Gatsby Madness Upset!
And now, the next part of my Gatsby Summer Afternoon dress saga…
It seems as if there has been an upset to the dress tournament. If you remember, it was down to two dresses. I was ready to request one of them from the VPLL when I decided to check out the 1930s evening gowns. Even though I really love those two dresses, I felt that they would look a bit too casual for something like a fancy afternoon picnic. So after all that indecision, I ended up going with this 1930 Evening Gown with Cascades.
Now you can imagine if picking a pattern was so difficult, choosing fabric would certainly become a Herculean task. The pattern calls for 3 yards of 39" fabric — I figured that couldn't be right. I emailed with Jaynce at the VPLL and she agreed that the 3 yards number was certainly off. So how much fabric do I actually need?
Well, I did something I've never done before — made a muslin! I had five yards of fabric and only had enough to finish the under dress. I figured that I would need another yard and a half for the cape sleeves, flowers and facings. So that's at least 6 1/2 yards of fabric! My original plan was to use vintage fabric, but that yardage, it would be pretty impossible to find the perfect fabric. And because we're doing the whole nautical theme, I've limited myself to reds, navys and whites and made the whole process more difficult.
I found some vintage cotton lawn on eBay that I thought would be perfect, but it was only 4 yards. I bought it anyway since it ended up being $10 including shipping. I toyed with the idea of using it, plus another fabric and sewing the second — contrasty — view of the dress. However, I worry that too many different pieces will shorten my already short body. Still, it's a fabric still in consideration.
I looked at countless 1930s reproduction fabrics but knew that they just wouldn't hang the way that a sheerer fabric would. At one point I even considered using a service like Spoonflower to reprint an actual 30s print on cotton lawn. But at about $21* a yard, that was pretty much out of the question.*
Giving up on my vintage fabric or reproduction aspirations, I also bought some voile fabric from Fabric.com. The wonderful thing about buying new fabric versus vintage is the wonderful text field to enter any number of yardage that I'd like. In this case, I bought 6 1/2 yards at 52" selvedge. At $4.98 a yard, I was quite happy with the purchase.
* Or is it? Paying $140 for an off-the-rack dress for a fancy occasion like the Gatsby Summer Afternoon (especially a vintage dress) wouldn't seem so crazy. Do all my dresses need to be under $20? If I found the absolutely perfect print and could have it printed on cotton lawn in just the right yardage, wouldn't that justify the cost? And if I did go that route, does anyone have the pefect 1930s print for my dress?