The Secret of Roan Inish dress: Part 1

I gave you a hint a few days ago and many of you guessed it!

The movie I chose to sew from is:


For those that haven’t seen this movie or read the book, I will give you a little plot background. This story is about a young girl, named Fiona, sent to live with her grandparents by her Father, set in 1940’s Ireland. Her grandfather tells her great stories about the family’s history weaving folklore and truth. She learns of her family’s evacuation from Roan Inish (Island of the Seals) and of when the sea took her baby brother. Later in the film Fiona discovers that her brother is still alive, living amongst the seals, and she has to convince her family of this and to move back to the island.


This movie was adapted from the book, Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry. Because I loved this film so much, I decided to read the book. One of the main differences between the two is the main character in the book is a red head instead of blonde. Perfect.


So I gladly jumped at the chance to bridge the two and use my own red head to pose as Fiona.


In the movie, Fiona’s clothing reflects who she is. She wears things that are slightly too small for her since she is essentially a forgotten part of the past by her Father. The loss of her Mother and her baby brother brings him such sadness that he sends her off to live in a fishing village with her grandparents.


I made The Bee a dress from a book called The Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I used some quilting cotton to make it in an adult size 6 (even though she wears a 4) and it still ended up being slightly snug on her (which works for this project). The sweater was made from a thrifted women’s XL cardigan that I resized into a smaller one for her. I didn’t follow the costume exactly, but wanted to capture the essence. They use muted colors and some plaid… and lots of sweaters in this film.


This story is full of magic and love and sweeping Irish coastal scenery along with a hauntingly beautiful and even fun soundtrack. Oh- and a great scene where she and her cousin fix up the old cottages on the beach. I just love those before and after bits. Especially those that involve cleaning and remodeling. Yes, I just said that out loud. You know you love it too.heh.


If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it!

This is only the first of the outfits I have planned. Stay tuned for more Roan Inish sewing.


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