At long last I have made another of my 1930s EvaDress patterns. The pattern is actually for a dress, but since I didn’t have quite enough rayon for the entire thing, I decided to do just the top and wear it as a blouse.
I began by tracing out each pattern piece onto tracing paper. I could’ve cut them out of the sheet, but this way I can make alterations and keep the originals intact. Cutting out the fabric was a lesson in patience for me. I love the fabric – a soft and drapey rayon in emerald green, but it’s very shifty. This meant that each piece and the fabric had to pinned down meticulously, traced out in tailor’s crayon, and cut out individually. Instead of notching the pieces, I marked the notch location using the crayon in the seam allowance. Luckily I had enough material!
The pattern pieces have far less information than a modern pattern, and therefore required some deciphering based on my prior knowledge and research about vintage patterns. The sleeve pleating really didn’t make sense at first, and the whole thing sadly sat in my UFO bin for a while until I had time to figure it out properly.
In the meantime, I’d found a piece of mystery content fabric in almost the exact shade of green. With the occasion of an opening night for a play to attend, I finally finished the blouse and also made up the bottom half of the pattern as a skirt from the new material. As luck would have it, the skirt portion just fit me. I ended up adding extra fabric to the back of the bodice to allow it to tuck into the skirt/blouse above the ties in the back. The illustration shows the collar in a contrasting fabric, but I went with the same rayon for that. It hangs nicely and keeping everything the same colour will make this piece more versatile.
One thing I know from experience is that slinky fabrics are more co-operative when you take the time to hand baste the pieces together. This is especially useful when easing a sleeve or gathers. I decided to hand stitch the narrow hem on the sash as well so as to have more control over this detail.
Details: Blouse hem (including ties), sleeve edges and collar edging are hand stitched (very tiny stitches). Neck edge lowered for comfort/pulling over my head. Neckline and waist faced with bias cut poly-cotton. Blouse snaps at side as per pattern, Skirt has centre back zip.
On another occasion (a 1930s themed dance party) I wore the blouse again, but made up a simple black rayon skirt to wear with it. It’s shorter and has godets in the side seams for movement and swing factor.
I’d like to make the whole thing as a dress in a different (less fraying) fabric, but likely with a shortened skirt so I can ride my bike with it. I love the sleeves (once I worked out that pleating) but might try a flatter collar. I love the 1930s style, and would like to find versions that I can get away with! I am also in love with the kelly/emerald green…