Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Boats at Sea Factory Dress

I've been wearing this dress off and on since June and meaning to share it ever since.  I make most of my clothes with a specific activity or day out in mind.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy, this dress was made for a local weekend away where I knew we'd be doing a fair amount of walking and spending time on the beach.  I wanted something practical and comfortable and the large boatprint needed a relatively simple style.

I returned to the Merchant and Mills Factory dress pattern which has proved more versatile than I thought!  This time, I left off the pointed collar and the pocket from my original style alterations as I thought they would clutter up the print.  I used a scrap of Oakshott cream coloured cotton for the simpler collar and most of my time was spent on balancing the print.

The photos are a little adhoc.  We had just walked along a coastal path and the rain had stopped so I asked my daughter to take some quick pics on my iPhone, the setting was too good to pass up!

The fabric is a very good quality linen, maybe there's a little cotton in there too.  Light to medium weight and sufficiently opaque not to need lining.  I bought it for a song at an outdoor market but Pin It and Stitch have been selling it and so have Patch Fabrics.  For pattern matching, I tended to rely on matching and tracing bits of the design on the pattern paper.  I cut the bodice and the skirt so that the print looked continuous down the centre line.  The placket was the hardest part as although it looks integral, it is added as a separate piece as on my previous Factory dress.  As before, I followed the placket instructions in David Page Coffins Shirtmaking book which has just reappeared online at a normal price so I am guessing it has been through a re-print!  
 Both my altered factory dresses have been summer wardrobe stalwarts: airy and comfortable and a great shape to showcase the fabrics involved.

Last year, the Alder dress was my top choice of pattern - I made two;  this year it has been the Factory dress.  Do you have a top dressmaking pattern for this summer?

sib blog


  1. Such a lovely dress, Kerry. And as with your posts, I always feel I learn a lot. I've already made a Factory dress and am wondering if adapting another might be within the realms of my sewing skills? I think the changes you've made make this a dress I'd get a lot of wear from.

  2. I love the dress and also the fabric choice! I'm a little bit scared of adapting patterns myself though.... it would be brilliant to attend some classes with you as you are definitely great at that! ;-)

  3. Love the dress and fabric choice. I have just been looking at simple dress patterns for summer - something with no buttons as my Janome doesn't cope with button holes and I don't want the faff of trying to get round that and messing up that stage, rendering a dress unwearable. I'm thinking the staple dress might be the way to go for a beginner/phobic like me!

  4. Great dress, showcasing the fabric perfectly. I'm always a bit scared of big prints swamping me. I saw Emily's dress from the same print on IG and it looks great on both of you so maybe I should rethink.

  5. Brilliant dress. You look very comfortable in it.

  6. Your dress is gorgeous, and I am very envious of your print matching skills!! I had to zoom in on a photo to see if there actual is a waist seam!

  7. Gorgeous work, the material looks like a linen cotton blend and is there a better fabric for a dress?

  8. This fabric is on a Ralph Lauren dress that I bought for my daughter. How lovely that you found it - must be good stuff.


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