Thursday, February 17, 2011

My 1934 Wearing History Gown

Here's the gown I made for Valentine's Day:
 

The dress is from the fabulous 1934 Wearing History Pattern called 'Manhattan Melodrama'.  It's a fantastic pattern--I did buy the last one!  However Lauren said she might bring it back if some of you want to give it a go!  Let us know in the comments!
I adore all the details on this dress!  I graded the pattern through the week and didn't cut out my fashion fabric until late Saturday night and sewed all day Sunday.  Then I raced home after work and finished it up.  I was literally hemming about 20 minutes before we walked out the door for our dinner!  I did omit the belt from the pattern but I think it looks fine without.  I'll still make it for the blouse and for future wear!

This was my first time ever grading a pattern (see this post) AND my first time ever making a gown! 

The fabric is a great crepe back satin (both the red and pink) and I really enjoyed working with it.  I would love to make something from the crepe side one of these days!

Here's more details of the back.  There is a neck zipper hidden under the middle panel:

Here's a clearer shot of the back.  I really adore how it is constructed.  I did make things a bit more difficult by making this dress into separates.  I really wanted to wear the blouse on it's own and to use it as part of the Sewing Through the Decades challenge.  So I added a zipper on the side of the blouse and made the skirt separate (with it's own zipper).

However, one of the things I hadn't anticipated in making the top separate from the dress was the ability to get the waist portion over my head.  When making as a full dress, there is a side opening that extends the length of the blouse and part of the skirt.  I had already inserted a small zipper (that didn't quite extend the whole length of the blouse side) as well as a zipper in the neck back (under the panel).  However, I went to put it on and I couldn't get the waist bit over my head! EEK.  I started to unpick the zipper and was going to put in a continuous lap with snaps down the whole side.  Luckily, David suggested I should put a zipper (upside down--i.e. with the head of the zipper at the waist bottom) on the other side of the blouse.  As luck would have it, I had another of the exact same zipper (from a great charity shop find).  So, that is why this outfit has 4 zippers! (3 in the blouse and one in the skirt).  That solved the problem perfectly with only a small amount of work!

We went to the Voodoo Rooms for our Valentine's Day dinner.  They have a fantastic space.

Here's a photo of the front of the building:

And inside the main bar area.  I really love the windows:

And the ceiling lamps:


We had an absolutely lovely dinner!  David made the matching bow tie and kerchief by hand!  Check out this post for more details:

We are so made for each other! I love this photo:

And David gave me a beautiful brooch from the 1930's as a sweet present....how lovely is that?  I am wearing it on the neck of the dress in the photos!  David is going to do a guest post 'Behind the Scenes' sometime this week!  That should be lots of fun!

As an added bonus, the faux fur jacket I made two weeks ago went together perfectly with the dress!
 YAY! I am super happy with the dress!  Have you ever made a fancy dress?

55 comments:

  1. Oh it looks like you had a wonderful Valentines day. You looked smashing in your dress. Absolutely gorgeous. Both of you make a great couple, right down to the sewing skills.

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  2. It looks gorgeous. I love the two contrasting fabrics. You and your husband make quite the dapper couple. It's so sweet that he made a bow tie and kerchief to match your dress.

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  3. Wow, Debi, that is fantastic. You look amazing, and your sewing is just gorgeous. And what a great man! That brooch is perfect.

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  4. Ooh you look so glamourous in your new gown! Fantastic job, and great photos too in a location befitting the dress!

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  5. Absolutely beautiful! You look stunning in it! And what a beautiful location too.

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  6. Debi, It's a drop dead gorgeous dress! Congrats!

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  7. That is a pretty spectacular gown! The fabrics you selected really complement each other, and look fantastic on you. Really, really beautiful.

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  8. Wowzers! You look absolutely gorgeous! What an amazing dress.

    Can you tell us a bit more about working with crepe-back satin? Is it fiddly or slippery to work with, or does the crepe side stabilise it? I've had this pattern on my wishlist for a while but don't yet feel confident enough to try out that type of fabric.

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  9. I think, possibly, you have outdone yourself! It looks amazing and you look beautiful in it, what a gorgeous colour and cut!

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  10. Absolutely STUNNING Debi - beautiful cut, colour and fabric. Your hubby scrubs up nicely too, you make a wonderful couple! x

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  11. Wow. And paired with the jacket... WOW. Stunning dress. And pretty heroic to wrestle with that fabric! I still fear the satin.

    I was going to say I hope your man knows how lucky he is to have such a talented and smashing lady, but judging from his expression in the photos, he certainly does.

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  12. Wow your such a glaourous pair!!!!

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  13. I really like the 4th photo, it's pure personality and so lovely. Beautiful dress, well done.

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  14. You really do look stunning, well done with making such a fabulous dress. And you're right it looks great with your faux fur jacket.

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  15. This pattern is stunning, you did an amazing job making it too well done, you look amazing. I hope they do bring it back as I would love to have a go at it.

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  16. Wow, just stunning!
    The outfit with the jacket on is amazing, so classy and stylish. I love it!

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  17. You keep making gowns and I'll find more elegant places for you to wear them in! I'd like to see that gown in midnight blue with a lighter contrast. I love you in blue. Red was hot. You looked amazing (and yes, Susannnah, I know how lucky I am - mmm-hmm, yes). Debi is amazing!

