I’ve got one last dress from Art Deco Weekend that I haven’t blogged about, and it just happens to be red, white and blue and (almost) nautical.
Everything is nautical when you pose by the sea and pair it with a giant white anchor, right?
The dress was a prototype for my Garden Party Frock, with sleeves borrowed from Past Pattern’s 1931 McCalls pattern. Interestingly, the skirt is nearly identical to the PP McCall’s pattern as well, but comes from one of my Excella patterns.
I ended up going with a easier to wear, more universally flattering, fuller skirt for my final Garden Party Frock, but I do like the slim lines of this one. The sleeves were another thing altogether. They look darling, but I had to get Miss Rachel to re-tie them for me literally every 15 minutes, all.day.long. She was so glad when I changed out of the dress!
I wore the dress on the first day of Art Deco Weekend, and started out in quite high lipstick red suede shoes for our annual 1st photo of the day at the bed and breakfast.
The hat is a quickie reshape, but is made from synthetic fibres, so didn’t reshape well, and was uncomfortable to wear, so I’ve since discarded it. The red belt is not of my making, it’s just something I have in the wardrobe.
Our lovely host was so enamoured of our frocks he got us to pose with his grandmother’s Art Deco tea set. You can tell that Miss R is the hostess, and I’m visiting, because I’ve still got my hat and gloves!
After tea it was off to Hastings for op-shopping, and off to Napier for more op-shopping, and then we checked into our hotel for the rest of the weekend, I gave up on the heels (my knee was still injured), and we took a walk on the waterfront in much more sensible shoes.
I was really hesitant about making this dress up in polka dots, because they are such a vintage cliche, but I ended up loving the dress (other than the annoying sleeves). It’s so crisp and fresh, was perfect for shopping in, and the tiny nod to nautical worked so well at a seaside town like Napier.
The dress is my extremely soft nautical entry, eligible on grounds of slight nautical inspiration, and because I realised two months after Art Deco weekend that I hadn’t actually finished hemming one of the sleeves (because you’d think after two hours of machine hemming you’d be done hemming a pair of sleeves, but no), and I needed to sort the sleeves so they weren’t a total pain in the neck to wear. So it did get finished during the challenge!
To fix (or at least help) the sleeve untyeing issue, I sewed a little loop of hat elastic to the sleeve for the ties to slip through, so hopefully they won’t come undone as easily.
Here is what the improved sleeves look like tied now:
The Challenge: By The Sea
Fabric: 3 metres vintage (1980s) blue and white polka dotted rayon from Fabric-a-Brac, 30cm vintage (1940s) white rayon for sleeves and bow.
Pattern: My own, cobbled together from three different vintage Excella patterns and Past Patterns #6731 (1931 McCalls frock)
How historically accurate is it? Quite accurate. All the sewing and construction techniques are period appropriate, and the fabrics used, while not always period, are quite similar to what would have been available. Say 90%
Hours to complete: 5 (and half of that was sleeves)
First worn: Napier Art Deco Weekend, Friday Feb 15
Total cost: $12