Sinbad & Sailor Hepworth Dress – Instant Classic

I’m back – and this time with a new dress and a new pattern! (sorry, think the camera lens needs a clean!). I’ve been pattern testing a new dress for Hannah of Sinbad & Sailor.

Hepworth Dress, pattern from Sinbad & Sailor

Hepworth Dress, pattern from Sinbad & Sailor

This is the Hepworth Dress by Sinbad & Sailor.

The Hepworth is a beautiful sleeveless dress pattern with a princess seam bodice joined at the waist to a flared skirt which includes handy hip pockets. The fit and flare shape gives you a flattering silhouette while evoking the organic and modernist sculptures of its namesake Barbara Hepworth

Please visit Sinbad & Sailor to see the line drawings as my fabric choice was not so great at showing those… although it’s perfect for illustrating the feminine silhouette.

I love the simplicity of this design – never underestimate the beauty of simplicity. The Hepworth has a classic shape, easy fit, softly flared skirt, princess seamed bodice and pockets – it’s just so easy to wear. I decided to make it up in classic navy linen. I’ve been saving this little piece of linen for about 12 months. It’s ‘just’ linen – nothing too fancy – but it’s got this lovely drape, beautiful inky navy tone and particularly beautiful sheen to it. When I saw Hepworth I thought navy linen would suit its classic silhouette.

Hepworth Dress by Sinbad & Sailor Patterns

Hepworth – a graceful shape and not too fitted, it skims over my frame and I love it.

I know some people prefer lining to facings but give Hepworth facings a try. Hannah has drafted the facings so they are slightly smaller, thus rolling in the facings so understitching is not required (unless you are an understitching junkie like myself). Hepworth also has a particularly magical way to finish the facing – by encasing the shoulder seam within the facing. It’s rather mind bending – however as I had sewn the Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat (I couldn’t bear to blog it in the middle of summer – just seemed so wrong!) I’ve encounter this before in a slightly different form. If you get stuck I would recommend checking out the Minoru sewalong post about how to sew sleeve hem linings – the Hepworth finishing technique reminded me of this.

Of course the most sensible thing to do is make it up when Hannah has a sewalong and have her walk you through it step by step.

Hepworth Dress by Sinbad & Sailor Patterns

and with a belt…

One thing I ABSOLUTELY love about all of Sinbad & Sailor’s patterns is that there is a print-at-home version and a copy shop version. The copy shop version is A0 which means it is easy and economical to print. Many indie pattern companies supply their copy shop versions as 36 inch wide sheets – and I have found these near impossible to get printed easily and cheaply here in Australia. Most copy shops can print a b/w A0 for about $4.50 – while you wait.

It’s getting colder here… I can actually see this as a brilliant pinafore for winter with a collared shirt underneath… hmmmm now there’s a thought… It’s a loose enough fit on me that I think I could manage it in ponte with no zip… tempting…

Photos taken in a last-minute rush before ELH disappeared for nine days fishing – and the weather was turning nasty!

Pattern: Hepworth Dress by Sinbad & Sailor
Fabric: Navy Linen from Lincraft
Sizing: I made the UK 8 – I could do with a size 6, I need to take some out between my bust and shoulder (I’m shorter than I appear – trust me – LOL).
Also see: Rachel of House of Pinheiro & Winnie of Scruffy Badger (they have been far more exciting and used floral fabrics! Winnie also has some ‘inside’ shots – sorry I’ve been so busy I just don’t have time to take some!)

I’ve got a few more posts waiting… life has been frantic – I’m just concluding a nine-day sojourn as a single working mother while ELH is away trout fishing in the Snowy Mountains. Next up is helping out at the annual school fete and my daughter’s ballet eisteddfod which the weekend after the school fete – I think she’s in five group dances and one solo… argh… and I’m just off to volunteer on one of the Ironman aid stations on the run leg this evening… apparently the competitors need a drink & nourishment while running a marathon (this is after a 3.6km swim & 180km bike ride)

Sinbad & Sailor O’Keeffe Skirt – A Sweet Folly

This is one of those makes could surprise you…

Sinbad & Sailor O'Keeffe Skirt, front view

Sinbad & Sailor O’Keeffe Skirt, front view. I’m standing in a typical coastal afternoon breeze, so it’s not sitting as hanging as straight as it would in the office (where onshore breezes are not such an issue).

This is the O’Keeffe Skirt by Sinbad & Sailor.

It wasn’t that I didn’t expect to like this skirt – but I was wary of the asymmetric pleats…

I think most of us are symmetrical people, we seek balance, proportion and order. I am a very visual person. I can procrastinate over a make, taking off trims, draping differently, trying another colour and so on (I’m guilty of this at the moment!). Things can annoy me when they are not ‘just so’. It’s the No.1 time waster in my sewing life.

Sinbad & Sailor O'Keefe Skirt

Sinbad & Sailor O’Keefe Skirt. Front view, hand in pocket.

