Thursday, January 22, 2015

1933 Dress - Final Dress

In case you missed the first two parts:

Part 1
Part 2

The final sewing of the dress took about a week.  My friend like the royal blue/ice blue satin that I had used for Sprite's concert dress (unblogged and doomed to stay that way).  She wanted to use the ice blue for the yokes and sleeve bands.  She also wanted to deepen the V in the yoke and to add a V in the back yoke as well as lengthen the dress by 10 inches so she could have a full length dress instead of the tea length in the envelope.  For fit, we needed to make the back narrower.  I took out 1 1/2 inches on either side of the zipper.

I added the FBA dart and yes, the darts are too long.  On the dress form, they look like they end way too high but on my friend, they did indeed point correctly to the bust points. 

The sleeves look good after all all:

The satin didn't look this puckered in real life but the camera flash picks up every wrinkle.

After I finished the dress but before I hemmed it, my friend came with her shoes so that I could hem it to the right length.  She also requested that I take in the waist bit more, so I pulled it in another 3/4 inch on either side.  I ended up removing the skirt and redoing the side seams completely to make it fit correctly. 

She loved it.  I was dismayed to see the wrinkle on the left shoulder, which had not been there in any previous fittings, so something I did the day before caused it.  However, at that point, there was no time to fix it and she was okay with the finished project.

I could have shortened the back more to remove those vertical wrinkles.

However, she loved it and got lots of compliments on her dress at her party, so I am happy about that. 

Lessons learned:

  • Using a straight stitch needle plate and foot worked the best on sewing the satin.  It didn't look nearly as puckered in real life.  Actually looked fairly smooth.
  • Make at least two muslins for more complicated projects, particularly if you are sewing for someone else.  I am glad that I made the first one as complete as I did, but I really needed to do a second one to catch that shoulder problem.
  • Double check adjustments for both sides.  Again, I think it would have helped me catch that problem with the left shoulder.
  • I also think this pattern would have been better in a drapier fabric.  

It ended well, I learned a lot and I figure I will have prom dress sewing in my future so it was a great experience.  Sewing vintage patterns is an adventure and the instructions do assume that you have quite a bit of experience in sewing, so they don't necessarily cover every thing you need to know, like the easing and the lapped seams.

It is fun to think that my maternal grandmother, who would have been about 29 when this pattern came out, might have sewed it as an afternoon dress.  She was quite a seamstress with her old black Singer straight stitch machine. One of these days, I will pull out some of her pictures and post them. 

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