November 9, 2013

Still working on it

I've just finished the pattern for my 1930's inspired wool crepe dress. And I suspect it will take too much fabric. I'm going to make a muslin before I cut into that lovely green fabric, so I will get a chance to test that.

This is the design I went with in the end (the front is at the right side, the back at the left). It has the raglan sleeves and cowl neck I thought of before and a 1930's style skirt: slim and with interesting design lines. The sleeves form a back yoke which holds the gathers of the back bodice. If the pattern turns out to be too large, it's the skirt that will suffer. I want that bodice so I may have to switch to a simpler skirt design. Gores or a modest A-line, I think.

I think I've also found out why this dress is taking me so long: I kind of decided to go with a 1930's look and I'm really unfamiliar with that silhouette. As a result, I keep second-guessing every detail.
Of course I use one of those patterns I have, but they all take more fabric than I have. 

I have been looking at patterns though. Just to find out more about how these wonderful slender shapes really work. These pictures all come from Gracieuse magazine from 1931. 
As you may have noticed in my 1930's inspiration post (the previous one), there are subtle changes to the silhouette over the decade. I didn't put those pictures in chronological order so it wasn't very clear but in the early years, bodices are still a bit blousey, especially at the waist. This gradually changes into the streamlined-with-shoulder-pads look.

In 1931, the defined waist was still a bit of novelty and the commentary in magazines considers the bodices of these dresses to be quite fitted. 

I was quite interested in the technicalities of these designs. In most pictures, those skirts look like they've been cut on the bias. According to these drawings of the pattern pieces to some 1931 dresses, they are not. 
The skirts are either A-line or they have flared inserts from fairly long hip yokes. The vast majority of dresses will have at least one horizontal seam, which may or may not be at the waist. Darts are rare and double ended darts are nonexistent. 
As these designs are from 1931, even the fashion drawings still show some blousing at the waistline. This is held in place by belts or (partial) ties. I suspect these dresses were not really that fitted at the waist. 
For my pattern, I'm cheating at that. The design is as fitted at the waist as my dresses usually are and I needed to keep the back darts in the skirt to make that possible. 
I' teaching the first part of my first Pattern Magic course tomorrow, so won't have time for a muslin until next week. I'll show it to you as soon as it's ready.

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