So it has been a bit quiet round here recently because I have been on holiday! It has been ages since we had a holiday abroad with sunshine and swimming in the sea and I had an amazing time. It is hard to come back to gray skies and back to school preparations.
Of course I decided that I needed to make new clothes for my holiday and I was sewing up to the last moment – this week I want to show you my two Southport dresses. I intended to take lots of pictures while I was away and I almost entirely failed, so this is mostly from our damp (and increasingly overgrown) garden!The Southport dress, from True Bias, has been hugely popular on sewing blogs since it was released earlier this year – I think it has popped up on most of the blogs I follow. It isn’t the kind of thing I usually wear, so until I started holiday planning I wasn’t really thinking about it, but when I was looking for something that would work for beach and sight-seeing, I knew it would be a perfect option.For the first version in white I cut a 10 bodice, grading to a 12 hip. As several others have done I used the more flared pieces from the maxi skirt, but cut a shorter length. I also raised the neckline about an inch. The white fabric came from Helen at Justsewtherapeutic at the Leeds meet up earlier in the year. This is a slightly odd fabric – I think it is cotton and I love the embroidery (and the flowers have tiny black sequins stitched into their centres!) The fabric has some texture and has lines running across it with tufts of fabric. I didn’t have enough to do a lot of pattern matching beyond trying to keep the lines reasonably straight.
The first version is completely wearable, but I found that there was excess fabric in the bodice and the skirt was a bit big. I had initially gone for just below the knee, but I preferred it above the knee and with some of the flare taken out of the skirt.For my second version I used black and white viscose printed fabric from Abakhan. I found this in the ‘poly mixed’ bin in the remnants section, where I also found the lovely grey dot fabric for my Biscayne blouse. I made a Small Bust Adjustment of about half an inch to the front bodice, cut a 10 for the skirt as well as the bodice and slightly reduced the flare in the skirt. I think the fit is better in the second version while still being relaxed and I wore the dress while wandering round the weekly market and over my swimsuit after an afternoon at the beach. The viscose fabric was so lightweight it was perfect even when the temperature was in the 30s!
I suspect these dresses will now have to be packed away until next summer but they worked out just as well as I hoped for my ‘holiday wardrobe’ and I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to wear them again. I have a bit more holiday sewing to share and then it is time for autumn sewing! What have you made for summer this year?