This was a totally improvised project, that I decided to make on a whim for a company party. It ended up being a summer favorite.
The company I work for organised an evening cruise to celebrate the end of a project. They rented a boat for 4 hours to have dinner and sail around the bay. When I heard "boat party", I immediately thought "nautical" and summer dress. I didn't have much time to make anything complicated, and since it was going to be a rather casual affair, I decided on a simple maxi dress.
I found the perfect striped fabric in clearance at Dressew - it's a knit, probably mostly polyesther but it's actually not bad quality, and for $3 a meter I wasn't going to complain. I got 3 meters of it.
I traced a RTW tank top of mine for the neckline and armholes/shoulders and used BOWF pattern 109 from June 2013 for the rest of the dress, connecting the two just below the armholes.
The fabric is actually a bit heavy, so I finished the armholes and neckline with twill tape, to prevent them from stretching in the long run. I eye-balled the hem length and let the edge raw, as it doesn't fray. I left it long enough that I could wear with heels or belted and bunched up if I'm wearing flats or want it slightly shorter.
The dress came together super fast and it's exactly what I had in mind. I had wanted a maxi dress for a while but never liked the ones I saw in the shops. This one is perfect and I will for sure be making more of this pattern. The only alteration I might need to make is to add a tad more ease at the bust, depending on the fabric I use. The tank top I traced has slightly more stretch than my fabric so the dress came out a little tighter in the top part, but it's still very comfortable.
The setting for the photo shoot became obvious as soon as I finished the dress. I knew I was going to France on vacation and the first few days would be spent in St Malo, Brittany. That's basically where Breton shirts come from (there were at least three stores selling them just on the way to the beach).
The beach is Bon Secours, at the foot of the medieval wall that surrounds the oldest part of the city ("intra muros"). I hadn't been back to France in over four years, and it felt so strange to hear everybody around me speak French, I almost felt like I was in a foreign country....