August 12, 2015

1933!

Here it is! My dress from a pattern from 1933...

I've had plenty of trouble with it, probably largely down to the fabric I chose. And I was nervous about trying a 1930's design right from the start. The illustrations are always very lovely but the silhouette seems so different from mine... And my previous efforts were less than successful (one was awful, the other one not a real success).

This is the pattern I used: An evening gown from Gracieuse magazine from October 1933. The one on the left. It is one of very few patterns in my collection (from 1930 to the beginning of 1934) which uses bias cut skirt pieces. Of course I knew working with fabric on the bias is tricky but I hoped it would be worth it. 

I used fabric from my stash, a striped cotton blend, for the skirt and bought soft black tule for the bodice (it is worn over a camisole). Of course, using stripes made things a lot more difficult. I would have to try and match them, at least at center front and back. At first, I also tried to match the stripes at the side seams but that caused to many issues with the fabric. And I didn't need more issues with that... This turned out to be the kind of material that just keeps on growing. In the end, I've had to unpick and re-sew them twice, the second time after letting the loose panels hang for a week. And even now, the side seams are not entirely free from pulling.

The bodice wasn't easy either. So many angles. Soft tule is a kind of material which gets gathered up by even loose stitches so I had to stitch it on tissue paper for all those little seams. And then pull the stuff away again, obviously. 
There's a double layer of it in the bodice and a single one in the sleeves. Unfortunately, the cut outer edges of the wide, fluttering sleeves have a tendency to get stuck to each other. 

Hemming the dress was a bit of an adventure in its own right. With patterns on tracing sheets, like this one, you usually get only a part of the skirt pieces with the measurement to which you should lengthen them. I had done that but it's didn't seem very precise in this case. I made sure the side seams matched in length but that was all I could really do on paper. And then the pieces were cut on the bias, in that ever-growing fabric and stitched, un-picked and stitched again. The bottom of the skirt was very uneven so I asked E to help me pin the hemline. The poor man didn't know what he was getting into... It took quite a while and he didn't like it but he did a good job. Pinning a hemline and then marking the positions of the pins with chalk so they wouldn't be lost if some of the pins fell out. The length of the skirt was determined by its shortest point at one of the side seams. As a result, it's ankle length now. I might have cut the pieces a little longer...

On its own, the dress's bodice is rather loose but, as you can see in the illustration, it was always meant to be worn with a belt. The silhouette is still unfamiliar to me but it is better than I expected. 


22 comments:

  1. I know you had lots of trouble with it, but I really love the finished product.

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  2. Love it! It's exactly like the illustration: flowing lines and feminine elegance. I'm usually not a stripes kind of person, but I really like them here.

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  3. You did a beautiful job, difficult fabric and all!

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  4. The dress came out fabulous. I remember your posts for help on fb. It was sounding very frustrating. But it all came together. I hope you will go back and revisit your earlier patterns as you progress in the eras fashions because I think they would also look great on you. And a comparative blog of earlier and later attempts are always interesting.

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  5. The dress came out fabulous. I remember your posts for help on fb. It was sounding very frustrating. But it all came together. I hope you will go back and revisit your earlier patterns as you progress in the eras fashions because I think they would also look great on you. And a comparative blog of earlier and later attempts are always interesting.

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  6. The dress came out fabulous. I remember your posts for help on fb. It was sounding very frustrating. But it all came together. I hope you will go back and revisit your earlier patterns as you progress in the eras fashions because I think they would also look great on you. And a comparative blog of earlier and later attempts are always interesting.

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  7. Stunning! Modern and vintage at the same time.

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  8. That is utterly beautiful. Well done for persevering with it. It looks so wearable for today as well being a beautiful vintage dress

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  9. A beautiful dress that deserves to be out and about. You look lovely.

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  10. This is gorgeous! What a lot of trouble, but the result is beautiful, and your stripe-matching on the skirt is jaw-dropping. I also think you look more like the "period silhouette" than I've ever seen in a photo! In other words, very, very well done! :D

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  11. Wow I am so impressed. A fabulous make with just the right fabrics. I just bet it was very difficult. You look wonderful in it too.

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  12. It's lovely! The stripes are extremely effective.

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  13. absolutely divine................... its so perfect!

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  14. Wauw!! Ik zou zeggen dat het de moeite waard is geweest, hij is super mooi! En de stofkeuze is spot-on. Ik ben elke keer weer onder de indruk van de dingen die je maakt!

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  15. I am swooning over this dress! I love it.

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  16. Good golly, it was a lot of work and it IS exceedingly lovely. Your fabric seems to have fought you every step of the way. I have found using small coil-less safety pins (the smallest ones, so they are thin and don't hang heavily) to mark hems in chiffon works pretty well (stab them through like fish hooks at the desired point, and then close them when you're ready to move the item you're hemming). This ...doesn't help NOW, but...

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  17. Wow, that is fantastic! I see these gorgeous vintage patterns and just can't imagine fitting them into my wardrobe, but this is a perfect party dress.

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  18. I think it looks beautiful on you. Worth all the pain.

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  19. Art deco beautiful! Well done! Cannot imagine dealing with slippery fabrics and bias pieces without wanting to burn the entire thing, but you are clearly much stronger than I.

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  20. Wow! What a gorgeous dress! Love the bias cut skirt and the tulle you used for the bodice. Beautiful!

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  21. It's gorgeous and you look lovely in it. I

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