    @Tilly, the crepe backing made the satin pretty easy to work with from my point of view. I'm sure Debi will tell you more about it. I like that pattern - maybe you could both do a sew-along.

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. I'm really glad Debi has found a hobby that makes her so happy, and that she has so much support from all of you here.

    Cheers,
    David

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  18. Gorgeous dress! Isn't it wonderful when pattern, fabric, and color all come together so perfectly? Such a classic.

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  19. Absolutely exquisite. You look so amazing. Red and pink is a great combination. David has great taste. The brooch is gorgeous.

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  20. You gown is beautiful and you too make a charming couple!

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  21. Oh my goodness, this is stunning! The back detail is to die for and I love the whole look with your jacket! You must have turned some heads on your night out Debi ;o)

    I would love to try this pattern...so I desperately hope Lauren brings it back!

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  22. You really do look amazing, the dress is gorgeous, and I'll bet the top looks fab with trousers too. I cant believe you get them done so quickly too! "wow" doesnt quite cover it...

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  23. You look awesome! I love the red and the pink together.

    Lauren if you're reading this, please bring back this pattern! :)

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  24. You look gorgeous! I love the gown!

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  25. You look FABULOUS! Truly stunning. I love the pictures of you and David - so cute! Your faux fur cape compliments the outfit so well. Gorgeous work - I love the gown so much!

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  26. amazing job!! i love following all your work!

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  27. Very pretty. I can't wait to see the top styled with other outfits.

    And I love, love, LOVE that your hubby had a matching bow tie and hanky. :)

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  28. Lovely . . . All those zippers sound complicated. :D Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Another set of absolutely beautiful photos of a beautiful dress and model. I can't believe how much your sewing is coming on in leaps and bounds. This is just an incredible journey you're on!

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  30. I LOVE this dress Debi! I was so happy when you said that you were going to make it! I like your idea of making the blouse and the skirt separate. Makes it very versatile.
    You and David are so cute!! What a great Valentine's date!

    If Lauren brings back the pattern I will make one too but I will have to bribe someone to take me out to a fancy dinner!

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  31. I have been so eagerly waiting for these photos - the (2 piece) dress is stunning - it's incredibly glamorous & looks very complicated ! Looks like you were in the perfect place with the perfect fella to show it off. Particularly love the ascending the stairs photo.

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  32. You look so stunning! Beautiful job and love the colors you used!
    Mmm... crepe back satin. Love that stuff!
    I'll add the pattern to the list. Probably will be several months before I can get to it, but I will!

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  33. This is so lovely. I'm getting all daydreamy about it.

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  34. Absolutely stunning! I wonder if your guy could even eat looking at you! (Though he isn't looking bad himself with that bowtie!) I love how you're rising to the challenge; I hope you're still getting some sleep.

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  35. I think these pictures should be in a fashion magazine, they are so glamourous! The lovely 1930s brooch goes really well with the gown! And, yes I would love to sew the pattern if it's available again but I don't think I'm ready for satin sewing anytime soon.

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  36. Beautiful dress! I've always loved the pattern but never ended up buying it, so I do hope we can persuade Lauren to bring it back!

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  37. That pattern always boggles my mind, the back of it in particular. It is a shame that satin is so hard to photograph because the dress looks amazing! And you look so demure in it! I had the same problem with my 1930s purple bias gown...so I had to pay $20 for a professional photo :(
    I love the last photo with the jacket and the rose. And we finally see David! Hi, David! Love the bow tie.

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  38. Debi, you are just stunning! Love the two colors - perfect for Valentine's Day, but also deliciously feminine for any formal event. You did a lovely job. :)

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  39. The dress is just gorgeous! I am so impressed, what a romantic and luxurious creation. You two make such a fetching couple!

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  40. That dress turned out amazing! The pictures of you and your husband are so cute, I love the matching outfits :)

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  41. Wonderful! The back is simply gorgeous!

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  42. Wow! Wow! You left me speechless, all the genius of the world came together in between the wonderful dress, your husband's tie and brooch-gift.

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  43. Totally amazing! People rave on about the "Atonement dress" but this is something else on top of that! What a colour! Wow!

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  44. I am sooo behind commenting, but wanted to say that your dress (or ensemble, since you brilliantly turned it into separates!) is gorgeous! What a special thing to make. And love that pin your husband gave you--stunning!

    ♥ Casey

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  45. Hi Debbie,

    I just read your hubbies comment to this post! What a lovely thing for him to say, it's so nice when you see someone you love made so happy by something they love (does that make sense?). He's a keeper. You both look lovely, and that dress is stunning!

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  46. Wow! great job this is just beautiful! You definitely look as if you've stepped out of 1934!
    The venue looks amazing too :-)

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  47. wowowowww!!! This dress is absolutely exquisite! Just soo incredibly stunning! Your so talented!!

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  48. The dress is gorgeous and this shade of red is most definitely your colour. I'm amazed at your husbandvolunteering to sew a matching bowtie - and not a ready-made one with an elastic either!

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  49. This is an absolutelly stunning dress, fits you perfectly, indeed you did a mervelous job! I would really like to buy this pattern, if it is still available. Thanx!

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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