Have you seen the Great Gatsby yet? Don’t tell me anything! I promised myself I wouldn’t go until I had finished my dress for Miss Crayola Creepy’s Gatsby challenge. Well Phew, I’ve done it! I’ve finished my 1920′s inspired dress, what do you think?
Similarly to the Mad Men challenge, I have not recreated a 1920′s dress perfectly but have been inspired by the 20′s to produce a dress I want to wear now. I’ve kept the elements which to me make a 1920′s dress: A dropped waist, pleats, a low back, and beading! But I made it more me by making it more fitted and shorter, a lot shorter actually!
I’m over the moon with how this dress turned out! I started making it on Monday evening after a busy bank holiday weekend. And when I say ‘started making it’ what I mean is ‘started thinking about shapes and drafting a pattern’. I didn’t even cut it out till the following day, I sewed it together yesterday, and today I altered the fit and hemmed it. I can’t believe there were no major hiccups along the way! Especially since this is designed by me and so is a Sleek Silhouette original!
Originally I thought about using this pattern in the latest burdastyle magazine. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s got a dropped waist and a gathered skirt. I thought seeing as I already had the magazine I might as well utilise it. But then as I started tracing it my block came into my mind… why trace and alter a pattern when I already have a block waiting to be used? I chucked the magazine away and stared at my block.
I slashed at the widest part of my hips and added a band. I then made a pattern for the pleated skirt. I’m sorry that these photos aren’t great. No computer at the moment means I can’t use the nice camera or do fancy computer pictures. I am planning another post on modifying a block as soon as the new computer arrives, so I’ll go over this in more detail then.
I decided I wanted pleated skirt instead of
a gathered one as I feel that pleats are a little more sophisticated? I measured 1 inch pleats – meaning there would be two inches of extra material for each pleat as they are folded in on themselves.
I sewed them with the pleats facing towards the middle of the skirt, with an inverted box pleat in the middle.
I decided I wanted a low back, I’ve talked before about my love for backs, and although I need to wear a bra the right bra strap converter works wonderfully (I wore the same at my wedding ). The length of this back was more luck than anything, I just blindly cut it and luckily it falls at just the right point, much lower and my converter would be showing!
The fabric was the one source of frustration for me on this dress. I had such plans of beautiful lime green crepe and a contrast grey on the waist band. I was inspired by this dress by Michelle from project runway (I’m sooo glad she won!). I LOVE it. The colours are so wonderfully summery. Alas I could not find the fabric I wanted anywhere, the greens were too neon or too ‘bottle green’ and the grey’s were just boring….
I then thought about using a grey crepe and then adding in the lime with the beading… but then there was no nice grey crepe and I couldn’t find lime beads…. I felt like the fabric gods were against me.
Then I stumbled across this fabric. It’s 100% polyester (yuk!), but has a lovely subtle sheen and feels so yummy to touch! I also love blue, particularly inky blue, so I decided this was it! When I got to the till I realised there was only 1.5 metres of it, not only that the last 30 cms has this written on it!
By this point I was running out of time and willpower so I bought it regardless, and I got a discount, yay! Unfortunately this meant that I didn’t have enough material for any facings…. grrr! I therefore used some bias binding I already had, luckily the right colour, and bound all the edges. It’s not the perfect finish I was looking for, but it’s good enough It also means that all in this dress cost me £13, I call that a bargain!
All the main sewing done, and I could not believe that I managed to get all the pattern pieces to fit together so perfectly! I sewed it up with no problems, even the invisible side zip went in easily. It all lines up perfectly! To say I’m proud of that is a bit of an understatement, I expected something to go wrong! The only fit issue was that I have lost some weight since I made my block and the fit was a little loose. All I did to remedy this was to take in the side seams and increase the size of the darts, then it fitted perfectly. It was a little baggy at the bust (annoyingly that has reduced too!) and in my infinite wisdom I had already bound the neckline and armholes making it difficult to increase the size of the side bust dart. In the end I ended up increasing the length of the under bust dart to take some of the extra fabric away. I think it worked quite well and I got away with it. I’ve now transferred all these alterations to my block so next time it should fit exactly right
Oh, and I made this necklace too, it’s one of my favourites