Tuesday, August 11, 2015

• Favorite 1930s Floral Dress •

Eeeek!! I'm so excited about today's post! (However late it may be!)

I just made this dress last weekend, and let me tell you; it is my absolute favorite. Whether it's because of the style, the simplicity of the pattern, the comfortable-ness of the dress, or just because I'm so in love with the 1930s right now, I just love this dress.

We've been finding some exceedingly scrumptious patterns of late, one of which is this raglan sleeve dress pattern. I used it for the bodice and sleeves, and used the skirt pattern from vintage McCall 9225. 

The sleeves were too full to be left open and "fluttery" with the alterations I made, so I pleated them onto a band. I love the effect!

I knew this dress was going to need pockets (what dress doesn't?!!), so I dug around on Pinterest for inspiration. I finally found this pin, which I really liked! I was delighted to find that not only did I have the perfect amount of fabric left, but that this style of pockets were also very easy to make! What might seem to be a complex design at first is actually very simple; the pockets are just squares of fabric folded to the desired angle, and stitched up to the fold. The angle of the pocket echoes the sleeve seams very nicely, and it's also got that great 1930s flair!!

These buttons.
I know, I am rather susceptible to expounding ridiculously over all of my buttons, but these truly are favorites!! They were originally intended for my 1940s blouse, but I'm very glad they didn't end up on there. They're just so perfect on this dress! Although the original pattern called for eyelets and laces, buttons seemed more appropriate for this fabric.

This fabric was originally my mom's, but after a little bit of trading of partially-made-dresses and fabric pieces, I ended up with it! Thanks, Mom!! I love this fabric SO much, and it seems to have been made for this pattern! There were only 3 1/2 yards of it, but I managed to sneak the whole dress out of it; facings, an un-pieced belt, and all!!
It's always good to have another go-to dress pattern that takes a relatively small amount of fabric.

This whole dress was somewhat of a miracle: the bust measurement of the pattern was some 5 inches too small, while the waist was almost perfect. I made a mock-up first, just increasing the side seams, but never expecting it to actually work! Miraculously, however, it did work, and ended up fitting perfectly.
The next problem was, I had to take the front bodice-sleeve seam in a bit near the neck edge, which rendered the dress almost impossible to get over my head. There were moments when I pictured my mom having to cut me out of this dress. 
Not good.
So as I was pondering this not-so-little dilemma, I suddenly realized that a keyhole was the perfect answer! I was able to use the facing that was already attached to make what's probably the smallest keyhole I'll ever have on a dress! It's only about 1 1/2" long, but it makes the difference between getting the dress on-and-off easily and not getting it off at all. 
As a result, it's been affectionately nicknamed, "The Emergency Keyhole." 

And last, but not least, my hat!! About a year ago, I purchased the 1940s Hat Wardrobe Pattern from Wearing History. I always wanted to make this fedora, but never got around to it until a few weeks ago. It ended up being a very easy pattern to make! I used a thicker-weight fabric from the Famous Makers line at JoAnn, and lined it with some canvas-type fabric from a local colonial shop. The brim is made of crinoline, also from JoAnn.
I made a few foibles, like not stitching the seams of the lining and outer fabrics together and making slightly crooked darts and seams, but nonetheless, it's still a very nice hat to have! I can't wait to make one (or three!) out of felt for winter. 

Have a wonderful week! I'll probably be posting our latest antique finds on Friday (eeeeek!), so come back soon! :)
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  1. Esther,

    Your new dress is stunning!! I just love the fabric and style. It is grand to see you grow as a seamstress. Your work is perfection. : )

    I look forward to seeing your new antique finds!


  2. This is my favorite yet of your projects! I'm kind of jealous of the fabric. :-) It looks so good on you too. You've inspired me to bump up a 1930s outfit on my sewing list. And I couldn't believe you actually made the hat! Such great 1930s style.
    ~Kristen - Verity Vintage Studio

  3. Super cute! Great fabric choice, and lovely little details. You do '30s so well!

  4. This is such a flattering style on you and I think the print also suits you to perfection! Lovely job all around! :-)

  5. I love this dress. You are so talented at merging together patterns. You, and Lily are really making me consider making a 1930s's dress this summer. Also, I cannot believe you made your hat. Maybe this is my solution to my abnormally large head

  6. Yet another great job, Esther! You are so creative with combining patterns and paying attention to detail. You pull off this look very well!

  7. I love this look on you Esther! The dress is so perfectly sweet, and you did a great job with those sleeve cuffs. I really like the pleat + button band combination, it's too cute. Love this outfit! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  8. Such a delightful dress Esther! And I LOVE your hat! I have been thinking and contemplating about making my own hat, so seeing yours has really encouraged me to get to it!


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  9. Ok, this one is simply fabulous and I am so loving the sweet buttons!!! You, once again, did a most incredible job!!

  10. Goodness, do I adore it as well. The details, each so special and harmonious with the others, are what really send this stunner over the top for me. Plus, it looks flat out sensational on you, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica


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