Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year's in Peacock Blue

Do you know what it's like to have a piece of fabric in your possession for ages?  I mean ages.  So it was with this particular slubbed satin in peacock blue.  Five yards of fabulous that was originally intended to be a full-skirted 1950s dress.  However, a glittering invite arrived in the mail to Wild Kat's New Year's Eve Prohibition Party.  I knew this peacock blue was just the ticket!


Well, okay, I actually spent several weeks toying with several other color/style combos, but peacock blue said 'New Year's' better than my medium brown wool.  But Prohibition?  1920-30s?  Not necessarily my go-to era.  This would require research.  After pouring over EvaDress and Decades of Style and several contemporary pattern books at JoAnns, I finally settled on Vogue 1371.   I wanted a dress that had a slim silhouette, a high waistline and some interesting detailing.  Done in the right fabric with a few alterations, this had the right feel for a 1930s-styled dress.  

The pleating across the bodice immediately caught my eye.  It was soft yet tailored.  There are twelve pleats across the front and twelve across the back. 

One change I did make was to leave out the large shoulder pads.  I'm not sure why the designer (Tracy Reese) thought they were necessary, but I re-worked the shoulder yokes without the 1/2" padding.

Another major change was to the back bodice.  The pattern called for gathering along the bottom where it attaches to the skirt.  After creating all those nice edges along the shoulder, I felt this looked clumsy.  Instead, I opted to carry the pleat effect down to the bottom of the bodice.  There was still plenty of ease for movement, but the tailored look was continued.  The back bodice closes with three hook and eyes; an invisible zipper closes the skirt.

I also wanted to further define the waistline, and create a more 1930s effect, by adding a self-belt.  I mixed a few blues from the basement and painted a metal buckle to coordinate.  An exact match would have been lovely, but no luck!

And so with a few accessories, I was off to the Prohibition Party!  Gloves and rhinestones where a given.  I wore my Aris Allen repro heels and a little black velvet hat with a peacock feather.  Admittedly, we didn't wait for midnight to pop the champagne!

Wild Kat opted to sew a flapper-styled dress from an original 1920s pattern.  Check out more details on her ensemble here at Hometown Victory Girls.

Wild Kat has a newly de-constructed living room.  A few months ago, she and her husband tore down the false ceiling, tore off the wood paneling, and tossed out their overstuffed couch.  Much to their delight, they found lathe and plaster walls covered in the original wallpaper, and narrow maple flooring under the wall-to-wall carpeting.   After a fabulous (rummage sale!) score of a 1940s mohair couch, the room was complete! It was the perfect place to do period photos.

Cheers to a glittering New Year!


  1. your dress is soooo beautiful! love the whole outfit!
    wild kat´s looking gorgeous in her 20´s garb and her living room is just perfect.
    sounds and looks like a great party :-)

  2. Your dress represent the pattern way better than the one on the envelope!!! The awesome detailing is totally lost in the fabric print, and I never would have considered getting it if I hadn't seen your dress :) It is absolutely fabulous!!!

    1. I thought so, too! One of my pet peeves is when loud prints take over the details of the outfit. Those pleats needed to be seen! lol

  3. You all look great! Nice, really nice job on the dress!

  4. Lovely frocks for both you and Wild Kat. I do like the photograph of you sitting on you husband's knee, it looks as though he has just whispered something really naughty in your ear.....all the while looking like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth......

  5. Ahh that was fun! The "peacock" color suits you well. I may just get you to switch to the "30's" yet!

  6. Two classy dames and their dates. You good time girls know how to throw a party! Absolutely love your dress...fabric color and pattern work well together. The back is gorgeous! That is not always the case when buying or sewing a dress. Well done!


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