The “Braveheart” Dress

This week on The Sew Weekly was all about celebrating movie history, and making something inspired by a movie that at some point in the 85 year old history of the Academy Awards had been nominated (or won) an Oscar.

So many gorgeous, lovely movies! So much inspiring fashion!!

I considered making things inspired by The Help (1950′s dresses, after all!), Juno (only what on earth to make?!? A Hamburger Phone-inspired dress??), Driving Ms Daisy, Chicago, and a whole host of others.

Then I spotted it in the list – Braveheart! Yes, that’s right – that good ol’ Mel Gibson-wearing-a-muddy-kilt movie. Even though it stars Mel Gibson, I like that movie a lot. Partially because it brings back memories – it came out back when I was living in Hungary on an AFS exchange year. It was one of the few non-over-dubbed movies that showed in the town I was living in, and it had Scottish accents, and it was historical, and the movie theater was crazy cheap (compared to the overpriced ones in NZ). So I went to see it a few times. And I loved it, every time.

So, sure, I could have picked a movie with inspiring fashion. Instead I picked one that meant something to me.

Which brings up the next part of the equation – what on earth do you make that’s inspired by Braveheart, of all things?!?

It turns out that making a kilt requires a lot of experience, a lot of time, and a heck of a lot of good quality woolen tartan. So that obviously wasn’t going to happen.

Hunting through my stash, I found this synthetic something-or-other brown plaid fabric. It’s plaid, it’s brown (just like the mud in the movie) – clearly, it was right for a Braveheart-inspired garment. It’s the sort of fabric and weight that’s only ever really going to be a dress, so a Braveheart dress it was going to be!

Hunting through my pattern stash, I encountered Simplicity 7049, a 1975 pattern that used to belong to my mother. Not my usual style, but with the collar and the gathers in front, I figured it resembled a kilt and shirt a bit more than a 1950′s style dress ever would, so it got to get made up.

(On a side note: I love that I’ve made a pattern from my mother’s stash. It’s a nice sort of connection. Next time I see her, I think I’ll have to wear this dress and take the pattern with me, and find out what she made out of it.)

The pattern was pretty easy to make up. Sure, it took 5 hours, but there was a fair amount of hand stitching involved, blind-stitching the facing down on the inside, and I’m not so fast with hand stitching. And it has a collar, a yoke/inset thing, pockets, and gathers. And gathered set-in sleeves. So I think 5 hours is fairly reasonable.

My only minor issue with this pattern is the illustration on the envelope. That girl in the blue dress makes it look lovely, skimming but not tent-like, and flattering without a sash. Yeah, turns out that’s not the case in real life. Sure, it doesn’t look that bad from the front, but if you don’t wear that tie belt with it, from the back you very much resemble a sack-wearer. Which is Not So Good. Lucky for that tie belt, eh?

Since I’ve decided I really like the look of hem binding after making my Blue Skies skirt, I used some more of the blue lace-like hem binding on the hem of this dress. I like how it gives it a pop of bright blue on the inside. (Shame I forgot to take a photo of it. Sorry.)

Despite not being my usual style (or era), and as a result having some doubts about it, I think I actually quite like this dress. I like the fabric and the print, and the collar, and as long as I get the belt tied in the right way, I think it looks ok. And it’ll be handy for those days when you go out for a big branch, with all those gathers above the waist. ;-)

The Facts

Fabric: 2 metres of some synthetic lightweight woven plaid from my stash, ~$8
Pattern: Simplicity 7049
Year: 1975
Notions: 20cm invisible zip, ~$4, two vintage hooks and eyes, blue hem binding lace, ~$0.50
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: to work, Feb 21
Wear again? yep
Total price: ~$12.50

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11 responses to “The “Braveheart” Dress

  1. Oh I love that pattern because it reminds me of the mid 70′s when I learned to sew. I had a really long version of a similar dress only it really did have nice shaping, in a russet orange rayon with little grey flowers on it. I LOVED it. This is 1981, when everyone else was getting into mod wear and 80s fahion so I stuck stubbornly to the hippy 70s styles :) Anyway enough about me, I think it is a cute dress and a lovely connection to your movie choice!

  2. I think it’s a lovely rendition on a kilt!

  3. oh it’s great, such cute boots too.

  4. Cute! I really like this!

  5. I love that it is a stash bust, that you used your mum’s pattern and fulfilled a brief from the Sew Weekly all at the same time. Not only that… it suits you down to the ground! Love it with those boots. And just to let you know, I hope you don’t mind me passing the Liebster Award onto you. I really enjoy your blog Kat and always look forward to the next post. http://ooobop.com/2012/02/25/two-awards-in-one-week/ :-)

  6. Oh my goodness I loooooove those shoes!!!! :) You have such a wiked collection Kat.

    Little bit Jealous. Hugs from Lisa

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