Turns out I actually love this skirt, it’s quirky, edgy but so incredibly wearable… oh and it has an enormous pocket under those pleats…

Sometimes we should let our little symmetrical mindset go… (note to self: this is very sensible advice and you should listen to yourself more often). Let yourself be surprised. Trust me it’s not that scary… (hang-gliding, rappel abseiling, caving, diving are all a little scary at the start I can tell you from experience… but so worth it) so walk on the wild side… clothing or sewing should not get you into a lather of asymmetric sweat and stop you trying something new…

So, let’s hold hands, sing kumbayah and get through this scary asymmetric stuff together… deep breath…

Sinbad & Sailor O'Keeffe Skirt, pleats detail

Sinbad & Sailor O’Keeffe Skirt, pleats detail – nice huh?

OK now we have smashed through that barrier, let’s just chat about the skirt.

I met Hannah of Sinbad & Sailor in London at a dinner (with rather a lot of alcohol I recall) organised by the gorgeous Clare of Sew Dixie Lou – (check out the pictures here). Hannah is just lovely and was wearing this skirt at the dinner (well not this one, that would have been impossible as the fabric was sitting in my stash at the time). She was still working on the pattern at that point. She did send me the pattern to proofread but I was having some explosion of work/life at the time post London trip and just could not get to it (my life in 2013 it seems). So it’s been sitting in my ‘MUST MAKE THIS NOW’ pile for quite a few months.

I worried about what fabric would work well with the pleats (more procrastinating). In the end I chose this heavy soft crepe from my stash. It’s perfect for this. I think the pleats need something with some drape but also some structure to sit nicely and not collapse or crease. I also think the solid colour compliments the pleats.

It’s super easy to put together, it is beautifully drafted and fits me perfectly. I made this in a couple of nights. No unpicking, no swearing, no long shifts at the machine – one of those nice little makes when you sing la la la and finish with a little mirror twirl.

The only thing I did slightly differently was run a row of basting stitches on the seamline of the waistband facing so I could turn it under exactly when I handstitched the waistband facing down – I suck at eyeballing allowances. Not rocket science but a simple trick to use when you have fabric that just does not hold a crease.

I used lining for the pocket lining – in black – simply because it was at the cutting table and I wanted to sew this NOW. You know that feeling!

The fabric is quite bulky (although a dream to sew, hello crepe where have you been all my life) and I wish I had of drafted a lining piece for the pocket bag as well so the pocket was a little lighter. You live and learn (and have an excuse to sew more – a blessing in disguise). And I should have lined it… *sigh* *smacks self* thanks heavens for slips…

The contrast pocket

The contrast pocket, my sewing machine tension is being naughty…

It’s got an invisible zip on the other side to the pocket… I love this feature because the skirt is lovely and smooth across my backside… after my last two shorts posts (1 & 2) I think we have had enough of my junk trunk for a while, yes?

Sinbad & Sailor O'Keeffe Skirt - side view

Sinbad & Sailor O’Keeffe Skirt – side view. I’m rather impressed with myself on how neatly this zipper went in.

Now you may be in shock (not from the asymmetric business – we got over that ages ago) but there is no beach in my pictures! Shock, horror!

I’m standing beside a public artwork known as Folly by Rick Reynolds. I love public art, it’s often quirky and makes you stop & think. I particularly love public art that invites people to walk around them, touch them… and even play. It’s not just to be looked at – you engage with it.

Folly by Rick Reynolds, Port Macquarie NSW

My lovely home town is has some quite significant colonial history. It’s one of the oldest towns on mainland Australia – they used to send the really naughty convicts here. I know, steal a loaf of bread and get sent to Port Macquarie – hello?? has there ever been a better advert for crime??

This artwork reflects on some of our early colonial history. It’s by Rick Reynolds and is called Folly (ie garden feature). It’s name is a clever play on the original name of the area, Gillman’s Folly (an early lookout built by Major Gillman to spot approaching ships). Folly is the wooden shaft and stone grinding wheels of the mill which once stood on the site, built by Major AC Innes to grind wheat and corn.

It located by one of Port Macquarie’s most lovely lookouts called Windmill Hill… however the onshore breeze was just not playing nice so I retreated to the public art area which was more protected.

Onshore breeze and suddenly I'm Cousin It.

Onshore breeze and suddenly I’m Cousin It.

Would have loved to have hang around and taken some more shots, not our best pictures… but we were running out of afternoon and we had to take the dog for a surf… so we rushed home to get changed…

Sunday afternoon at Nobbys Beach, Port Macquarie

Sunday afternoon at Nobbys Beach, Port Macquarie

So go rock your world with a little bit of asymmetric pleating… freak out those sensible office people in their regular RTW clothing. You know you want to…

Pattern: O’Keeffe Skirt by Sinbad & Sailor, also available from this Australian online store
Top: some Victorian-style lacy number I’ve had for years. Love it, a bit old-worlde, a bit goth, a bit girly.
Stockings: Leona Edmiston (love her Pins line, I have a lot of stockings…)
Shoes: Diana Ferrari (this season)

If you live in the UK – try this triple crepe from Minerva Crafts with this pattern. I think it would be perfect and comes in a range of colours.