Monday, March 24, 2014

Shirt Tales

Our week long vacation on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin was wonderful. This is our third visit there. Instead of staying at a resort, this time we rented a “villa” (a townhouse) from the owner on the French side of the island, at Baie Orientale. The island has a French and a Dutch side, each with its own language, currency, telephone company (obscene international call rates!), store hours, and laws. There were French language editions of Burda Style magazine in the Grande Marche grocery store. I forgot to check for  Knip Mode  in the Dutch grocery store. I got sidetracked by a guilder to dollars conversion exercise with my sons to make sure we weren’t paying dearly for US soft drinks.   We have rented vacation homes from owners  before, though  mostly in the US.  All good experiences and this one was as well, though I have a few new questions on my “ask the owners” list for foreign countries.  Like how many stations on the TV, what language and are subtitles available?  Is the kitchen really fitted out for cooking?   Is there adequate task lighting for those of us who like to read local magazines, newspapers  and brochures (non electronic) after dark.  Don't get me wrong, I can rough it or live without for a few weeks, but sometimes it helps to be mentally prepared.


Pinel Island Beach

My four handsome traveling companions

So no topless sunbathing for me. Too American inhibited to do it in front of male offspring and their friend.

Lunch main course- Spiny Lobsters
I often fantasize about sewing a vacation wardrobe for our trips,  but in reality I spend most of the day in a bathing suit, maybe putting on a casual outfit for a couple hours to go out in the evening.

Beach - island of  Anguilla
   I did sew a shirt dress for the vacation. New Look 6214  It has princess seams,  attached skirt with waistline darts, shirt collar and front button placket.


I have always liked this version of a shirt dress because it was more fitted and tailored than other styles. I made view B with the shirttail hemline.  The pattern  was published in 2002,  I must have been the only person who bought it.  A Google search did not turn up one web or image link for this pattern.

Long ago I bought a giant bag of scraps from a factory that made men’s ties and shirts.  The shirting  scraps were of high quality, in various  colors and sizes of stripes. Reading about the in color" Radiant Orchid", I remembered one of the shirting stripes was in that color.  Not having enough to make a whole dress in the same stripe, I decided to do a color block mix of the shirting.  Orchid pink and white strip for top, blue and white stripe for skirt, the trim is blue oxford, and armhole facing is another size of blue and white stripe. Warning, these stripes do not photograph well.



 After finishing the dress, I noticed similar shirts/dresses in fashion magazines. I was probably influenced subliminally by the  magazine pictures.







It turns out this shirt dress incorporates several  spring 2014 fashion trends, chambray/oxford, color blocking,  and color orchid pink.

As one fashion blogger said "The cotton shirt has been reinvented for Spring/Summer into mini dresses, shirt dresses, and jumpsuits.  Crisp white poplin, oxford, banker blue, pinstripes, you name it.  Try wearing them with sandals for a relaxed look or with heels for a sexier look.  Keep it sleek and chic!"

 







The Villa Magellan St Martin

I can't return to my sober colored winter fabrics after the trip and the shirtdress project. On to the wonderful colors of spring!


16 comments:

Faye Lewis said...

That's cute Audrey!

Summer Flies said...

I love your dress Audrey! It looks great and perfect for smart beach wear. But I have to say you look SENSATIONAL, let me repeat that,
S-E-N-S-A-T-I-O-N-A-L in that swim suit.

Dilliander said...

Lovely shirt dress Audrey and the colours work perfectly with your on-location photo shoot!

Vicki said...

Wow, lucky you! What a great place to holiday. Cute dress too.

Vicki said...

Wow, lucky you! What a great place to holiday. Cute dress too.

Bunny said...

Darling dress! Looking at your sunny photos while it is 4ยบ out has warmed my heart!

Lucia said...

Sleek and chic is exactly right! I'm loving your shirtdress and not just because it is on trend. I have been yearning for a shirtdress since last summer. I hope i can actually get my act together this year.

Jane M said...

What a terrific dress, casual and chic. G;ad that you got to enjoy such a beautiful place and relax with family.

Roz said...

What a great vacation! Your dress is causal chic.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

First I'm jealous of the sun, warmth and vacay. Second - I love the shirtdress and the color blocking. Wonderful as usual!

Joy said...

Wow, looks like a dreamy time on vacation. And I'm sure it didn't hurt to have a fun shirtdress in your suitcase!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love these two colors together and that vacation looks fabulous! I am surprised that pattern didn't catch on because it looks like a great shirtdress pattern for a curvy or pear shape. Now I'm wishing they would reissue it...

Jean said...

I love your shirt dress! The color blocking with stripes works really well. My husband has finally admitted that he doesn't like to wear the striped dress shirts I've been buying him -- so it looks like I might have a nice little stash to work with! Your vacation looks fantastic!

liza jane said...

Oh boy, that vacation looks dee-lightful. As does your shirt dress! I really like that particular pattern you used. That's one I'd like to own.

poppykettle said...

Oh it looks AND sounds like such a wonderful place for a break! A perfectly suitable shirt dress for the loction :)

Carole Mellin said...

What a wonderful vacation for your family! So glad you had a chance to relax and enjoy the great beaches. Perfect little dress for those casual evenings, too.