The Henry dress design is inspired by Henry Street in the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. It's one of the most beautiful sections of brownstones and tree lined streets in the city. It's quiet and historic and as you can imagine, an idyllic place to stroll on a cool summer night. I wanted to design a casual yet sophisticated dress that girls could wear for a slow and thoughtful walk through their neighborhood. Pockets to collect treasures in and an easy and comfortable garment to move in.
It's hard to choose what I like more, the sleeves or the pockets. Both are smart details that make this more than a simple sheath dress. The pleated sleeve is an element I've been thinking about for years. I once saw a similar detail on a fellow subway commuter and I secretly snapped a picture of her arm. Years later I dug up the picture and realized the memory in my head was vastly different from the picture, but her sleeve inspired this design.
I love pockets so I try to incorporate them when I can. Children love a little hiding spot for all the random things they find and want to squirrel away. In our family we gather rubber bands, pennies, flowers, chalk, and bits of crumbs from random treats. The pockets are that perfect size for holding treasures and discovering them weeks later.
I used two different types of Cotton and Steel fabrics for my model. The green and gold version is with their cotton and linen canvas blend designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale. It's a slightly heavier cotton, but the extra body helps give the sleeve pleats some lovely dimension. And the straight cut of the dress works well with a heavier fabric. You can try linens, chambrays, even a lightweight denim could be fun.
The navy and lime green dress is a standard 100% cotton designed by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel. I loved this fabric so much I pieced together a Franklin tunic with the very last bit of scraps. The colors are wonderful and the light cotton is another great option for this sheath dress.
Don't be afraid to go with an even lighter fabric. I made a wonderful version with voile and it was so soft and comfortable.
The square neckline not only makes the dress easy to get on and off, but it also helps accent the front and back panels. No zippers, no buttons, no problems! The mix of the angled pockets and side front seams allows for an infinite amount of mixing and matching colors and patterns to personalize the dress for your little girl.
I am indebted to my wonderful photographer Virginia Freire for bringing this dress to life and finding the inner cherub in my model. Little Miss C was patient, sweet, and a huge fan of her dresses. This Brooklyn babe has got some serious spunk that Virginia was able to harness so well.
Thank you to everyone for your support and excitement about our new patterns. We've been over the moon seeing the many versions of the Franklin dress and can't wait to see how the Henry dress will inspire you.
Wanting more?! The Bedford dress is in its final stages so keep your eyes open for our second summer pattern in the next few weeks.