|1934 Evening Gown With Drop Sleeves from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library.|
My first task after receiving my pattern from the VPLL was to resize it. While the VPLL does offer some patterns in multiple sizes, this was not one of them. It was reproduced in its original size - a 38" bust which I am not. I made a quick mock up to help with resizing the pattern. All was going well until I cut into my lining material. In my hurry to complete the dress I forgot to add my seam allowance! Even with tiny 1/4" seams the dress was going to be too snug. Uuugh! I had enough material to cut a new lining for the basic dress but not enough for the train. Feeling frustrated and very annoyed with myself I tossed the project in the corner of the sewing room and didn't touch it for about two weeks. In the mean time I had to hunt for more lining material. I thought finding more of the same off white cotton muslin would be an easy task. Wrong!! I never realized how many shades of "off white" cotton there would be.
|McCall August 1934 Pattern Catalog - Source|
Here you can see the lower front section of the skirt.
Here is where it got a little tricky sewing wise. The zig zag edges of the upper and lower skirt sections are lapped which meant, yep you guessed it. LOTS of pinning and basting. I used colored thread so the basting stitches would be easy to see when it came time to take them out. The lapped seam makes for a nice neat finish but was fiddly due to the lace and excess fabric of the train. Ahhhh huge wedding train!! :)
I like using these extra long quilting pins. Plus the butterflies are kind of cute.
The hem of the cotton lining was finished off with bias tape. I made a small rolled hem for the lace section. The dress closes at the left side with a placket and snaps. The belt was made with a layer cotton fabric and fusible interfacing with the lace mounted on top right sides together. Then the belt was turned right side out and pressed. The rhinestone buckle is from a 1930s dress in my collection which sadly is in very poor condition.
The most obvious changes I made to the pattern, other then the size, were to omit the extra large fluffy sleeves and to add a RIDICULOUSLY long train. I made a slight change to the neckline and added darts to the bodice as well. The original neckline hit right across my collar bone which would have been OK except that I would not have been able to wear a necklace of any kind. This realization, of course, came after I had assembled the bodice and added all the bias tape around the edges. Grrr. My quick solution was to make an inch and a half slash down the very center front and turn the edges under. Not very neat but at that point I didn't care and just wanted the dress done!
Here you can see the changes I made to the neckline. If I were to make this dress again I would keep the original rounded neckline.
And the finished dress.
I have very few construction pictures of my reception dress and most of those are just a pile of lace fabric with my cat happily holding it down. Black cat, white fabric....it happens. My reception dress was made from the same lace fabric as my wedding dress and Advance 8269 which I purchased on Ebay. It was sewn very quickly the week of the wedding. Crazy I know, but I really wanted a shorter dress for the reception. It has some fitting issues that should be reworked at some point but I'll worry about that if I ever have the opportunity to wear the dress again.
Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Cotton-ish lace with plastic sequins and 100% cotton lining all from JoAnn's Fabric.
Pattern: 1934 Evening Gown With Drop Sleeves from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library.
Notions: Bias tape, snaps, thread, rhinestone buckle all from the stash.
How historically accurate is it? Very, but it's really more 1930s evening then wedding. Although you do see lots of 30s evening gowns with trains, this one is really much too long for true evening wear. Wedding gowns of the 30s and 40s were mostly long sleeved too.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Attaching the skirt bottom to the skirt top using a lapped seam. Part of the difficulty was due to the excess amount of fabric in the train.
Did you change anything? Left off the sleeves, slashed the neckline, and added the train. And of course resized the pattern.
Time to complete: ummm, hard to say. There was a lot start and stop with this. I worked on it over the course of 2 months. I started working on resizing the pattern sometime in July and finished the dress a couple weeks before the wedding.
First worn: October 10, 2014
Total cost: $16.50 for the pattern
You can read more about my wedding day here and here.