The “Back to Basics” Gatsby Dress
Fabric: Rayon (?) from Novato Estate Sale: The Return! – ~$.25
Pattern: Folkwear #214
Notions: Vintage collar (repurposed)
Year: c. early 1927
Time to complete: About 4 1/2 hours
First worn: September 2012
Wear again? Maybe?
Total Cost – $.25
After the past two years of doing the 1930s for the Gatsby Summer Afternoon, I decided to go back to where it all started and work with Folkwear #214. When I say “back to where it all started,” I don’t just mean my first Gatsby. Folkwear #214 is the first dress I sewed after taking a break for about ten years — the dress that gave me the motivation to start sewing a dress a week and start The Sew Weekly.
If you’re a regular Sew Weekly reader, you’ll recall that each year a lot of thought and time goes into picking and sewing my outfit for the Gatsby Summer Afternoon. I mean, seriously, I even held a bracket tournament for my pattern decision of 2010. This year, however, I’ve been way too busy to obsess over the event (see previous post about life getting in the way) and didn’t start sewing until the night before (this past Saturday). I had originally decided to sew a 1930s dress and even bought $40 worth of fabric at Stone Mountain and Daughter. But when I messed up on the bodice and realized I wasn’t really feeling that dress and fabric, I decided to start a search for a good 1920s pattern in my stash.
And this is the part of my post where I actually will talk about my previously mentioned “in-a-relationship-with” guy. Because I’m trying to get my house ready to sell, he’s been quite a dear in helping me tackle areas of my house that need a bit of work. My sewing room, for example. Let me just say that the first time he saw my sewing room, it was quite by accident (he meant to find the door to the garage and took a wrong turn). As he tells it, he just stood in the doorway for a few seconds and then muttered out loud “Oh. My. God.” And then backed out of the room. When he came upstairs he told me “I think I just saw your sewing room.” It was such a mess that I had basically abandoned it and had started sewing upstairs. Well, over the course of weeks, we’ve tackled it together and I’m happy to say that it’s quite clean right now.
Why does this all matter? Well it was Joe (that’s his name) that actually found this pattern for me. I hadn’t seen it since 2009! So yes, thank you Joe.
The fabric was perfect for this dress and was a steal of $.25 from the Great Novato Estate Sale of 2011. While it isn’t truly vintage — my guess is that it’s from the 1980s, it has a perfect 1920s print. The lace collar was a purchase from Lacis, I believe, that I originally used when making my friend’s Krissy dress from our first Gatsby. I also used Folkwear #214 for her dress. Here’s a shot of us from 2009.
The Gatsby Summer Afternoon was quite a different experience this year. For one, I actually danced! And, like last year, I just brought a simple picnic. I wanted to make it all as effortless as possible. Considering that I actually quite liked my outfit, it sort of makes me think I should always just do it all at the last minute.
And another nice treat was that we camped our picnic right next to Loran and her friend, Angie’s, picnic. They did an AMAZING JOB on their spread and I firmly believe that they should have taken home the prize for best small picnic. I don’t want to steal her thunder and post too many pictures of their picnic, but I just have to share this gorgeous one:
Robbed!, I say!
And because I can’t write this much about Joe and not include a picture of us, he we are. If you notice that his bow-tie and pocket square look very nicely coordinating, it’s because I made them from fabric from my dress — which I have to say was his idea, not mine. And there you go.