1920s | 1930s | Downton Abbey Inspired | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Sewing a 1920’s Art Deco Evening Gown

By on June 11, 2017
Art Deco Ball - Jennifer Serr
Art Deco Ball - Jennifer Serr
At The Ball

Well, the day (Art Deco Society of California’s) of the  Preservation Ball arrived and I was prepared!  This year’s theme was Death on The Nile (the Agatha Christie Murder Mystery) with a focus on Egyptian Revival of the Art Deco era. I was lucky to be gifted some beautiful fabric, salvaged vintage trims and good luck at Britex for the finishing touches to my gown and headband. Thanks also to Barbara Mooney at Daisy’s, here in Alameda, for lending me the PERFECT necklace and pointing me to some wonderful coordinating earrings (in her shop) that I will treasure for years to come.

Dressed Up with My Handsome Husband
Dressed up with my Handsome Husband

In the end, I’m happy with the final look. My foundation garment worked well on the dress form so that I could drape my gown to my measurements, however, did not work under the dress when I was wearing it.  It still needs some modifications to the cups and the straps showed. Fitting can be a challenge sometimes and often requires multiple fittings (which I did not do this time – ugh).  I ended up wearing a 1920’s-style corset that I made two years ago.  It’s strapless and gave me the right silhouette.

Front View of my Dress
Back View of My Dress
Back View of My Dress

Below are some photos of the process by which I created this dress – Draping the fabric directly on the dress form.  For a more in-depth view of my process including inspiration, sketches and step-by-step photos, visit my blog posts here, here, here & here

Taping the Dress form and foundation for Draping
Taping the Dress form and foundation for Draping
Draping the Back Bodice
Draping the Back Bodice
Draping the Side Bodice
Draping the Side Bodice
Fabric Draped and trims placed
Fabric Draped and trims placed

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

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1920s | Capes

McCall 4455 by Martial et Armand

By on December 18, 2011

My latest 1920s sewing project—an evening wrap by Martial et Armand—is finished! Here’s the pattern envelope:

Like the other three, this one’s also from 1926. Although it isn’t called an evening wrap on the pattern envelope, the catalogue promotes it as a design for evening. I made the plain version (without shirring) in black velveteen. The standing collar is even more dramatic when made up. Here I am in the finished wrap:

For more details and photos see my blog.

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1920s | Dresses

McCall 4464 by Chanel

By on 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.

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