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1920s | Dresses

McCall 4464 by Chanel

December 2, 2011

This week’s Twenties designer pattern is McCall 4464, an evening dress by Chanel. Here’s the pattern envelope:

McCall 4464 Chanel 1920s evening dress pattern

This one is also from 1926; it’s shown on the same catalogue page as Naomi’s Patou dress. Apart from grading the bust down one size, I made the pattern as-is, but without the rosettes.

I used a black satin for both dress and slip. I hadn’t sewn with satin before, but this one behaved itself pretty well. I also tried out a bias strip facing to finish the drapery section. If I were to make the dress again I think I would choose a lighter fabric, although maybe not a chiffon as seems to be shown in the catalogue illustration—I wouldn’t have the patience for French-seamed streamers!

Here I am in the finished dress:

(Do any of you folks know where to find repro ’20s shoes like those in the pattern engraving? I just love them…)

For more details and photos see my blog.

    1. right, who needs a shirt when you have such an amazing tube dress! i like the secnod version of the outfit, with the print skirt pulled up over the bust… the lame tube dress is cool, i’d love to have a skirt like that! and i love your accessoires too, the shoes and the clutch are amazing!

  1. Very beautiful. It makes for a wonderful evening dress, and not just for Halloween.

    In your blog you mention shortening the straps and talk about foundation garments. I’m wondering however what would have been worn with this given how low on the bust the dress sits in the illustration?

    1. Thanks so much, Nathalie!
      That’s a good question about foundation garments. My understanding of 20s underpinnings is that girdles were worn, either with an unstructured bra or maybe over a chemise. The dress straps on McCall 4464 are wide enough to cover lingerie straps. But I’m certainly no expert! I simply assumed I was more comfortable than a Twenties wearer would have been..

      About the décolletage, I shortened the straps by about 2.5″ – 3″ thinking I should go by the natural waist mark.. plus, any lower on the bust felt strange. I suspect the illustration is stylized and elongates the upper chest; compare these lingerie patterns on the wiki:
      http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/McCall_4311
      http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/McCall_1653

      Maybe I’ll try to look further into Twenties lingerie for evening..

      1. Yes, I think you’re right about the stylisation – especially on the McCall 1653. That is sooo low that you’d need tit tape to get away wearing that in real life… or a lot of self-confidence!

  2. Many thanks for all your kind comments! Ande, thanks for reminding me about Fluevogs—Naomi has a pair of Bellevues.

    For those of you who are interested in repro shoes, I did a little digging and found Aris Allen (http://www.arisallen.com), who make dance shoes including repro styles for swing dancing.

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