Friday, September 16, 2011

FO: The Great Gatsby Affair Dress


I had the best weekend EVER!  This last Sunday was the Gatsby Summer Afternoon event in Oakland, California.  This annual event is put on by the Art Deco Society of California.  Everyone dresses in late 1920's/early 1930's outfits and sets up fabulous picnics!  There are also tons of great vintage automobiles! The highlight of the trip was being able to meet I was so happy to finally get to meet Mena, Christine, Shannon and Xandra!!   I am super happy I was able to coordinate this event with going back to the West Coast to visit my family.  


In August, I had a poll on my blog for which dress I should make for the event.  McCall 7403 was the clear winner (scroll to the bottom for the giveaway for this pattern). Despite having planned for this dress so early on...I didn't (ahem) start sewing until the day before the event!  EEP!  Part of the reason was that I was hit with a lot of work the week before I left in preparation for my vacation and was super exhausted in the evenings.   


Luckily, I had contacted the Sewing Workshop in San Francisco and I was able to get in to use their sewing machines for part of the day.  Karine, the owner, was so lovely and accommodating! I got up on Saturday at 4:30am to cut out my fabric and grade the pattern, then I went to the studio and sewed up every seam I could for the next 6 hours.  The next day, which was the day of the picnic, I got up really early to hand finish the remaining parts of the dress which included hemming and attaching the collar, attaching the buttons, putting in the zipper and hemming the dress.  I finished exactly 30 minutes before Mena came to pick me up for the picnic!!! Phew!

Mena organised an amazing picnic spread for us!  Do you recognise that plaid fabric?  Mena used it recently for one of her dresses!  I am super happy Mena brought parasols as it was really sunny and warm and they helped keep us cool!

The picnic was so much fun. I felt completely in my element.  The photo above is of Mena, Christine and myself all in our handmade dresses. 

Here I am with Xandra from EvaDress patterns.  Her dress is made from ribbons! It is so stunning.  It was really fantastic to be able to meet everyone at the picnic!  

I absolutely ADORE this pattern.  It was very easy to grade and put together.  Like most early 30's McCall patterns, I found that it was brilliantly drafted.  I really loved the interesting details of the yoke and matching hip v-line.  The back closure, the great collar and sleeves also have really unique details.  I chose to make the neck yoke in red and white gingham and the rest of the dress in pure white.  It seemed the perfect combination for a summer picnic.  I actually decided on these fabric choices to match the red buttons I already had in my stash.


I also really love the style of belt for this dress.  It's actually looped through a buckle and buttoned on each side.  I used an old handmade belt I found in a vintage store for £1.00 and recovered it with the gingham fabric.  I cut the buckle off (which was a self-cover buckle) and took it apart.  I was going to try and recover it but it was too difficult without some sort of adhesive.  At the last minute I borrowed a beaded bracelet from my friend and twisted into a figure eight and used that as my 'buckle'.  It worked beautifully.  I'm so glad I had it because I think the belt really helps to break up the dress and add a bit more colour!

The house and grounds of the Dunsmuir Hellman Historical Estate were absolutely stunning! It was really fun to be at an event where every single person was dressed in styles from the late 1920's and early 1930's.  

It was great to enjoy a picnic surrounding by people that enjoyed the same time period and who put so much thought into the day.  It was so much fun to just walk around and see the various picnic settings, outfits, and vintage cars.



Thanks ladies for a fantastic day! 


Pattern Giveaway I LOVE this pattern! It is McCall 7403 in a size 14 or Bust 32.  The pattern is from 1933 and features two different sleeve styles for the dress.  All the pieces are present and the instructions are easy to follow!      
 
This giveaway is open to everyone.  Just leave a comment on this post by Monday midnight (Pacific Standard time) for one entry.  You can also do a blog post on this giveaway, tweet about it or put it on facebook for an additional entry for each method (up to four entries total).  Just come back and leave me a comment that you've done all those.  I'll randomly pick a winner next week.  It would be great if you could leave me some way of contacting you in your comment!
 
The only restriction of the giveaway is that you do not sell this pattern.  Keep it for as long as you want and once you are done--pass it along to someone else!

YAY!  Good luck.

Oh, please still comment even if you don't want to enter the pattern giveaway--I LOVE hearing from you!!!  Just let me know if you don't want to be entered in the giveaway! :)

67 comments:

  1. What a fabulous time it looks like you had! And, what a gorgeous dress you made - in less than a day! I wish I had been there. I don't want to continue giving excuses, but this cold has just been the end of me. I even canceled a trip to Tahoe this weekend. Ugh. Next year though, and I hope you'll consider going again! Please count me in for this pattern giveaway. It would give me one less excuse not to go next year!

