Friday, February 11, 2011

Sewing Through the Decades: 20s dress pt.1

Behold! The most unflattering dress pattern of all time! (It does not help that my muslin is a little too stiff for this style, but really, it's sack.) (And actually, I can think of at least one other dress pattern I tried that was less flattering.)

This pattern is taken from Making a Dress in an Hour by Mary Brooks Picken (1924.) This muslin took me about 2 hours and I did not do any of the suggested finishing. Basically this a pamphlet detailing a method where you fold, measure, and cut directly on the fabric to achieve this fabulously stylish garment. (Picture does not include the belt, which actually made things worse.) It's basically a kirigami dress. (Kirigami is origami that you cut into.)

The top is one piece of fabric and there are no darts in sight. I am undecided if I am going to try to modify this to be a better dress. (Sometimes it would be nice to open a pattern and just make something, you know?)

Things That are Really Wrong:
  1. Too long. I know this was the length for day dresses during this era, but it's not working for me.
  2. Too wide.
  3. Sleeve is unflattering length.
  4. You can't see the skirt side flaps, but they are waaaay too short.
  5. Neckline not so great for me.
  6. Need to find right spot for waistline. (This one is weird because I had to add on more fabric to the bodice because I cut it wrong.)
Not my finest moment, but it was a fun way to send an afternoon.


Faye Lewis said...

It's so nice when you can still have such a positive attitude. Will you be adjusting the pattern/muslin and giving it another try?

Marie-Christine said...

Well, OK, the muslin is a bit stiff, these styles were supposed to be made of very drapey fabrics. It's worth buying some heinously cheap knits to do these kinds of muslins, you can't get cheap enough silk but light knits behave the same.
Anyway, the problem here is that you have a much more shapely body than what was fashionable in the 20s. When they said boy-like, they meant it. I have about as much breast as you do, and if you want a real hoot try wearing one of those long necklaces that go with the dress... Don't fret, you'll be perfect by the time you get to the 40s :-).

The Slapdash Sewist said...

That does look challenging to wear. I wonder how much variation there was in silhouette at that time, and if it wasn't flattering did you just have to suffer? I'm glad there's a broader range these days!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I really started to laugh, still laughing, but I do feel your pain! I was thinking hospital gown, sorry!!! Ok, before I cry now. I pray my 20s pattern works out better, was that really sposed be a dress?? I actually bought a girls pattern for my 20s venture, it looks pretty much same as women's patterns I've seen, the price was better and it was just shorter and I could either make it loner or keep it shorter more today looking but praying it doesn't really look like a little gir's dress bec back then the girls dresses where like knee length or below, not today's young women's dresses that you're lucky go midway down the thighs.