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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

· 1950s Nautical for Kathryn ·


I'm getting to be quite jealous of Kathryn's wardrobe lately.  Which is quite silly considering I'm the one making it. ;-)

Long-time readers will know the back-story of why I make her vintage and historical clothing: she's a dear friend and we've worked out a system whereby she is my Personal Photographer and Website Mistress and in turn I make her clothing.  You can see some of her previous requests here.


A few months ago, we made the decision to take a fun girls trip to Maine and naturally, this was the perfect opportunity for a 1950s nautical outfit! ;-)  (oh, and I promise I haven't forgotten about sharing photos of Maine!  My life has been..... crazy since being back so a re-cap of the trip has taken the back burner!)


We had stunningly gorgeous weather every day, so we had our pick of when to take outfit photos!  Portland Head Lighthouse seemed like a pretty wonderful backdrop and as you can see, it didn't disappoint. :-)  After taking these photos, we got lobster rolls at Bite Into Maine (a cute food truck parked near the lighthouse) and took them down to the rocky coast to enjoy our seafood with the salty spray crashing beside us, a great view of the lighthouse, and very few other tourists.  Amazing!!


Anyway... enough spoilers from the vacation post!  Time to get back to the outfit!

I used Simplicity 2154 yet again for this blouse!  I changed the neckline and added buttons down the front, which in turn meant I could eliminate the back keyhole opening.

The big fluffy bow is just safety-pinned on, so the blouse can be worn without it and the bow can be used for other outfits.  It's made from one layer of the skirt fabric and I decided to cut it on the straight of grain.  I'm not quite sure why I decided that?  Might have been due to fabric shortage, but I think it looks good like that anyway. ;-)  I didn't use a pattern for it, just eyeballed about what I wanted it to look like and cut!  Ok, yeah.  I measured a lot, too.  And made a few mock-ups.....


I was so tickled to find these stripey buttons at Hobby Lobby!  They add the perfect touch!


An on-seam pocket for practicality- after all, what's the point of having a full skirt without taking advantage of the suitability for pockets?!  There is an invisible zipper on the other side.

The blouse is made from a lightweight linen/cotton blend from JoAnns.  This is the 2nd project I've used this for, and I'm so pleased with it!  It's also surprisingly cheap for JoAnns and with coupons, is a steal!


The trim is 1/4" wide satin ribbon- turned wrong side out so it's not as shiny.


My favorite method of finishing off these armholes is to cut facings rather than using bias binding.  I usually make my facings so they're about 3/4"-1" wide when finished and I love hand-sewing them down.  A neat, smoother finish than bias binding allows for. :-)


This skirt is made just like her red one with slightly narrower pleats.  It's made from a polished cotton and is lightweight enough to be great for summer, while still having enough body to look professional.  I am sensing a dire need for several such skirts in my wardrobe now.....

28 comments:

  1. Oh, what fun! I would call this the ultimate 1950s nautical outfit!! The design is absolutely adorable, and perfectly suited to Kathryn. I love how you used ribbon for the trim on the collar - it's the perfect touch! And that's very helpful about the facings for armholes; I'll have to remember that.
    Lovely job!! :)
    (Oh, and I can't wait to see the Maine pictures - it looks like a beautiful place!)

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  2. Oh my word....this is stunningly fabulous!!! Okay, so I think my next project is going to be a nautical theme:) hehe! Your sewing skills are so inspiring and make me want to sit down at my machine and sew to my hearts content:)
    -Madison
    www.1minniemuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Madison, I know! I'm dying to do something nautical, but I have so many other projects already on the docket.... :-P

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  3. Simply adorable! This reminds me of a 1950s version of our girls' sailor ensembles for our singing :) You did a gorgeous job, Lily! Like Madison said, you inspire me so to stitch up myself some retro goodies!

    xo,
    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingersblog.com

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  4. Really classic, and it looks so versatile!

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  5. *squeaks* Nautical! I love nautical! Very nice Lily!

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  6. Adorable! I'd love to make a sailor blouse like this one someday, only with sleeves too. This ensemble is super charming!

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  7. I LOVE this ensemble that you created Lily! It looks positively splendid on Kathryn! Now I am seriously envious of that sleeveless sailor blouse. :D

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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  8. Wow, wow wow! Loving it, every bit!

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  9. This makes me so beyond happy! I ADORE (Like seriously, I have a affinity for sailor dresses) all things nautical, sailor dresses!! You have done a fabulous job on it and the blue is a wonderful shade with the white!!! My heart is seriously SQUEE-ING at the moment!!! I may have to find out where Kathryn lives and steal this....
    Blessings!
    Gina

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  10. Tremendously pretty, sweetly charming nautical look. You two really have hit upon such a marvelous working relationship. I wish I had a seamstress friend nearby that I could do the same thing with. :)

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Jessica, thank you! We do indeed have a fabulous set-up! My blog truly wouldn't be what it is or even exist without K's expertise, so I'm very grateful! I hope you do end up finding a seamstress though- I'm sure she'd love to see her work displayed as beautifully as your posts always are!

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  11. Beautiful. What a great idea having the bow separate. Really mixes things up. I just received my first sewing commission this week. My best friend gifted me fabric from her holiday; make one blouse for her, and I keep the rest.

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    1. Kaitlyn, thanks! And what a fun opportunity for you- sounds like a great deal! :-)

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  12. Sarah A. (Prairie Rose Sewing)August 5, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    Splendid job on this dress, Lily! I love nautical/sailor dresses in the summertime. Of course, the location is stunningly perfect as well. Looking forward to seeing more pictures from your trip! They say the Maine coast is similar to Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior, which is my favorite place in the world. And from what I have seen in other photos it is true. :) Hope you had a marvelous time! And I'm sure you girls traveled in style. :) What fun!!!

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  13. Serious question: do you take commissions and could you make one of these outfits for me? I am in love!

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    1. Olivia, thanks for asking! I've thrown around the idea at various points, but with my current situation I've had to stop taking custom commissions. :-( I will be sure to make it public if I'm ever in the position to do that again! You're tempting me to get back into it....

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    2. Well, if you'd ever like to make an exception for me, get in touch ;). I would adore to own one of these outfits!

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  14. Oh that top! I'm such a sucker for anything nautical and I absolutely adore this outfit. I'm feeling inspired to create my own sailor top like this to twin with my 1930s navy wide leg trousers now. Thank you for such fabulous inspiration!

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  15. Thank you for not mentioning that I wore this outfit, like, every day of our trip... ;-) I love it! YOU'RE THE BEST!

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  16. What a great combination....I love nautical, too, and vintage nautical is really special. I also love Portland Head (and have visited it several times), and I appreciate how you put all of those things together. It must have been a fun trip. Did you meet Martha Stewart whilst out there? :)

    Krista

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    1. Krista, thanks! I had no idea MS lived out there too- ever since going, it seems like most folks venture there at some point or other! But I can see why now. ;-)

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  17. That is such a sweet outfit! Love the blouse.

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  18. What a stunning dress...you are soo talented!!

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  19. Wonderful outfit again! I think the idea of reversing the satin ribbon for the blouse trim is so clever Lily! ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Thanks, Bonita! I love that idea for the ribbon too- it's just the right touch. :-) And I can be so impartially fond of the idea since it was actually Kathryn's. ;-)

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