Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Really, Really Quick 1918 Dress

As much as I love the fashion of the 1920s, I don't have a single piece of 1920s costuming in my admittedly extensive closet. I've always thought I had too many curves to look right in it, and figured the straight lines of the silhouette would make me look like a potato.

I didn't want to go in plain clothes to the Jazz Age Picnic, and the few Teens outfits I have felt too restrictive. With all the sewing I had been doing for my sweetheart for the Bass Hall event, I didn't have a chance to make anything during the week, so the morning of the picnic I got up early, pulled out some fabric I had picked up the week before, and whipped up a quick dress.

I was inspired by the blue plaid dress in this fashion plate of spring dresses from 1918.

I was lucky enough to find a blue plaid that's pretty much a dead ringer for the one in the plate, and when searching through the Commercial Pattern Archive, I even came across a dress from 1918 that was almost exactly the same! This is the pattern:

I didn't have much time, so I didn't have a chance to do a mock-up, fit the pattern, or anything that's really necessary when making something new. I drafted everything from the ground up, directly onto the fabric, using the pattern diagram as a guide. The fit was right, but the drape of the front cross-over didn't lay like I wanted it to, and I had to pin it into place so it would sit right. The dress also turned out much shorter than I wanted, but it ended up working out for a more '20s looking outfit.

The one thing I was really thrilled about was the sleeves! They fit perfectly in the armscye, they draped exactly how I wanted, they were just...perfect! So thrilled.

I really love the fabric, and I'm pretty pleased with the dress overall. I do want to remake this dress so that the top sits the way it should without having to pin it, and I would like to have a longer skirt. Luckily, I have some yardage left from what I purchased before, so I think I can fix the few flaws without spending too much more. It's the sort of dress I feel I could wear on a normal basis and not get funny looks for it seeming "old fashioned".

1 comment:

  1. I costumed Cabaret where the lead actress was built like you. I'm here to tell you that it IS possible to look good in 20s fashions if you're on the curvy side--drapey fabric and getting the dropped waistline EXACTLY right are what you need.