Added Aug 4, 2011
San Diego Area, ...
The pattern I used for this dress was Eva Dress 744, her multi-sized 1930s dinner dress pattern. It was a great pattern to use and I especially love the cut of the skirt. I did make a few changes just based on personal preference. Most notably I added 6 inches of length to the cape, cut the back skirt gore twice as wide as the original to have more “swoop” at the back, and added about an inch to the length of the top bodice between the bound buttonhole type facing that the cape passes through and the top, but did not add it to the lining (so that the top piece had more fabric gather above where the cape inserted, then tacked down a “tuck” to just add to the drapey effect). Also, in lieu of making the cape detachable I decided to just go ahead and attach it and stitch closed the slit through which the cape passes. I also cut the cape on the cross grain of my 60″ wide fabric so I could not have a seam up the back (which meant I had to piece the lining, but no biggie).
All in all this pattern was MUCH easier to make than I had anticipated. The hardest part for me was inserting an invisible zipper at the side seam (hi, bias satin + zipper. Ouch! What was I thinking? It originally called for snap closures, but I wanted the smooth line), and the newest thing I had learned was zig zagging clear elastic at the back bodice to help it stay “put”. I am glad I had thought of putting thread basting down the center front of the skirt and the bodice, as it helped me with fitting to make sure the skirt was hanging correctly. I am totally in love with the skirt of this pattern and can see myself adding it to various bodices for different evening gowns.
I used a great heavy gold rayon satin I purchased in the LA garment district for the body of the gown and cape. The bodice and cape are lined in nude silk charmeuse. Let me tell you, I was iffy about using my nice fabric to line this in because I was hording it, but oh my gosh, the silk charmeuse on my shoulders and arms felt SO nice that I’m glad I used it!
You can see more pictures of this project here on my blog: http://wearinghistoryblog.com/2011/08/03/finished-project-1930s-dinner-dress/
Dress and cape from a heavy gold rayon satin. Lining of cape and bodice from silk charmeuse.
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