The ‘Plain Sailing’ dress | Adey Lim
Fabric: 2 yards blue plaid stretch cotton from Shanghai $9.30
Patterns: McCall's 9619
Year: c. 1980s
Notions: Buttons, bias tape and ric racs $2
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Absolutely! It's gonna be a weekday staple!
Total Cost: ~$11.30
My week has been anything but plain sailing. My kids caught the flu bug which crept its way to me. I'm still coughing badly and drowsy from a little yellow pill. I had dreamt up a fine weather photo shoot at the beach, on the breakwater, at the sailing club and with sandcastles for this nautical inspired number. But, the weather seemed to have caught a bug too and rain has been abundant. So, indoors it is this week. The one fabulous thing is this dress has been super duper easy to put together.
I am quite the pattern snob and for this week's theme, I had to dig deep into my pattern stash to find one or two patterns that I am not too enthusiastic to look at, let alone use. Why did I buy this pattern? It was probably bought with another pattern for a better combined shipping rate but I also saw potential (though filled with uncertainty) cuteness in the back opening. After all, I did make a cute party dress with a back cut out before. But, what's with all that pout lipped models on the cover and no cute accessories to match the dress? Did the illustrator think it was beyond all hope too?
This 1980s McCall's sewing pattern I chose won the hideous pattern cover poll I had on my blog sometime back. It garnered 79.8% of 203 votes. At first glance, it made the wearer look humongous, the fabric used looked too stiff, the shoulders too padded and there was also a concern of whether the bra strap was gonna show with the back cut out.
The mystery is now solved. The coverage is just sufficient.
The only two modifications I did was to shorten the hem for a more youthful take and to make the armholes smaller. For a nautical inspired look, I used a blue plaid cotton fabric with some stretch and for embellishment, I braided blue and pink ric-racs together and created a wave like design on the neckline. It is party hand-stitched. A white scrap fabric was used for contrast at the neckline and for the waistband, which was embellished with a thin ribbon. Pink and white buttons are used for back closures. I used a red thread for topstitching of the neckline contrast and the waistband to make them less stark.
I'm gonna let you in on a secret that only the wearer knows. There are fishes in my pockets. Honestly! I used a scrap fabric with fishes for the inside of the pockets and love how adorable they looked!
I found it rather tough to match the plaids on the shoulders and side seams of the bodice as the plaids were irregular and the front bodice and sleeves were cut as one piece but managed to match them for the skirt seams.
I wore the dress to pick my son from school and he commented pointing to my back, "Mama, your dress is so pretty but why is there a hole here". After I told him it was part of the design, he couldn't stop tickling me. It has turned out to be quite a fun dress after all!