The “From Loathing to Loving Nautical” Dress
Fabric: 7 yards of cotton Jacquard (45″ wide) and 1 yard red silk shantung
Pattern: Butterick 7651
Year: c. 1950’s
Notions: 1 regular zipper, 3″ wide horsehair braid, petersham for waist stay
Time to Complete: 1 week
First Worn: April 2012
Wear Again: To my next cocktail soiree
Total Price: $65-$70 (eeeep! I know!!!)
Growing up my mother would constantly dress me and my sister up in matching sailor outfits. I hated every single one of them, and remember crying on at least one occasion for having to wear it. I know I look happy… but I really loathed these sailor dresses.
In retrospect, I feel pretty bad about it. My mother had taken the time to sew these little dresses and to show my appreciation, what did I do?! I cried.
When I was looking through old photos with my mom, I brought up the subject of how much I used to dislike all of the sailor dresses. While sewing my weekly creation for this challenge, I’ve been feeling guilty about how much I love all things nautical compared to how much I used to hate it. I was going to apologize to my mom about the grief I gave her but she was completely clueless that I had ever hated them! heh Crisis averted!
As a result of the conversation, I don’t feel so bad anymore about how my love has grown for all things nautical. :) I can even say looking back, they were cute little girls dresses. (I wonder if my sister can say same the same though…)
Given how much I used to hate my sailor dresses, I couldn’t think of a better inspiration to use for the Childhood theme. I was originally going to sew an adult replica of the classic navy and white sailor dress, but instead I happened upon the perfect striped jacquard fabric to make a nautical-inspired dress using Butterick 7651 from the 50’s.
The construction of the dress wasn’t difficult, but cutting the fabric to match all of the stripes to create a chevron pattern took me at least 3 separate evenings, which was primarily due to the 8 gore skirt. After I sewed the back bodice together, I realized that the darts were going to wreck my carefully planned chevron pattern on the front of the bodice. Going back to the drawing board, I spent Friday moving around 2 darts to create 1 large dart to fall in line with the stripes of the bodice, a la Gertie. My pattern piece looked a bit funky since my new dart ends near the bottom of my side seam, but it worked like a charm.
If the ropey-stripes don’t scream nautical enough, I went and sewed on a matching red sash on the neckline as well as on my sleeves.
I may have gone a little overboard with my stripe matching. heh
I can’t get over how much I love my new nautical dress.
I’m inserting a happy nautical *Twirl* here.
I’ve gone from completely hating nautical/sailor dresses to completely loving them. Now I just have to sew 3 more…. heh