Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Sailor Dress for Vacation Bible School

I adore all things nautical, but it can so easily veer into kitsch and irony because I've got no legitimate claim on seagoing gear.  My husband and I have been discussing what it means to wear clothes ironically because one of our friends told him he saw me around town in my 50s housewife dress.  Due to the way guys miss clothing details, I'm not even sure what dress he was referring to (related, as I went to market this morning, a random man muttered "nice dress" as he walked by - Genevieve wrinkled her nose "you're not wearing a dress!"  I was wearing a skirt and tank top.  Honestly. Men.). After a bunch of fascinating discussions with my husband, I think I figured out that I don't wear my clothes ironically (the opposite meaning of their original intent).  I'm not a hipster wearing vintage.  If I wear old styles, it's because I think the style is lovely as it was originally intended.  However, I don't dress in a period costume - meaning, I wear my modern sandals with my vintage dress and I'm not going to wear a hat or carry a little matching purse.

So when I started planning this dress for Genevieve, I wanted to simply reference the nautical colors.  Everything came from my stash and as far as I recall, it was all passed on to me free.  I borrowed the pattern from Rebecca.




I love how the sailor dress turned out, although I confess that collar gave me fits and lots of seam ripping.  I used a poly-cotton blend for the collar which does make it lay nicely.  The dress body is a vintage seersucker plaid.  It has no closures, only a detachable dickey.

Underneath are white bloomers with red hem stitching, made from a knit polo shirt of Daddy's (the one that came out of the closet with a moth hole).  By carefully lining up the pattern, I used the shirt hem as the bloomers hem.


Genevieve wasn't totally thrilled with the dress - I think we'll be collaborating more from now on - but she was pleased with all the compliments she got and she also suggested the red ric-rac to tie back her hair.

She's not objecting to wearing the dress to vacation Bible school with sandals.  She's carrying my great-aunt's Bible in its flowered case stuffed with pens, highlighters, and paper - all her own idea and so quaintly old-ladyish.

10 comments:

Nancy po said...

How cute!

Rozy Lass said...

Darling dress!

Julian said...

Love it!!! And the rick rack!:)
Christina

Lisa said...

So Genevieve is into the costume thing, kind of, even though you're not. It's a great dress! I thought all girls loved sailor dresses, or maybe that was just in my day, which was a long time ago.
Funny about those guys noticing your attire - it must be you, not really your clothes. :)

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Genevie's dress is adorable..She looks so cute.
I just love sailor dresses..
You are right men , never notice or are never able to repeat the conversation.ha But.. the skirt was pretty, and you looked nice.so that is all that matters.ha
I too, wear what I like.. doesn't have to be the whole little suit thing.

Rebecca said...

You're so right! Down with sartorial irony! That dress of Ev's is darn cute. But, be still my heart, the B-I-B-L-E cover is The Best. I hope they're serving 'Nilla Wafers and red Kool-Aid while she wears that dress.

Mary Ann said...

That is an adorable dress! My mom used to make us dresses with those big sailor collars. If I had a little girl I'd probably subject her to them too just because I think they are sooo cute!

jenny_o said...

So cute! My goodness, she's getting tall!

momma-lana said...

Looks great! Those sailor collars are a pain to sew! I did many of them for my girls and they always caused me much anguish.

MissFifi said...

Men are funny with the details they do catch though.
The dress is positively darling and I too like that bible cover.

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