If anyone thought my love of nautical stylings may be on the wane, then think again! I would like to introduce you to my latest boating-based wardrobe addition: the Nautical Knot Dress! Boats. Knots. More boats. More knots...
As I mentioned in my round up of 2012 post, for a couple of reasons, my sewing mojo all but disappeared at the tail end of last year. This is the only thing I made in 2012 after all my wedding hoopla was completed. It's taken a few months to find an opportunity to get some decent pictures, day light levels being as they are in Winter.
The pattern I used was a vintage McCall's, number 6636, that's been in my stash for about a year. I scored it pretty cheaply from eBay after becoming intrigued by the interesting bust shaping and enchanted by the pattern envelope illustration.
Pattern Sizing and Changes:
It is a bust 34", which always seems the best starting point for me when it comes to vintage patterns. I would usually fold out 2 cms from the depth of the bodice to accommodate my short-waisteness (AKA naturally high waist) but something told me not to do that this time, and I'm glad I didn't because the waist seam sits just fine, a little high even, with no adjustment made. One change to the pattern I did make was to add 4 cms in total around the waist because vintage patterns can often be so unforgiving for a lady such as I who likes cake! However it's come out a bit too big around the waist, but at least I can go to lunch without feeling restricted (which I did today with the very lovely Kathryn and some of her equally lovely London laydeez). I also removed an enormous chunk off the length of the full skirt!
So I've temporarily stopped pussying around with fabric featuring nautical style stripes and tiny anchors. Time to man up and stick some frikkin' boats on my body!!! And like I said a while back, curtaining can be an excellent source of garment sewing fabric, and I think I've proved that here! This fabric started life as a HUGE curtain my mum scored from a charity shop. I think she got it with half an eye to making some cushion covers for the cosy little interior of my dad's boat, but there is really only so many scatter cushions a small boat requires and I ended up with this fabric instead. Happy day!
I'm not sure if you can see clearly enough in these pics, apols for a lack of close-ups, but the fabric design features line drawings AND water colours of yachts, plus some fancy rope work sketches AND some boaty stuff written in French. Damn. I made sure I positioned the front pattern piece so a rope work knot was in clear view.
Did it look like the illustration on the pattern envelope when you were done?
Does it ever?! Umm, not entirely but then I never make a toile so I know it's therefore always slightly my fault. Even though it is against my natural inclination, I chose to make the full skirted version rather than the slim skirt version. This was for two reasons: the first being that I had so much damn fabric I may as well; and the second was that I just couldn't see that gathered-waist-into-a-slim-skirt effect going well.
The main area of interest of this pattern is of course the crazy bust area with it's seaming and weird little bust darts. The seams actually go up into a point at the armpit area, which was really tricky to sew. I had a suspicion that the bust point of this pattern would be way higher than is natural for today's body shapes, but there was no way I was going to fanny around trying to lower it. Those suspicions were well founded as the bust darts are crazy-high. It might be a problem if I'd made this in a solid fabric, but the print hides it and I'm just not that bothered about a perfect fit on a dress that was kind of an experiment any how and I'll probably only wear a few times a year.
Would I sew this pattern again?
No. I have too many untried patterns in my stash to spend a large chunk of time trying to perfect the fit of this pattern. It was a fun experiment and the result is a dress I'll definitely wear so it's all good. I would be tempted to therefore give the pattern away so someone else can fill their boots, but I love the envelope illustration so much I'm planning on framing it and putting it up with a few more favourites above my desk in my desk share space. I will, however, probably use the skirt pattern pieces again. Previously I'd only ever made full skirts from gathering up long rectangles. This skirt has such a lovely fullness to it, even if it does look a bit like a little girl's party dress!
Oh yeah, I've just realised a lack of garment makery means a lack of self-photos so there hasn't been any photos of me on this blog taken since September. Maybes the fact that I've 'ombre'd' my hair may come of a shock to you. I can only apologise. And I promise the awkward side-fringe/growing-out effect is just a phase.