Sunday, January 1, 2017

Last Sewing Project of 2016!

I went to a FABULOUS New Year's Eve party this year and had a blast.   Because the theme of the party was Spies & Masquerade, I wanted a 1920's evening gown to wear.   For my gown, I used sequined black lace and irredentist silk dupioni.  The dress was very simple to make - I just used the same pattern as I used for my Christmas tea dress- and the dress was very fun to wear.


Callot Soeurs, 1929-1931 The Goldstein Museum of Design

I am absolutely in love with the dress above.  It still has that lovely 1920's dropped waist but look at how full that skirt is!   And the high - low that is oh so popular now?  Love!

Making the Dress:

I bought only 2 meters of 58" wide sequined black lace.   It was enough to do almost any 1920's dress, but not to do the skirt exactly as it is in the original dress.  Instead, I first cut out the top.  I then measured out the remaining yardage so I could cut the front panel for the skirt short in the front, but long at the sides.  For the back panel, I did the exact opposite.   The fabric was 58" so I just cut the fabric in half pretty much for the two panels.   I ended up with about 3 yards in the skirt.

The original dress appears to have a silver trim along the neckline.  I went with black velvet instead.   I used the black velvet to encase the edges around the neckline and arms.  This was mainly to prevent the fabric from unraveling over time.  It also adds just a nice detail to those areas.  

I didn't have to hem the skirt since I used the selvage for the hem.   The selvage of the lace had a lovely design.  

The underdress was a bit more of a problem.  I wanted something colorful for New Year's.   However, I also wanted something a bit heavy since it is...New Year's.  In DC.  It was sleeting when I went to get my Uber ride.  All my bright silks are pretty thin or were in colors that I already had made into 1920's dresses.  

I looked into using an older dress for underneath but I really needed something that would do the high low thing as well or, at least, matched the front length.   I ended up using my old Lord of the Rings dress that I made years ago and just re-cut it into something more 1920's than vaguely medieval.

I took part of the gown apart a very long time ago because was terrible.  No, really.   It was a waste of perfectly good fabric.  The sleeves have been recycled into other projects and I think I still have the overdress upstairs somewhere - it should probably be made into something else- but I had this heavy silk dupioni tunic body that was pretty much begging to be used again.

I cut the top part off at the dropped waistline and then took the sides out.  I recut the sides and then cut the bottom half of the skirt so it would do the "high low" thing without me having to re-hem the entire thing.  

The fun part about doing all of this?  Seeing how crazy my sewing was 12 or so years ago when I made this outfit.   I had French seamed the tunic and used basting stitches through the entire thing.   I took out said French seams - which gave me a good inch of silk back- and just did normal zig zags this time.  

This is how the former Lord of the Rings underdress looks now.  It's still an underdress but it's much, much better in terms of fit and wearability.   The skirt isn't super full - there are just a couple of pleats on either side- but it's plenty for the underdress.  Plus, the color is beautiful with the black lace overlay.

See?  Much better!  

This is the picture I took right after I finished making it.   I'm really in love with this dress because it fits so well!

This was my attempt at taking a back picture of it, while wearing the dress, in the mirror after the party.   You can see Jasper the cat near the Christmas Tree.

I had a lot of fun at the party and will go again next year if I get the chance!   Happy New Year everyone!