The new Nov. issue of Lucky, p. 55, features a Theory dress that would make a great inspiration for a homesewn item. It’s basically a black silk shirtwaist dress, with a tie detail on the sleeves and embroidery along the collar and placket. I would think that the white detailing would be easiest to reproduce with some kind of applique or ribbon.
Also, I was watching QVC (shut up) and designer George Simonton had a lovely jacket on. I love the kimono sleeves and the color banding, but I don’t really like the neckline – I’d probably change it to a v-neck or a folded lapel.