Friday, April 27, 2012

The Naughty Sailor

with a cool 60's filter from Picasa

This dress is so cute and totally pin up style/nautical style-- I love it! I pinned it on my Pinterest awhile ago along with the caption stating how it was sooo not my style but I love it. I never wear outfits like this! My style is more Blair Waldorf than Retro Pin Up. Obviously I have been inspired by all that retro and vintage sewing going on out there in the sewing blog world!  I even used the "60's" filter thingie in Picasa on the pictures to make them look all old and pin up style. I left the second picture without filters. So when the RTW Contest (Ready to Wear) came up on PatternReview, I figured this was the perfect time to get my butt in gear and make this dress!

The idea of the contest is: Create a garment inspired by one that you have seen. The inspiration item can be from a Ready-To-Wear line, from the runway, or any other garment you have seen worn or pictured. My inspiration garment is the one in the center of the above picture.

no filters
I completely self drafted this dress from scratch! I have never done that before! Of course, looking at this dress you can see it is not the most complicated so it was probably a good place to start pattern drafting. I once tried copying a shirt I already owned...and it mostly worked...but this was different. So I am glad it was such a success!

The Details:

First, the fabric. For the skirt, I used a navy ponte roma from Joann's. For the bodice, I had to be more creative. You would be surprised how hard it is to find red and white striped knit fabric!  I finally found it on Etsy at Funkalicious fabrics. The stripes are not as wide as on the original but I think it works. Oh! And I matched the stripes! I have never bothered pattern matching before because I did not know how....but I thought real hard and realized if I cut it out on a single layer and then marked the stripes on the pattern piece, I should easily be able to match up the pieces...since they are the exact same. This entire dress only used two pattern pieces! One piece for the top, front and back. And one for the skirt, front and back. As basic as you can get! Except, instead of using the pattern piece to match up the stripes, I just placed the already cut piece on the fabric and lined it up on the stripes and cut!

I used a tank top I had and traced around it...and then I grabbed a ponte skirt I love and traced it....and added seam allowances to both

ponte skirt from Marciano
tank top from BP (brass plum)

Then i added to the sleeve on the tank top by adjusting wider and wider. My first muslin that i tried did not have nearly wide enough straps to account for the gathering around the bows. So I redrafted the sleeve/shoulder by widening the sleeve. Then I used my trusty French Curve and drafted a nice deep scoop neck to match that of the dress.

french curve to make deep scoop neck
I originally thought I would only do the scoop neck in the front and do a high neck in the back but then I realized the arms wouldn't be able to gather with the bows unless the back scooped as well. Worked for me! This way I could use the same piece for front and back--score!

Then I tried to match up where the waist on my skirt matched the waist on my top.
And that is where I connected the two....When I sewed the pattern together, I sewed the front skirt to front bodice and back skirt to back bodice and then sewed the side seams up all at once. This outfit is very you can see from the pictures. I am in extreme denial about my recent weight gain. But the best part? I was working all night on the dress one night and tried it on after sewing up the side seams the first time. Guess what? I couldn't get out of it! I had to wake up my husband at 3 am to get the dress off me!

pretty white sparkly buttons!
Lastly, the white ruffle at the bottom was not something I was really into, so I was going to leave it off but then I remembered some awesome sparkly white lace I had (the more sparkly I can make anything, the better!) from back in the day and added it to the bottom. It also made it so I didn't have to hem the bottom! Plus the white sparkly lace matched the white sparkly buttons I used!

All in all, I do love it! I think it is good to get out of your comfort zone once in awhile and sew something totally different!

skirt close up
I sewed the buttons on by machine. I fused a small square of tricot interfacing on the back of where each button was going to go to give it some support in the knit fabric.


button closeup

bow closeup and matching striped on the side!

I made the bows by making two rectangles, one larger than the other and then sewing the smaller one around the center of the larger. Then I gathered the arm and attached the bow by hand.
Also, how great are these shoes! They are Colin Stuart for Victorias Secret. They totally go perfectly!

The grand finale!!

Lastly, here is a close up of my makeup. I used a frozen white with a bluish tinge for eyeshadow with some navy sparkly liner. And topped it off with some bright red lipstick!

This was such a great experience! I am glad this contest gave me the kick I needed. I hope you love the dress as much as I do! And if so, vote for me when the time comes! Thanks!

Pattern review can be seen here.


  1. that is a great copy and first draft!!!

  2. what a great dress, it's so adorable on you!!

  3. Dang, girl, this is so cute!

  4. Sensational looking dress! You wear this look wonderfully!

  5. This is excellent! It really looks spot on.

  6. Thank you ladies!! I love getting comments and yours are all wonderful! And also thanks for your support in the contest--I never imagined I would get 55 votes! I feel so loved :)

  7. Wow this is so cute! You have done such a great job copying it. You really need to do another one by the looks of it you make things so much better lol!!


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