Tuesday, September 8, 2015

MADE UP: A Southport in Southport!

Greetings from Bald Head Island!  My favorite place on earth.

My family has been vacationing on this North Carolina barrier island for 30 years. With no cars on the island, everyone uses electric golf carts and bikes to get around.  It's bliss!

It has been a perfect holiday weekend with my husband, parents, and brother + girlfriend.  During the days, we kayaked, crabbed, sailed, read, biked and swam.  And in the evening we drank too much rosé and ate the perfect mix of local cuisine (boiled shrimp, homemade crab cakes, homemade peach ice cream) and la cuisine de Maman (cake salé, tagine d'agneau, Strawberry Cake).  

I am already looking forward to next year:  same time, same place, same people + my sister!  

Morning run on the beach! 

Never tire of this view...

Although we are always eager to get on "island time," every trip to Bald Head begins with a stop in Southport for boat passage.   If you follow the Indie pattern scene, you can probably see where this post is headed...

Here I am wearing my True Bias Southport Dress in Southport!

This dress is my submission to Did You Make That's  Made Up Initiative.  Karen challenged the sewing blogosphere to donate to the UK National Literacy Trust and commit themselves to something by September 10.  My self-set challenge was to wear my Southport in Southport over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

The buttons are repurposed from an old shirt of my husband's!


I cut out a straight size 4.  The cotton voile (?)  print is from Metro.

Using this tutorial, I made continuous bias tape and applied it to the neck and armholes.  Following the lead of others on Pattern Review, I made a faux button placket and used 1/2 inch elastic instead of a drawstring.  I did add decorative drawstring to preserve the "drawstring look."  The cotton is prone to raveling, so I finished my seams with a little hem.

En route to Southport in my Southport Dress after a great weekend!

I enjoyed making this dress, but did not feel a great sense of accomplishment.  I first became interested in sewing because I wanted to grow my skills to make the designer clothes I admire but cannot afford.  So, why did I waste precious time making a "fast fashion" copy with cheap fabric?  I am a bit torn as to the answer.  I have two competing voices in my head:

Whooa...Slow down Claire.  You are a newbie!  You haven't even mastered the invisible zip... Grow your skills and then cut into $$$ fabric and invest 40 hours in a couture jacket!  And, be practical and make the clothes for your lifestyle!
This is a hobby!  It's your free time!  Go with your gut and challenge yourself! (Try to) make the clothes of your dreams out of the starting gate! 

Both voices are equally emphatic--as you can tell from the uninterrupted stream of explanation points.  ;)  The answer probably lies somewhere between having a bit more patience with my current level of proficiency AND actively drawing inspiration from the haute gamme clothing I aspire to one day make.


Speaking of patience...Let me brag on my talented Mom!  She is well on the way to DIY slipcovering the beach house sofa.  Hasn't she done a beautiful job so far?

4 cushions done! Only the slipcover left to do! 

Beginnings of the slipcover!


  1. Fun dress for a fun place!
    Martha Ann in NC

  2. Such a cute dress, and pictures of you and your DH in the boat are the best...Yikes! Whose driving?

    1. Ha! The boat sure wasn't driving itself...:) My Dad was back there somewhere.

  3. This is a great dress for Southport and boating! I remember having those competing thoughts when I first began sewing seriously again. Somehow now I usually throw caution to the wind and just sew with the thought that it is just fabric.

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