I have another post coming soon about the matching mini Southports I made for my god daughter and two of my cousins, but for now, let’s talk about my grown up one!
When this pattern was released I thought it was lovely but, I had just made a bunch of button down shirts and dresses so I didn’t make the purchase right away. After the mini version was released I started having big plans for matching outfits with Julia and bought both.
I traced and cut the fabric on a Saturday and my version was finished by the following Saturday. With the exception of the 2 hours I worked on it at Crafty Foxes on Wednesday, this dress was made in 30-40 minute intervals. I’ve been really busy after work most nights for the past few weeks so I’ve been getting up earlier to sew in the mornings which is a really great way to start the day.
Because I am making 3 mini versions I had to get really creative when I cut these out. I had 2.5 meters of my floral fabric from Blackbird and it has a little stretch so I went off grain a few times and haven’t had any issues. This fabric is actually the same as the one I used for my Alder with a different print. Neither of the stretch cotton shirtings I bought are available anymore but this polka dot one is!
The Southport dress is drafted for a C cup and where I fall between a C and D I decided to use the straight size 14. There is a tiny bit of boob gapeage along the button band that will be rectified on version 2 with an FBA. A little fashion tape goes a long way and this slight gape will not stop me from wearing this dress. This is an outtake from the photos my boyfriend took of me, but it shows the gape good!
I really like the way Kelli has you put the bodice together. The button bands are already part of the bodice which first and foremost is amazing. She has you fold and press along the bands which makes it so what will be in the inside of the button band is on the outside where you baste it in place. At first I was scratching my head, wondering why I would want to secure the wrong side to the outside, but then you add your bias tape to the neckline and it all comes together. You do a quick clip and flip and BOOM, a beautiful finish on the inside.
The buttons I used are also from Blackbird and I love them so much. I used them on my Chambray Granville as well and I love the pop of the button against the dark of the Granville and now my Southport. I bought one set of 12 when I made my Granville and ordered 3 more to keep in my stash, I think they are a great color and size.
Working our way down, you may have noticed that my waist tie is not floral. I sacrificed a floral waist tie and pockets so I would have enough fabric to cut the kids dresses too. I really like the little pop of blue at the side seams and of the tie so it was a worthwhile sacrifice. The blue was in my stash and I’m pretty sure its a kona solid that I bought to make some quilt blocks with because I only had 1 yard and it is very rare that I only buy one yard of anything. I used the blue to cut the pockets and then used the rest of it to make my bias tape which I ended up just using for the ties. I made almost 20 feet which will be great for the mini dresses as well.
I used the shorter version, again to make sure I had enough fabric for the kiddos, but I added 7 inches. The size chart says the short version is 36 inches from the shoulder seam to the hem and for me that would have made this quite the mini dress for me. 7 inches made it fall right below my knee which is my preferred length for most skirts and dresses. I think for my next Southport I would like the skirt to be a little fuller so my plan is to use the size 18 skirt pieces and gather them before I attach the size 14 waistband casing.
In addition to a fuller skirt short version, I also want to make a maxi version and use the bodice to make a Southport tank top with some silk I have been saving! The possibilities with this pattern are pretty endless.