order to make it work, I decided on a slightly boho vibe. I selected a pair of simple dangle earrings, patterned tights, and decided on a crown braid for my hair styling. The thought of a crown braid presented me with another issue: I cannot braid to save my life. Enter Vienna: My kind and beautiful friend Vienna of The Late Sew offered to braid my hair and assist me in taking photos. Sewing friends are some of the freaking best, seriously.
Overall I couldn’t be more pleased with this dress and can’t wait to invent a million occasions to which I can wear such a lovely thing. Who am I kidding? I totally wore this to the grocery store, cooked dinner, and while sewing last night. I might never take it off.
As always, I’ll leave you with a little note on sizing: I sewed a 38 graded to a 40 at the hips. My only other modifications were adding 2 inches to the length and sewing the slit closed an extra 4 inches for a bit more coverage on the back.
Want to see another Named pattern sewn up? Check out my Ronja Dungarees here.
Need a some more Gemma Dress inspiration? Check out Sara’s gorgeous maternity version here.