Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Decades of Style 1933 Evening gown

1/9/06 12:41 PM
Pattern Size:Regular
Project Photo:photo
Pattern Photo:

Pattern Information provided by Ann Smith

Pattern Rating:Pattern did not work for Me

I was so excited to see this new pattern as I needed an evening gown for a New Year's Eve event that was themed 30's Hollywood. It is a beautiful and unusual vintage design that seemed just the thing. Unfortunately it didn't work for me but I must assure you that I don't believe it was the fault of the pattern or the wonderful company that provided it. The pattern arrived very quickly after I placed my order. When I started encountering some fitting problems I emailed them and received a return email from Janet and a phone call from Julianne that same day. Even though it was the week before Christmas and Julianne was leaving on a trip that day, she took the time to call to help me.

Their sample garment was made of red stretch silk charmeuse for Janet who is tall and thin. Doesn't that sound incredibly gorgeous? Alas, I am not tall and thin. Julianne told me she had some of the same fitting issues I have but had not made it for herself yet. We discussed possible alterations for our figure type. I think we should have discussed that it wasn't the best style for us. I think you need to be small in the bosom and have a very upright posture without rounded shoulders to wear this style.

I wanted red silk charmeuse for this but didn't have time to order it so I searched my stash. This takes quite a bit of fabric so I was limited to a few choices in my collection. The best was a dark blue rayon jacquard that I've had a long time. As it turned out, not the best fabric choice.

What were the problems then? The biggest one resulted from my need to lower the bust seam. The design line should go across the bust apex. To do this I need to drop that seam about 2 inches. Normally this isn't a big problem but on this design it creates the problem at the side seam of meeting the top of the back bodice. I fiddled around with tissue fitting and 2 muslins. I had to get creative with reshaping that seam. In hindsight I realize that the best thing would have been to forget matching the seam. It doesn't show up much in my fabric anyway. But I was on that road and kept at it. I thought I had it worked out with my muslin but when I stitched it up in my rayon, the weight of the skirt and the stretching of this fabric led to a back that was way too low. I did lots of attempts to make it work but couldn't do it.

The other major problem for me was that the backless style won't stay on. I think this is because of the full bosom and roundedness. I added a strap across mid back, both so I could wear a bra and to stop the falliing off. It still falls off. I could pin the shoulders to my straps but it will still gap out in the back. (The back closing is unfinished in the photo) The front opening, because of lowering the bust line, became unattractively placed and shaped.

I was working on this up until the afternoon on New Year's Eve but realized finally that I couldn't make it work. I have abandoned it for now. If I had more fabric I might start over with a new bodice and use the skirt. I love the drape of the skirt on this pattern. The side panels are bias which creates a beautiful flow. Since I was short on fabric and had to do a lot of creative cutting out, I only have little scraps left. One thought I had was to shorten the skirt substantially and use some of that fabric. I like the pleated shoulders on this also. If I could save that part, add a center panel down the back, reshape the front somehow...... oh, well.

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