The “Harbour Lights” Dress | Debi Fry

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The Facts

Fabric: 3 metres blue linen, £15 from Mandors
Pattern: McCall 4114 from Miss Betty's Attic
Year:  1941
Notions: 3 buttons from a pound of vintage buttons gift from the lovely Sofia when she visited Scotland; zipper: £1; 3 metres of trim: £2.50

Time to complete: 14 hours

Wear again? YES!

Total Cost: ~£18

What does every gal who loves 40's style dream about?  Cute sailor dresses and playsuits!!!  I had just the perfect pattern in McCall 4114 from 1941:

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This pattern has loads of interesting details!  The collar is done up with two rows of white trim.  You apply the trim first and then face the collar.  Here's how my trim looks:

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It's a good thing you apply the trim on the collar piece before you attach it to the dress! It's nerve-wracking enough as it is –I can't imagine doing it last! I am quite happy with how it turned out.  The trim is actually white velvet–which adds a nice texture.

This dress has the 'bloused' effect as well.  The 'faux' pocket features topstitching in white thread and is actually a pleat on each side of the dress.  I also did my first gathering stay with this dress (super easy).  The front part of the skirt features gathers as does the bodice front and back.  Finally the sleeves are pleated–another detail I absolutely adore!

Sunset
I, ahem, finished the dress at 9:30pm last night.  David was such a trooper and took a bus with me down to the Harbour.  We were able to catch a fantastic sunset.  We event got close up to the Royal Yacht Brittania before two security guards promptly ushered us behind a gigantic fence.  Ah well, it was worth a try :)

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This dress is really fun for swirling! We didn't have such great light (though surprisingly good light for 10pm–we don't have a fancy schmancy camera–just a plain old digital that we love).

You can see the Royal Yacht Brittania docked in the background:

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YAY! I love this dress so much! Check my blog later in the week for more (daytime) photos as I intend to wear this dress a lot!!

Author

Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!

48 Comments

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  1. That’s SUCH a lovely dress. Great job!

  2. That is so cute. I do like how the topstitching traces the pockets and such a lovely shade of blue.

  3. I love that color of blue on you Debi. Great work.

  4. Hello Sailor! Gorgeous! Great the fabric too

  5. I mean great fabric too!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous, one of my favourites of yours to date!

  7. So cute and I love the idea of the white being velvet too!
    :)Alana

  8. Oh Debi, this deess is perfect and looks lovely on you. The crisp linen, white stripes and top stitching are such yummy details. Like a great “read”, this looks like a great sew!

  9. Love this dress! And the collar is the perfect size.

  10. Well done!!! The dress looks fantastic (of course), and that collar is just divine! I loved that you used white velvet for the trim – details like that always make a dress pop! Yay Debi!

  11. I love it! It is an absolutely adorable dress! I love the top stitched faux pockets! And the collar…the whole thing is a masterpiece I’d say!

  12. This is a great, versatile dress. It’s a classic in its own right really. You could even swap out belts to change it up a bit. Maybe make one with a huge anchor buckle. How about a post on the different ways to wear a nautical dress? It’s challenging but not impossible.

  13. That color looks smashing on you!

  14. Wow! This is really a cute dress! I love it!

  15. Debi,
    I love your dress. Ideal..great job. Happy Sewing.

  16. While I’ve never been a huge fan of ’40s styles, your picks always make me swoon. I’ll definitely be checking your blog later in the hope of a better look at those sleeves!

  17. margueritedesigns

    It’s so classic and works so well.

  18. I love it! Another amazing job.

  19. Wow – this dress is very very cool!! Way to go lady!!

  20. A gorgeous dress on you, love those details – and it looks really authentically 1940s! You could nearly be a vintage postcard :-)

  21. You do this look so well Debi! Well done on a fabulous dress. Love the details.

  22. Thank you so much Emma! I am very happy with it!

  23. Thanks Jen ! It is my favourite colour of blue. I had originally planned to do the dress in white but I like the blue and am glad I picked that colour!

  24. Thanks Kathy! It’s such a lovely colour!

  25. Awwww….thank you so much!!!

  26. Thanks Casey! I thought of you and your sailor outfit when I was making this! xoxoxo

  27. Thanks Alana! It was the only trim I could find that was the right size and it worked out perfectly!

  28. Thanks so much Cathe! It was very fun to make!! I loved your top this week too! The nautical theme was very fun!

  29. Thanks Suze! I like how the collar isn’t too big!

  30. Thanks dear! Have a super fabulous fantastic beautiful birthday!!!

  31. Aw…thank you so much Ris! What a lovely comment!

  32. Thanks MaryBeth! I really, really love that idea–I’m going to try and do a post on different ways to wear it in August! YAY!

  33. Thanks Jill! I love bright blue!

  34. Thanks Rosy! I LOVED your dress this week! So much fun!

  35. Thanks dear! I forgot to mention that the ribbons in my hair is the white trim I won from your package! It is perfect!!!

  36. Thanks Alicia! I so adore the styles from the 40′s!!

  37. Thank you so much Lee!!

  38. Thanks so much Sarah! I loved your blouse this week!! The nautical theme was very fun!

  39. Thanks Gabrielle!!!

  40. Thanks Casey! I thought this theme was really fun!!

  41. okay girl, you have to tackle the bombshell dress. anyone with the attention to detail that you’ve got will fly through it.
    (not to mention those GAMS.)

  42. LoL! I so want to do it! Besides if and when we finally meet up we can both wear our bombshell dresses. Not creepy or weird at all :) hehahahaha

  43. YAY it’s gorgeous! I’d like one in red, and maybe green too? It’s a beautiful pattern and those photos (at such a dark light) look AMAZING!