Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sewing a 1924 party dress

I am sewing a 1924 party dress for New Years, as I have been invited to a "Grand Gatsby" party. Now, the thing is, I happen to dislike the new Great Gatsby movie. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald is rolling in his grave. There was very little if any semblance to the music and social aspects of the era, not to mention the cars (Gatsby's jalopy would not be seen until 1931) and the lack of historically accurate costuming. The 1920s was not all fringe an sequins. It was mostly rhinestones in fact. I asked my Great Grandmother a while back about what people really wore in the 20s. She said her mother and older sisters always wore simple, neat dresses with little ties and fancy collars, and evening dresses with pearls and skirts with sheer, floaty petals. They wore real silk stockings and shoes made up in silk brocade. Their makeup was light and peachy, with green eye shadow to bring out their eyes. They wore pink on their fingertips and lips, and their hair was done in marcel waves that they styled at home with water and flaxseed setting lotion. They lived a simple, regular life. 
So where in the new rendition of Great Gatsby was
Madeleine Vionnet's handkerchief dress? Jean Patou? Any of the Art Deco saque type beaded masterpieces? Nowhere to be found. Only jangly, dangly horrors and poorly depicted costuming. I swear that the movie industry 1) tried vainly to steal a suspension of disbelief factor from Moulin Rouge 2) incorrectly depicted costuming so that teenage fan girls could go crazy over "Gatsby Clothes" that the fashion industry was ready to cheaply manufacture. What a disappointment. So enough ranting. Here is my preliminary sketch:

This is very historically accurate. I may add godets to the skirt as well. 

Step 1: sew wrong sides together for front panel 
Size up the seams and pin the other side, see and trim straight. 

Pink the edges. 
Then move onto the skirt lining. Do a flat fell seam. Make sure the shiny side is counted as the wrong side. 
Iron, trim seam to 1/8", and press with raw edge on inside. Sew 1/2" seam. Turn right way round and stitch other side down. 
Assemble front panel with left and right bodice front. Sew shoulder seams of front to back. 

Attach skirt to bodice. 

Make drapery pleats with iron. Stitch onto side swag belt. 
Tack front and back onto waistline with small catch stitches. Tie swags in double knots at each side. Carefully pink an catch stitch all edges. 
Hem skirt with catch stitch. 
Sew sleeve seams and set in sleeves. 

All done!

And lastly, a photo with my Husband. 

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