The 1930s hasn’t ever been my cup of tea before, but after getting a bunch of Vintage Pattern Lending Library patterns I decided it was time I had a go with another era. Quite a few 1930s dresses blend in well to a quirky vintage inspired modern closet, and I need some new winter dresses in my closet. (Summer ones, too, but it’s been so cold lately that winter dresses seem applicable!) Looking through my stash I located a fine wool suiting I had purchased from Jo-Ann on clearance years ago – it’s a very small twill, and about the weight of a heavy quilting cotton. Ironically, it’s almost the exact color of one of my Grandpa’s 1930s Chevrolets – so it must be an authentic dress!
I pulled out Vintage Pattern Lending Library’s 1930s Seven in One Ensemble. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it – high necklines haven’t been my cup of tea lately, and I wasn’t sure about the skirt length and long sleeves. However, in looking at the pattern more I decided that I really did like the cut – it’s unusual and attractive, as well as being very 1930s. Over all it reminded me a lot of the costumes from the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small, and indeed, now that I have a dress from the pattern, I do feel remarkably Helen-esque.
The dress itself has a delightful cut – a large bias cut triangle shaped piece forms the majority of the front bodice, and is top stitched to the upper bodice. The skirt has four gores which are also cut on the bias, and I decided to cut the sleeves on the bias as well, to give them a better drape. The skirt was shortened about 4″ above the day dress length as marked on the pattern, and I shortened the sleeves to elbow length. The pattern fits very nicely on my frame and I didn’t make any alterations concerning fit. The only issue might be that the head opening is a bit small – I have to remember not to do my hair into a bun before I pull it on! This could be easily solved, however, with a little 4″ neck zipper.
The belt is made out of a beautiful silk suiting I had left over from another project, and the buckle is vintage. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be making this dress up again in another variation, and perhaps I’ll try my hand at the coat included with the dress pattern.
Outfit details –
Dress – VPLL pattern – Seven-in-One Ensemble
Hat – Eddie Bauer
Shoes – Twila, by Born.
Jewelry – Christmas gift from my youngest brother.