Monday, January 28, 2013

Spicy 1930s Dress

What: The Paprika Dress!  Made of warm, spicy deep orange polyester crepe and satin, from a pattern from Eva Dress Patterns:

The main body of the dress is crepe, while the scarf tie, belt, skirt flounce, and flutter sleeves (more on that below) are satin.  A mix of both Views A and B.  Closes with snaps along the side.

Le dress:

When: This dress made up pretty quickly--all the work has been done in the past week.  I cut out the pattern one evening, and did most of the sewing save some prep and finish work in one day, off and on.

Where: The dress was made at home, on my trusty little sewing machine, and debuts next weekend.

Why: I love the 1930s, but haven't had much of an excuse to create an outfit.  A friend is having a 30s themed party for her 30th birthday, and it seemed like the reason I've been waiting for to dive into a new decade!

How: I loved working with this pattern--it was easy to follow and make up, and the pieces are deceptively basic.  I could see myself making a dozen different iterations of this dress just by tweaking the details.  (For the sake of my sewing budget and my closet, I'll try to refrain, but--wouldn't a black suiting-weight wool with  white chiffon sleeves and scarf tie be just scrumptious?)

One word of caution--the pattern's directions are the originals, and vintage patterns tend to go light on the instructions.  If you're used to modern patterns' pages of directions, expect a much less guided experience making this.  That said--it's very simple.  And sometimes figuring things out for one's self is much more fun!

A few notes on my stitching experience and what I changed from the original pattern:

I decided to mix the views and do the scarf tie as seen on View A above, but the belt as seen on View B.  And then I decided to incorporate the satin in the skirt flounce as well.  I really loved how that detail turned out:

Then came the sleeves.  I made them up and everything, even screwing one seam up, ripping it out, and redoing it:

And then I tried on the dress and cute would this be with flutter sleeves?  Especially for a party?  And then I glanced at the pile of satin scraps and found two Cheshire-cat-smile shaped bits perfect to use as sleeves.  This departure is one of my favorite details of the finished dress:

One thing I would do differently: I wasn't very judicious in selecting fabric--this project needed to go from pattern to done in just a couple weeks, no time for online fabric ordering, and my only nearby fabric stores are big-box types with iffy selection.  I'm mostly quite pleased (especially with the crepe and satin skirt!) but the satin bow is a bit stiff and doesn't look flowy and scrumptious the way the pattern does.  It makes a jaunty, Girl-Guides-esque knot, but I'd love a re-do of this design using silk charmeuse or another drapey fabric.


Lady D said...

It looks great. I need to make one now. Can I ask you to show me what shape/grainline slitter sleeves should be? and are there any waist darts?

Rowenna said...

Hi D--there are two darts on the bust, and two darts in the skirt back along the waistline. Very simple pattern!

The sleeves...well, they came from the scrap bin so nothing too deliberate about them :) About 4.5 inches wide at the widest point, and cut straight-grain (though bias might be pretty depending on the fabric!). Same length as the armscye.