Great Gatsby Fail

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I don’t even like this dress well enough to take a decent photo.

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!

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Hobo-me with my friend. She came up with the name for this blog and is generally a pretty funny lady.

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?

Gatsby sewing

Later this month, I’m going to go to a 1930s theme party, and I plan to make something to wear.  The Gatsby sewing challenge couldn’t have come along at a more perfect time.  Now, I’m aware that The Great Gatsby is set in 1922, which is different from the 1930s.  However,  the fashion in the early 1930s isn’t remarkably different from that of the 1920s, so I think I can get away with this.  It’s all in the styling, anyway, isn’t it?