The Cliffs of Insanity dress

First and foremost, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone on all their kind comments about the release of my pattern, Nisse! It’s done very well so far and I was a little bit floored to even see it on the top 20 “hot right now” patterns on Ravelry for over a day. Whoa. I don’t really expect to design patterns all that often, although I say this having one design about 70% done (although honestly I don’t intend to touch it again until autumn), with two other ideas brewing… we’ll see where the wind takes me!


Now, here’s what you’re actually here for today, my latest make. You saw a sneak peek in my mending post, and in my collaboration post with Craftsy, and now you get to see the whole thing.

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

I call it my Cliffs of Insanity dress. And if you don’t recognize that reference from The Princess Bride, we can’t be friends. (Okay, that’s not true, but I’m honestly sad for you if you’ve never seen it. Best movie ever.)

Last month, Roisin sewed a fantastic By Hand London Anna dress in a map print. It reminded me that last summer I purchased some pirate treasure map fabric to sew a little vintage playsuit. Which I never did, so I still had the fabric. And since it’s spring (wow, can I officially say that finally?!), a dress was more appropriate to make than a playsuit. Well as appropriate as pirate ships sailing across your chest can be. And in my world? Totally appropriate.

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

I made a second version of Simplicity 1523 from 1945, except this time I made a scoop neckline, and used a full dirndl skirt instead of the pattern’s original skirt that I used in my Singin’ in the Rain dress. Which I like, but boy, a two piece waistband (inner and outer) and a full gathered skirt is no piece of cake.

Not that it’s so easy to spot the waistband since it’s a really busy print, but I think you can just make out a pirate ship sailing across it in the photo below.

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

Gah this print kills me! And the reason I named it the Cliffs of Insanity dress is at the upper part of my neckline below. I had to make sure that was at least somewhere visible on the front, small as it is!

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

I’m particularly pleased with how the bodice looks. Lately I’ve been cutting bodice pieces on flat vs. folded fabric to place the prints nicely, but there’s so much going on that really nothing leapt out and said “I must be front and center!” But there’s a big island, a couple of ships, an X marks the spot, navigable waters, a compass… I think that pretty much hits all the high points!

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

Let me point out here that it was c-c-c-cold when we took these photos! Nowhere near weather to be tramping around without a coat. Oh, the things we do… πŸ˜‰

In hindsight it also wasn’t the greatest idea to wear a dress with lots of brown in it to a not-yet-green marshy preserve. We opted for the grassy background instead of the frozen marsh which was probably kind of a mistake, since it looks so interesting in the below photo. But at least Mel took one of me with our other camera. All the white behind me is still ice!

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

There’s not much to say about the construction, other than I think I’ve decided that I don’t like interfacing the waistband. When I sit down, it makes the natural fold at my waist more prominent. Other than that, no complaints. Just like my previous version, this dress got an inseam pocket and a lapped zipper… of course, you know about the zipper already!

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

I’m loving this style of 40s day dress with a waistband, and I have one more to show you soon. In fact, I just sewed a dress without one (a wearable muslin for my Sew for Victory project) and honestly was a little meh about it. So I decided I’m going to alter my SFV plans a bit and throw a waistband in. I’ll talk about my plans for that soon!

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

Cliffs of Insanity dress - variation on Simplicity 1523 (1945)

outfit details

1940s dress: made by me
cardigan: Boden
shoes: Remix Vintage Shoes
bangles and scarf: misc.
Bakelite earrings: 2 Vintage Crafters
watch: Fossil

 

Filed: Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , ,

You may also like...

Golly, 50 Comments!

  • lovely. the waistband is like the gather mortmain pattern. i love the fabric and the princess bride is the best!

    Reply

  • Adorable as always– and hey, it looks like you have a Shrieking Eel too! The bit about using interfacing for waistbands is a great tip– I have a 40s dress pattern I’m hoping to tackle, and now I may avoid the interfacing it calls for around the waist. ‘Cause that sounds uncomfortable.

    Reply

    • OMG you are absolutely right, there IS a shrieking eel!

      Yep, I’d say veto the interfacing unless you’re using something super lightweight, and then maybe just use a sew-in interfacing that’s really thin. For my Sew for Victory dress I’m doing a waistband again and it’s a lightweight cotton, but I’m using a medium-weight for the inner waistband so we’ll see how that combo goes!

      Reply

  • Looks lovely, the print is an absolute killer!

    Reply

  • There’s actually text that says ‘cliffs of insanity’?! Inconceivable. heh

    I love that movie, and your dress is wonderful. You’ve been a sewing machine, making so many pretty cotton dresses.

    And yes… interfacing a waistband – I hate it on dresses too. I only interface skirt waistbands, but only if they actually need it. I like to use as light weight interfacing as I can get away with and the more I use the iron on – the more I dislike it. But I have to admit, sometimes it’s necessary to use.

    Happy sewing Tasha – can’t wait to see the next dress as I loved the sneak peak on instagram.

    Reply

    • Thanks Liz! Yep, I’m on a huge cotton day dress kick right now. I just can’t seem to stop!

      I’ve now done enough of these with interfacing and one without, and about to do another without (taking a change as it’s a much lighter weight cotton), and I totally agree. I like that it makes the band nice and crisp but then you live your life and actually sit, and it makes that fold even more prominent. πŸ˜›

      Reply

  • OMG, that fabric is sooooo much fun! And I absolutely love the name πŸ™‚ I suddenly feel inspired to create a ROUS dress πŸ˜‰
    xo,
    Danielle

    Reply

  • That’s awesome (re: the top 20 that day), I’m so happy for you, honey!!!

