A Nautical Ceylon

Happy Fleet Week to you, AKA the cutest week of the year. I really wanted to make a little 40’s-esque sailor suit for all of the navy ships that are downtown right now. I had plans to wear this dress downtown and take some photos with a sailor (or 10), but life gets in the way sometimes. Instead these photos were taken walking home from my friend Sofia’s garden party (visit her blog if you’re interested in permaculture/urban farming). My bike makes an appearance, her name is Mamie and she’s a real fancy gal.

I finally made Ceylon!!!! Yippeeeeee!!!! This pattern was one that I’ve always held off on, waiting until I was “better” at sewing. It’s been a whole year since I completed my first garment. A simple skirt made out of quilting cotton with a bias tape hem. Check out my shit eating grin, I was so proud that I made something that could be worn. I’ve come a long way baby!

I made a straight size 4 and the only alterations I did were to raise the armscye 3/8″ and I lowered the sleeve head by that same amount. I also slashed and spread the sleeve to add 1 1/2″  to the width. I used some mystery poly-lycra blend fabric from the thrift store. I also used white piping to make the interesting design lines pop. The piping does match in the front, but it was difficult to press this fabric due to the synthetic fiber content. I really wanted to add some brass buttons with anchors, and I was able to find them when I made a special trip to the Button Emporium. It was pretty great being able to find what I wanted, because it can be difficult when you have something super specific in mind. I feel very fortunate to have discovered this hobby living in the city I do now, because of all the resources available.

I love the flare of the skirt and the curved yoke. This dress came out exactly as I envisioned, however I don’t know how often I’m actually going to wear this. It’s a little too “Easter dress” as is. It feels like something is missing, I’m not sure I can put my finger on it. I really love the shape and style of this dress though. I can picture myself making more versions in the future with soft floral cotton and fabric covered buttons. If you’ve been eyeing lovely Ceylon but too afraid to try you should go for it. It’s a lovely pattern and I’m glad that I finally took the plunge.

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I had to take a hiatus from my life to do my “civic duty” and serve on a jury. Out if all of the cases I could have gotten I’m pretty sure mine was the most riveting/ fascinating case on the docket. We awarded a woman 900K after she was infected with genital herpes. The story made national news and you can read about it here.

I’ve done a bit of fabric retail therapy recently so you should expect some pretty summer dresses in fun prints soon. Until then…


31 thoughts on “A Nautical Ceylon

  1. Cynthia, this is lovely! I made a natuical Ceylon too – mine is also navy, but with red piping and anchors on it – maybe to make it a little less Easter Dress-ish you could find a fun brooch or pin to wear with it? Anyway, it’s gorgeous, and getting through all those buttonholes is no mean feat so well done!

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  3. Wow, your version of the Ceylon dress is lovely! I love the nautical theme you chose, with navy fabric and white piping. The piping reall adds a nice touch. I personnaly don’t find that this is an “easter dress”, I say you should wear it often!

  4. I have this pattern and I pull it out and shriek in terror and put it back behind the others- yours is so adorable- I really must get my nerve up. Lovely work!

    • Our fleet week its much smaller than NYC’s, but it’s fun to see all of the ships lined up along the river. Very pretty

  5. It so pretty Cynthia and such a good fit, I too have this pattern and I too am waiting till I get better at sewing 🙂
    I think it needs red in it, like shoes or a brooch something to give it a pop of colour.

  6. This is too cute! I love the piping and buttons with the navy. I don’t think it looks too Easter Dress at all. It deserves regular rotation!

  7. The only thing missing is a sailor on your arm… I mean, um… Lovely dress! You really look adorable! And it must have been fascinating to serve on the jury during that trial!

    • Eekkk, they’re so cute. So much eye candy 🙂 I kept looking forward to fleet week thinking it would be like the movie “On the Town”, but in actuality, most of the cuties are smoking and cussing outside of strip clubs. Much less romantic in reality.

      • I think it was two Fleet Weeks ago that I realized that I’m waaaaaay too old now! The sailors all looked like little kids to me! So sad!!

  8. Ack! This is everything I hope my Ceylon will one day be! I got the pattern through the post last week, even though I’ve wanted to make it up for ages, but like you I was too scared! Your beautiful version has spurred me on though…thanks!

  9. Adorable!!!

    Hey did you ever make anything from the pattern I sent you? I would love to see if you did! 🙂

  10. What a beautifully flattering dress. Love your colour/fabric choice and especially love the midriff section. I just made a 40s dress with a midriff and it is now my favourite thing!

  11. SO. CUTE! I love this pattern, and your version is just straight up charming. What a crazy trial, that’s so insane! But thanks for coming back to us and making something gorgeous.

  12. This dress really looks very wonderful on you and it shows too from all your grinning! hehe!
    Wonderful job and this is one of my favourite Ceylons that I’ve seen around the web. Very smart on you.

  13. Oh wow, that case is all over the laywer blogs and I have read about it. Fascinating to “know” one of the jurors! Love the dress, it’s so adorable and you did a perfect job on the piping, which is no easy task. Bravo!

    • Interesting, I was so surprised when we realized there was a reporter covering the trial. The defendent’s lawyer used a lot of slut shaming as his tactic, it was very off-putting

  14. It’s a lovely dress quite similar to the one lladybird had done (check out colettiere.com/forum) – also Tilly and TottyB had also used piping on their ceylon’s too. I do think piping adds a nice touch to the garment.

  15. You are so cute! I love your blog! I just found it through Burda so I will now be a frequent visiter!
    check out mine too at styleboner.blogspot.com

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