Earlier this month, I signed up for the Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge over at Miss Crayola Creepy. It was perfect timing because at the time, I was planning to attend a 1930s themed birthday party, and I promised myself I would wear something I’ve made. I am a bit of a fancy-dress fiend, as you might have noticed. I’ve only posted a couple of finished garments on here so far, and they’ve all been costumes! I swear, I also make normal stuff.
My original plan was to make a navy blue version of these Burdastyle wide legged linen trousers to wear with an art-deco blouse and fabulous dripping jewelry. I kept putting the project off, however, until the very last minute. Two days before the party, tragically, this happened.
I can’t very well make a pair of trousers out of that. I didn’t have anywhere near enough fabric, so… panic-time! Frantically, I tore through my belongings, and managed to find a dress I’d made for a Prohibition event last year, using a Burdastyle pattern for a beautiful velvet dress.
I had intended to make my version from a luxurious navy blue velvet. However, I didn’t want to take the chance of buying velvet online, because it’s so hard to tell what it’s like from a photo. There was also the problem of matching the fabric to a chiffon, which I can’t do confidently from a computer screen. I went to my local fabric shop and could not find a non-stretch velvet anywhere. I finally settled on a navy blue poly satin, with a seriously beautiful white chiffon with a shimmery but very subtle flower pattern. When I finished the dress, I declared it an ill-fitting abomination of low-quality materials, and I hated it so much, I didn’t even take a proper photo. I did wear it to the party, and I have never been so grateful in my life for dim lighting! At the end of the night, I dumped the dress in my Wupsie Pile (where all disasters go to die), and never thought about it again until last week, in my last-minute panic.
Although the shape of this dress suits the Gatsby era just fine, it didn’t suit MY shape at all. It bagged out in the mid-section, the straps were too far apart and tended to fall off, and the dress was far too tight at the hips. I took a massive three inch swipe out of the back of the bodice, moved the straps closer together, and added gores from the waist on either side of the skirt. I added some metallic embroidery thread to the front bodice, but I have so little patience for embellishments, that I stopped after I’d made two sparkly diamonds. I tried the dress on and, although it was improved, I still didn’t like it much.
The day of the party, I put my dress on, took one look in the mirror, and just felt… awful. I do not like this dress, no matter what I do to it. The photos I’m showing you do not do it justice at all – I don’t hate these photos at all. It’s the awful poly satin, it just doesn’t look good at all. I felt like a complete hobo in this dress, so at the last minute, I changed tack and dressed as a fancy depression-era hobo. Problem solved!
I made this dress, too, and the kerchief on a stick, so at least I kept my promise to wear something I’d made.
Better luck next time, eh?