Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vintage Out to Sea

I love fabric, I really do. I try to be intentional with my fabric purchases and buy for a particular project but there are times when I will purchase fabric just because I love it. I justify it by thinking/saying/knowing  I will use it one day.

Sometimes those fabrics that I love so much sit on the shelf.  I love them so much but I just don't know what to turn it into.

Then every once in awhile there is a fabric that tells me what I should make with it. (i love when that happens!). When I saw this fabric last May I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I found a vintage pattern, bought it, and waited for the fabric to be available.

August came, I bought the fabric and it fell in line in my little project line up. I made 3 dresses and a cape with various prints from this same collection but then winter came and this dress was not a priority. As soon as spring peeked it's head it was time to move this little project to the head of the line. I have loved both of Sarah Jane's fabric lines. Not only have I loved them but I have made a lot of things with them. They definitely are not my shelf-sitting-dust-collecting fabrics. I always have more ideas of what to make with Sarah's fabric than I have time for. This print is called My Favorite Ship from her Out to Sea collection. I also made a dress from the white colorway of this print here. I think I am so inspired by them since her fabrics usually tell a story about kids or childhood and that is where I am at in life right now. Right in the middle of raising kids. What ever the reason I can think of all kinds of projects to make with Sarah's fabric lines and I am looking forward to her new line coming up.

I think it is my favorite dress that i have made yet.  I was adding the sleeves when the twins came home from school the other day. After the sleeves were on I held it up to check for evenness and to see if there were any major errors . Miss J looked at it and said, Mom, that looks like you bought it at the store. Highest.Praise.Ever!! She is very particular and has a certain style she likes to wear and she won't wear anything that she feels has a "homemade" look. I haven't quite figured out what "homemade" means in her mind but I was very happy she liked the dress.

I have made collars and done buttons but never together down the front of a piece of clothing and it was a challenge I had been wanting to take. I had a hard time understanding the finishing directions of the collar. I can't tell you how many times I read it. It was written in English but what ever they were saying seemed to be a foreign language. 

I kind of made my way through that and fell back on my motto of "have seams, will serge". I love my serger and I do like the insides of my garments to be as neat and tidy as the out.

There are some sewing techniques that I do not like.  Gathering would be an example. It seems so simple... sew a couple lines of stitching using a long stitch then pull the threads. Simple right?? Pin matching the seams of the bodice with the seams of the skirt then make the gathers even. So simple. I have the hardest time trying to get even gathers. I slide things and fiddle with it for a long time and never can get things even. I had read to steam the gathers and I tried doing that with this dress and I think it really helped. I keep choosing to do gathers because it is a technique I want to do successfully. Practice, practice, practice.

I had fun picking out the worn brass looking buttons because it reminds me of lamps and hardware on old shipsI struggle with sleeves too. No two sleeves ever come out the same. I have made quite a few dresses and tops with sleeves now and I no longer dread making sleeves like I did in the past. I don't think I even had to use my seam ripper during sleeve construction.

This dress had cute cuffed sleeves which was something I had never made and actually enjoyed making. Now I need to make this dress for Twin B as they were arguing over who would get to wear it. I am glad because it was a fun dress to make and look forward to making it a few more times. Linking up to The Train to Crazy to see what everyone else is making and wearing this week. 


  1. oh my! that dress is so beautiful! i'm glad you took and posted so many pretty pictures of it. way to go, momma!

  2. Gina, sooo nice dress! Wow! Your daughter looks so elegantly and still like little princess. So lovely result! Have a nice time, Jolana

  3. I love the dress and the red belt really makes all of the colors stand out. You have a great eye for design.

  4. I confess that I read the post secondly and scrolled through the beautiful photos of your lovely daughter first! Can you blame me?

  5. This dress and your daughter are just lovely! I love the 'story' behind it all. As for gathers, the trick is 2 rows of basting stitch to gather with...makes a big difference.

  6. Hi there! I found you on Flickr via Elsie Marley group. This is a gorgeous dress! Your choice of fabric and details are spot on.

  7. that dress is gorgeous.

    my 12 year old won't let me make him clothes, either. same thing. *i'm not wearing home made clothes!*

    really? I'm pretty convinced if I robbed the Levi's tag off some jeans I could get him in pants I made and he'd never know... except they'd fit his skinny butt. :)

    Good job on the dress.... it really is amazing!

  8.'s breathtaking. Absolutely beautiful!

  9. Oh, are too good! This dress and your daughter are just gorgeous. And the pictures are amazing! Well done!

  10. You put into words, what I could not (to my husband), about the fabric. Some you buy with a purpose and sometimes you buy it because you just fell in love with it and will use it, but it is hard to use too! I love Sarah Jane's artwork and I used to buy it from her Etsy shop before she made fabric and when she started making fabric, well, there went my budget and will power! You also said it tells a story about childhood and I couldn't agree more or put better words to why I dearly love Sarah Jane's art! Thank you! You made my day!

  11. This is stunning, what beautiful work! Heidi