1920s | 1930s | Dresses

Re-Creating My Grandmother’s Dress – Gatsby 2018

October 5, 2018

Every year the Art Deco Society of California puts on the The Gatsby Summer Afternoon. This Gatsby Event is the highlight of my year, as far as vintage events go, and this year was no exception. The weather was perfect (high 70 degrees and breezy), the picnics were exquisite and the company eclectic and entertaining.

For this year’s ensemble, I chose to replicate a look that my grandmother wore (see photo above) in one of her modeling photos. I’ve admired this dress for years and have not quite had the nerve to re-create it until now. That front neck detail with the capelet and ruching really had me flummoxed.

When I mentioned, on Instagram that this was my plan, Deirdre from Vintage Pattern Lending Library suggested I use one of her patterns to start and then she sent it to me! How lucky am I? Thank you Deirdre! The pattern was a perfect jumping off point and it really took the pressure off to have a pattern to start from.

I’m pretty pleased with the overall look, considering, in the end, I only had about a week to pull it off. I completed the ensemble with me-made purse, hat and jewelry. There are a few changes I would make, given the time and inclination (neckline wider and capelet longer in the back). Overall, though, I’m pretty happy with the whole look.

To read the complete post, see pattern adaptations and more pictures from the event, please visit my blog.

Thanks and Happy Sewing!

xo – Jennifer

  1. I am looking for retro swimsuit patterns. Specifically Barbizon styles with jacket. My mother’s was merzinized cotton, back detail hooks and eyes with a metal zipper over top. White cotton with sun-gold embroidery through out suit. Bottom had romper style pant with a smooth tight over skirt piece. Boning in the bust and removable straps. Jacket was raglan style with gores under armpits. Two large front pockets with embroidered bands. Neck band went down to hem with same embroidery. If you gained two pounds, you couldn’t wear it. Can you tell I loved it? Do you know a possible source of information? I want to recreate the memory……

  2. That is one very gorgeous dress, your family should be so proud of you for recreating your grandmother’s dress……just beautiful!

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