The 50s Sailor Dress

50s Sailor Dress   I’ve been working on this dress for awhile now, but in between little breaks because life has been pretty crazy! I still have to add a little charm or brooch to the gap between the front collar, but for now, I’m pretty content calling this dress basically finished! It wasn’t super difficult, but it was a good learning experience, and was pretty fun to make. I started this dress by mocking up the bodice on my dressform.


I used these pieces to create a mock up, which actually turned out surprisingly well. I took a few inches off the size, and was ready to cut out the lining and actual fabric. The bodice is made of 6 pieces all together, and I pinned everything before sewing the bodice and lining.   058

After all the seams were sewn, I attached the bodice and lining together at the top and finished the arm holes, leaving the bottom edge raw to be finished when the skirt got attached. There was no back closure yet, since I had to wait to put the skirt on to attach the zipper, but it seemed to fit pretty well from just holding it closed.


I then got to work on the skirt. The skirt was a basic circle skirt made of four individual pieces. To make the pattern, I took my waist radius, and made a quarter design for the skirt to the length that I wanted, plus 3 inches of seam allowance. I then cut the very bottom of the pattern off, making two individual pieces. The bottom would become the white border, and the rest would be navy.


Since the fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut the quarter on a fold for two halves, I ended up cutting out four pieces of navy blue fabric, and two cut on fold white pieces, for a total of 6 pieces in the skirt. After I sewed the quarters into two halves, I went about attaching the white borders, and then sewed these two halves together after ironing all the seams. One seam was left partly open for a zipper.


After the skirt was finished, I attached it to the bodice and added in a 22 inch zipper and hemmed the white border.


After I finished this dress, I started the process of moving sewing rooms, which meant my camera and most of my things were packed in boxes, so I didn’t get photos of the drafting process for the collar. Essentially, I drafted out a peter pan collar for the front. I cut out the pieces, turned them inside out, and them sewed them together.


After the edges were sewn, I pinned them on to the dress to be sewn onto the dress. They weren’t sewn all the way, to allow room for attaching them to the back piece. The back piece was slightly more complicated. It was also made of two piece of fabric, but I only sewed the bottom edge together. I then used fusible hemming web to attach a piece of navy satin ribbon to the border before finishing the rest of the edges.


This was also pinned on and then sewn. The zip was not sewn over, and instead the collar is left free over it, and is attached on the edges. After that, it was pretty much done! The collar still needs some serious ironing, but otherwise, it is essentially finished. I’m pretty proud of it, overall – I love the collar and appearance of it from the back, especially. I have to notch the edges of some of the curves still, to make them bump a little less, and there are some mistakes in it that I dislike, but I guess they’re all mistakes to learn from.

50s Sailor Dress

I have to take photos of this and Daenerys and my Mad Hatter costume, and I hope to get it done soon. The weather has been miserable, and moving has set me back as well. Hopefully I’ll get it done soon!



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