    This dress, well, shiver my vintage loving timbers, it sure is magnificent! I’ve always had a thing for map prints on non-actual map items, so naturally this frock made my eye light up. It’s so cute and charming!

    β™₯ Jessica

    Reply

    • Thanks, Jessica! I was pretty pumped about that fact (top 20) too. πŸ™‚

      I adore maps of all kind, so this dress really makes me smile. Now I feel like I need to go on a hunt for map-related vintage accessories…!

      Reply

  • Absolutely adorable Tasha and I’m so glad we can still be friends…love The Princess Bride so much! Anyway, back to the dress…this style suits you to a tee and I’m definitely kicking myself for not buying map/atlas print fabric when I saw it a couple of weeks ago. I was actually with Roisin at the time, which makes me doubly sad that I didn’t buy it! Your photoshoot location is incredible by the way – digging the stark background that perfectly sets off your beautiful dress!

    Reply

    • Yay for the Princess Bride love! Aww I’m sorry you’re now kicking yourself for not purchasing that map fabric you said you saw, wonder if it’s still there?

      And thanks about the background! We live in the city but within an hour or less there’s oodles of nature and forest preserves, we love to get out into them when it starts to warm up. So FINALLY we can do that!!

      Reply

  • Totally love this; I was going to use plain fabric for Victory Sew-along but seeing this dress has made me think again!

    Reply

    • Thanks, Debbie! I know, I’m using yellow with white polka dots for my Sew for Victory project and it seems pretty plain by comparison. lol

      Reply

  • This dress is marvelous! And I love that you took notice of the Princess Bride reference! Fantastic!

    xoxo
    -Janey

    Reply

    • Thanks, Janey! Yes, it’s possible I could have missed that until after sewing it up, since there’s a ton of different piratey references. Sooo glad I spotted it as it made the fabric that much more special!

      Reply

  • Inconceivable! I love this dress and all the cute print dresses you’ve been making lately. I’m a huge fan of cutesy, kitschy, prints on cotton for really easy dresses. You’re making me want to bust out some crazy prints instead of working on my Sew For Victory dress (it’s plaid). Oh and The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies ever!

    Reply

    • Inconceivable indeed! πŸ˜‰ Ooh, but plaid is pretty awesome. I adore plaid! I haven’t sewn with it yet since all that matching gives me the heeby jeebies, but now that you mention it… this would be a good pattern for plaid since there’s only a bodice front and back and skirt pieces to worry about!

      Reply

  • Inconceivable!!! Super cute dress and I’m sure you get the reference since that is the best movie ever! You do such a great job on your projects πŸ™‚

    Reply

  • I think almost all of the Princess Bride references have been a-dressed here so I’ll just tell you one more time that I think it’s miraculous πŸ˜‰

    Reply

  • So fabulous!! I love the novelty fabric spree you are on these days!

    Reply

  • Super cute dress! Aside from the awesome print, I really like the little sleeves. Ah, the Princess Bride, I haven’t seen it in years, I think it’s time to watch it again.

    Reply

    • Thanks! Yes, I’m loving that style of sleeves. I realized that I hate set-in sleeves when it gets warmer… which it isn’t yet, but by making sleeves like this the dress is more transitional for me. With a cardigan in spring/fall, and without in summer.

      Reply

  • Flattering, well made, super cute fabric. That dress checks all the boxes!

    Reply

  • Lovely Buttercup!

    Reply

  • This fabric is so much fun!!!!

    Reply

  • Tasha you look smashing! What a gorgeous dress and I love the project title.

    Reply

  • Would you like a peanut? Awesome dress!

    Reply

  • My name is Inigo Montoya. You made an awesome dress. Prepare to be applauded! I LOVE this dress!!!!

    Reply

  • As one local to another, you’re incredibly brave to have your coat off for so long!

    Reply

  • I ADORE that you called this the Cliffs of Insanity dress. It looks great!

    Reply

  • It’s fabulous. Again, the fit is spot on! Btw I wish we had more choice of Remix shoes in the UK. I desperately want a pair with a red bow for the summer (love yours!).

    Reply

    • Thanks! Yeah, I adore Remix shoes so I’m sorry they’re hard to get in the UK! These are my oldest pair, I’ve had them years and they still look great.

      Reply

  • So totally cute! A great style for you and the fit is perfect!
    What a fun print, so fun to step out of the box and try new patterns and prints.
    Princess Bride – one of my all time favourite movies (along with Clue)
    Don’t you love how Mandy Patinkin has progressed from Inigo Montoya to Saul in Homeland?!!

    Reply

    • Yes, I’ve been enjoying doing some kooky prints lately! Although there are polka dots and florals in my future, too. πŸ˜‰

      I’m with you on Clue too! Those are my two favorite movies!!

      Reply

  • […] know, I know, back so soon and with another dress! If pirate treasure map prints aren’t your thing, how about dancing […]

    Reply

  • […] construction of this dress is basically a dirndl skirt and an inset waistband (like my Cliffs of Insanity dress), with a loose-fitting bodice that was cobbled together from a 50s blouse pattern. Amusingly, the […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *