Art Deco Love | Debi Fry
Fabric: Superfine 120’s wool for jacket – £14, Viscose fabric for skirt and hat – £16, satin fabric from charity shop – £2
Pattern: Butterick 5156 from EvaDress ~$25 (approx. £16)
Notions: Buttons — ~£6
Time to complete: 15 hours
First worn: January 2011
Wear again? OH YES!
Total Cost: ~£54 (part of the fabric was a birthday present!)
So the story goes something like this…
Girl falls in love with boy. Boy is already married, wife and daughter are understandably upset. Daughter marries her lover and her lover divorces his wife because of their affair. While daughter waits for her lover’s divorce, she runs off and has an affair with ‘the Italian’ (though she still marries her lover).
After daughter and her lover are married they announce their anticipated new arrival. While boy (remember him–the father?) is celebrating with his family, girl learns she is also pregnant and saves boy’s moral position and political career by committing suicide in her airplane (oh yes, she is an aviatrix!)
Phew! Unrequited love? Most probably–with a whole lot of other emotions thrown in! Luckily the outfits in this movie (Christopher Strong from 1933) are AMAZING. And Butterick produced the outfit worn by Katherine Hepburn (one of her first roles) in their ‘Starred pattern’ series.
I got this pattern from EvaDress–which specializes in reproduction patterns. I’ve had it in my stash for awhile and this challenge was just what I needed to get over my fear of what looked like a very complicated pattern to actually sewing it up and wearing it!
So how exactly does this pattern work (I asked myself that very same question when I started). It starts with an underbody slip top attached to the skirt you see in the pattern (I made view A) which looks like this:
Then the jacket is separate and fits exactly with the lines of the skirt. The jacket buttons twice (once with just the jacket body) and secondly with a scarf that makes the neat criss-cross design on the front.
Overall, I am very, very happy with this outfit. I made the jacket out of superfine wool (my absolute favorite wool to sew with) and it has a very nice drape and was easy to hem. I didn’t end up putting an opening in the sleeves and opted to make them tight and sort of wiggle them on over my hands. I like the resulting look (and it was less work sewing-wise–sleeve openings are one of my least favorite things to finish).
I made the underbody top out of some cheap satin fabric that I got at a charity shop and made the skirt out of a nice viscose brown fabric (this also has fabulous drape).
I’m really happy I tackled this project. It came out loads better then I thought it would and I’ll actually wear it out and about! What do you think?
Check out more pictures and similar dresses from 1933 over on my blog this week.