The “Sewn on borrowed time” dress | Adey Lim
Fabric: Black and white large polka dot chiffon fabric 2.5 metres from chinatown $21
Pattern: Butterick 4588
Notions: Beaded trim from Spotlight $12
Time to complete: 7 hours for this dress
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Yes, I think so and I might even keep the length
Total Cost: ~$23
This was not the first 1930s dress I made for this week's challenge, it was the second. The first dress was completed before the Gatsby weekend but there were issues with it. The instructions on creating the sleeves shown on the pattern cover were non existent and I was clueless how I could finished the hanging sleeves. After almost 9 hours of sewing, I was left disappointed. Still, there were good things that took place while I attempted the 1935 repro pattern which I shared in detail on my blog. But, the hanging sleeve pieces were not the only thing I didn't fancy. The pale beige rayon fabric on me was another issue, I felt like I was wearing pajamas.
To sew this second dress, I borrowed sewing time from the next challenge and can only hope for the best in completing both. I totally love this one and am quite certain it would be worn often with different accessories. To up its wearability and learning from mistakes made in dress #1, I chose a chiffon fabric with timeless large black and white polka dots.
The pattern is lovely, the version I chose came with a drop waist bodice, darts at the shoulders, bust and waist (front and back) for shaping. Other than the bust darts, the shoulder and waist darts were indicated by 2 dots each on the pattern and I was to create darts 1/8" from one of the dots. It was intimating at first but I soon got the hang of it. The dress comes with W shaped seams on the front and back joining the bodice to the skirt. To make the dress more interesting I added a beaded trim to the front W seam. A waist sash completes the look. I am amazed by how the skirt draped. When laid down the W seam and skirt looked completely flat but when wore fabulous drapes and folds appear on both sides of the skirt. I don't usually wear skirts of this length but might just keep this the way it is.
There are also two pattern pieces attached to the sides of the neckline, creating a cute cape effect at the shoulders. I finished the seams using french seams and bias tape to keep them neat which was important since the fabric was semi sheer.
Having only 2.5 metres of this chiffon fabric in my stash meant I couldn't cut the back bodice on the fold so instead I improvised and cut two pieces on the selvage and while sewing I remembered Debi's "Watch Your Back Dress" and was inspired to add a back slit. Since I cut on the selvage I only had to fold in the fabric once and stitched in place at the opening.
I was out shopping early this week with friends and saw quite a few 1920s/ 30s inspired pieces at the showcases of branded boutiques, a trend probably fueled by the remake of The Great Gatsby film. Perhaps a trend to stay in my wardrobe?! Having said that, I think it is the chiffon fabric that totally made this particular look work. It would most certainly looked too stiff in cotton, too wrinkled in linen and too luxurious in lace.
Now, to work on my fall palette outfit! I'm so out of time!