Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Roaring 20s Lawn Party - Pt 2, the Dress

I made my dress for the Roaring 20s Lawn Party from this 1930s pattern. Yes, I made and wore a 1930s dress for a 1920s event, I'm such as rebel! I love the 20s, I really do! But I'm not super excited about how I look in most 20s dresses. I'm short with wider hips and those boxy dropped waist styles just feel frumpy and odd to me. I just need to find the right dress/style to suit my body type.

1930s Simplicity sewing pattern

Anyway, after pulling out a few patterns and sketching a few different design ideas, I realized I just didn't want to make a 1920s dress. As I prepared for the Art Deco weekend earlier this spring it occurred to me that my vintage wardrobe was seriously lacking items from the 1930s. OK, I've made a few late 30s pieces but they have more of that 40s/WWII vibe to them. I didn't have anything that screamed 30s and was really wanted too change that.

Enter Simplicity 1945. This pattern was among the very first vintage patterns I purchased a few years back when I became interested in vintage sewing. It might have come from Ebay but I can't remember now.

1930s Simplicity sewing pattern

As the lawn party would be in August I knew it would be hot. Having something that would be light and comfortable to wear and move around it was key. I think it was the sleeves of this dress that really sold it for me. And this deco style cotton (from the stash, whoowhoo!) was perfect for it. I traded some of this fabric with another vintage blogger recently. Really excited to see what she creates with it!

The simplicity of this pattern (no pun intended!) surprised me too. I think one of the reasons I had not attempted this pattern before was believing it would be too complicated. Turns out, it was one of the easiest  vintage dresses I've sewn and it went together fast!

The bodice is constructed of a front and back piece, both cut on the fold. The sleeves are cut in one with the bodice with seams across the shoulders and at the sides. Before sewing these pieces together a series of 1/4" tucks are stitched across the front and back. The perforations of the pattern pieces were a little wonky so I remarked my fabric to avoid wonky pleats.

The skirt is pretty straight forward with small darts at the back. The waist seams of the bodice and skirt are lapped and then top stitched in place. The dress closes with a side placket and snaps.
I finally got to use one of the special attachments for my sewing machine. This foot creates a nice rolled hem which is how I finished the edges of the sleeves.

Since I had a bunch of metal grommets kicking around I opted to use those instead of sewing eyelets for the front lacing. I also only added about half the number because I didn't think I would like the dress as much if it laced all the way down the front. Lacking proper ribbon I used a piece of navy blue rayon bias tape.

I had planned on wearing my navy blue suede 1930s shoes with this but opted for a pair of modern sandals because the ground was still a little wet. The red celluloid buckle is from my stash.

Even though I was a vendor at the lawn party, Cori and I were able to escape for a little bit while some friends watched my booth. (Thanks again Heather and Devon!) The gardens at the Crane Estate were in full bloom and made a wonderful backdrop for some photos.

Some of you might recognize my hair flowers. They are the ones I friend Monica made me for my wedding. I had attempted to reblock a hat for the event but it didn't turn out very well so I opted for the hair flowers instead to tie the outfit together. Plus it was nice to wear something from my wedding again. :)

Outfit Details
Dress - Made by Me
Hair Flowers - Made for my wedding by my friend Monica
Shoes - Thrifted

Pattern - Simplicity 1945
First Worn - July 31st
Complicated parts - Just marking sure the tucks on the bodice were straight and neat. The pattern perforations were a little off so I had to remark them.
Changes - I only needed to allow a little more room in the hips and shorten the skirt a few inches.
Cost - I don't remember what I paid for the pattern but I don't think it was more than $15 with shipping. Fabric and notions were all from the stash and the fabric was purchased on sale. I would estimate the total cost to be around $25 to $30.


  1. I love this pattern! You did an awesome job. This would even look gorgeous as a formal, like in velvet or satin.

    1. Thanks Emileigh! I had not thought of this pattern for formal wear but silk or velvet would be awesome as long as the fabric wasn't too heavy. Because of the sleeves this dress needs to be made with light weight, drapey fabrics. :)

  2. You look great! I know what you mean about 20s, I always feel rather dumpy. And I think that especially for the Crane Estate 30s is close enough :)

    1. Haha, thanks Lauren! That's what I figured too. The lawn party is such a mix of vintage and vintage style. :)

  3. My word, that is a lovely dress. I adore how the blue and red play off, and bring out the best, in each other. Really beautiful design and colour palette, Emily.

    Big hugs & joyful start of autumn wishes,
    ♥ Jessica


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...