1930's Dress: Gunmetal-Grey

(Image Source: Bing?)

I've been in the mood for the past couple of months to make another 1930's inspired dress.  But, with school ending, and desperately trying to wrap up with all of the J.A. Festival projects, I haven't had the opportunity until now to follow through on my mood. 

The last 30's dress I made came out well, but I think it had a more tailored, or severe shape to it. So, this time, I've opted for a slightly more feminine flare. In my search, it seemed that nearly every dress I came across that I liked, was from the early to mid 30's...later 30's didn't appeal to me so much. I'm ok with that.  There are so many cute styles from the 30's it was hard to narrow it down to one design.  But, after much debating, I think I've finally come up with a plan.  In the end, I wanted something that I could wear during the school year.

(Image Source: Costumer's Manifesto. )

 I'm in love with the bell shaped sleeves on the orange gown in the picture above.  So, sleeve idea....done...and check.

I had a difficult time choosing the style of skirt I wanted, and bounce back and fort between a couple before I landed on the v-shaped insert like the one above.  Skirt inspiration...found...check.

(Image source: Woodland Farms Antiques, click for different views of the dress.)

I nearly passed out when I found the above dress.  Gorgeous!  It's definitely the style of bodice that I'm most attracted to.  I even like the over-all color of the dress.  Gunmetal-grey.  Bodice...check.

Fortunately for me, I have some silky soft, poly-rayon blend deliciousness (in gunmetal-grey of all things!) that will work perfectly for this dress.

I drafted the bodice using my sloper, and instructions from an on-line source called Vintage Sewing Info (that unfortunately doesn't exist anymore...I printed directions off a few years ago.  You can still, for the time being, acess the site via web archive.)  Making the reversed t-shape, and gathered under bodice was fascinating and not a little fun.  (On a side note, I actually fill out the bodice a little more than my dress form does...poor thing.)  Have I ever mentioned how much I love to draft and drape?  Seriously, what did I do with my life before I learned to sew?

I'm only in the mock-up stage right now, of course.  ALWAYS make a mock-up first people!  It's best to fit a toile to you before you cut and sew into the real thing.

BIG BOW!  Can I handle that?  I mean, in the grey fabric, it won't be so stiff...but still...

Skirt mock-up....The Y-shaped insert inspiration dress didn't have pleats at the top of the skirt, but the grey dress did...and I like pleats...so I added them to mine.

Total affect...minus sleeves.  The bow doesn't bother me so much here.

But when the sleeve is added...the bow just seems so BIG and in your face placed in the center of the bodice like that.

If I move the bow to the side, it doesn't seem so bad.  What's your opinion on the bow?  I mean, it's classic 30's, but I think it goes better with a short sleeved gown.  Keep in mind the grey fabric will drape better.

Next up...cutting the gunmetal-grey fabric!


Sarah Jane said…
It's adorable! I personally love the bow. I think I do like it over to one side better than in the middle, but either way it is so, so cute. The skirt design is great, the bodice design is great. I can't wait to see it all made up!

I've been longing to sew some vintage stuff too, now that the JA fest is over. I made a 1970s dress up this week and am working on making a girdle for a 1940s style dress I want to make. I'm starting to really like the late 1940's. So much inspiration everywhere!
Jenni said…
You're making a girdle?! Wow! I can't wait to see how that is done. I hope you post pictures. I was just thinking today that I need one for myself! blah! :P
ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,
Holy moly, that dress is looking really smashing, and your draping is terrific. Yay, yay! The 1930s are some of the hardest to pull off due to all the bias fabric treatments, IMHO.

I like the bow to the side, too. Eep, my mother wore girdles, as did all my relatives, and they generally hated them...tended to be synthetic, didn't breathe, cut in at the waist and at the thighs both. I even remember "my girdle is killing me" ads on the television. They weren't support: they were all about squoooooosh :} Sigh.


Julia R. said…
Great designing!
I think the bow will work great in the center, maybe if you make it a bit smaller.
I love your combination of inspiration.
Nabila Grace said…
Oh I love that dress as well! :o) I love your creation! :o) I like the bow a bit off to the side I think. And I think once you are using the right fabric so it will hang a bit more it should be perfect! :o) I'm dreaming up the accessories to add to your dress lol ;o)
Ellie said…
Hi, as you know your dresses I was hoping you would know where I could get a dress pattern for the gun-metal blue 1930's dress as I am in love with it. I want to try to recreate it but I have no idea where to start, thanks! :)
Jenni said…

Thanks for the compliment. Unfortunately, I draped the Gunmetal Grey dress. I didn't use a pattern. So sorry.

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