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  2. I hope one day to be able to go to the Gatsby and I hope when I do I can wear a stunning dress like the one you wore. I'd love it if I won!

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  3. Awesome! I love the pattern; those sleeves on the blue version are intense! And it's right about my size. The early 30s fashions are my favorites, I think. Thanks!

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  4. I LOVE this pattern! Please pick me! :) It's way tiny for me but I'd totally learn to draft so I could wear it!

    And your version is just perfection! I love the gingham and could see a whole set of these in different colored ginghams.

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  5. Debi you darling girl you off in CA and attending this event, how sweet. The idea the dress got left to very late and you still managed to get it made!! Clever girl! Now I sure don't know what you mean by 'grading' a pattern. I know about seam grading but not the other. Please visit me and see my latest vintage pattern I just posted and let me know what you mean.

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  6. After seeing the dress in person, I MUST have this pattern. It was so nice to see everyone in person and I am glad you enjoyed the picnic.

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  7. I'd love to win the pattern so I could see what that sleeve piece looks like!

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  8. Yay! gatsby... It was such a fun event!

    I've been reading for a while now, but am just de-lurking to comment :)

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  9. you look so darling debi, your dress is fantastic! I can't believe how early you got up to finish it, thats dedication! I'm so pleased you got to go to the gatsby afternoon, one year I hope I can go too! it looks like such a wonderful day!! :)

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  10. Debi! You are a marvel! You look amazing and I cannot believe you only started the day before!!!!!!!!!!! You guys look like you were having so much fun.

    PS, please don't enter me into the draw as I have a very wrong figure for that beautiful dress.

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  11. Oh wished I was there! It looks like so much fun! Love your dress! I didn't notice in the TSW photos but here I saw the v shaped seam just above the pleats, so cute and such a great detail!

    I love this pattern too, what a fab giveaway! I hope you enjoy your trip back to the US and all the visiting and bonding!

    Adey

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  12. You look so amazing! Your stitching is fantastic. And you look like you had a wonderful time.

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  13. Your dress is ADORABLE, it's really amazing that you have been sewing for such a relatively short period of time!

    I would love to win the pattern and thank you for being so generous with all of your pattern giveaways!

    erikaahaj at verizon dot net

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  14. The whole lot of you look just absolutely crazy great! I-want-to-go-to-there.

    I really like your dress. It is very flattering too!

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  15. You look amazing, your dress is so beautifull!!!

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  16. What an amazing event! All you ladies look so great. I love the style of your dress. Flattering and chique yet casual.

    Please count me in for the giveaway ;)

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  17. Looks like you had a great time! And that dress is great. Can't believe you started the day before. Hehe. Wow!
    -Andi x

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  18. The dress is so adorable you look lovely and the event looks amazing x

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  19. Ooooh how lovely - to both the dress and the picnic! It sounds so much fun! I was in the San Francisco area at the weekend, Berkeley to be exact, although my Sunday was nowhere near as fun as yours as I spent the whole day (and part of the next!) on a plane home!

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  20. Lovely pattern! And that event looks great, everybody's so elegant!

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  21. Debi, this looks so lovely! I wish I had the means and skills to attempt making a dress for an event like this. One day...perhaps the addition of a free giveaway pattern would help jumpstart a dream like that! ;)

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  22. Wow, what a beautiful dress!!! You looks like ladylike.
    I would like make a nice dress from this pattern too.
    Greetings from germany! BeAu*tiful (Bettina)

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  23. That dress is divine! The picnic looks like so much fun, and you all look stunning in your gowns. :-)

    (And of all the patterns you've given away so far, this is my absolute fave! Will be keeping my fingers crossed lots. :-)

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  24. Well done - that dress is beautiful and you particular rendition looks perfect for the event (and so nicely made). Please count me in for the pattern giveaway! You must have been tired by the end of the weekend. I know what that last minute sewing is like - and at least you weren't still finishing when you should have been at the event :-)

    BTW I am curious to know - how have you found the sizing of the early 1930s McCall patterns? Does a 32' bust really mean a 32' bust, or is there more ease than in modern patterns?

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  25. What an amazing job you have done in a very short space of time! Your dress is so pretty and perfectly captures the vibe of the period. The event looks like it was fabulously stylish fun!

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  26. Looks like you had a blast Debi, what a wonderful-sounding event! You all looked gorgeous by the way and I love, love, love how your dress turned out! So much in fact that I would love to be in for a chance of winning it! I have Tweeted and Facebooked about the giveaway too! Many thanks!

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  27. Morning there Debi, I would love to be entered into your giveaway. I have also blogged over at sewvala and 'linked' you. Gatsby looked fantasic. If you ever get chance to visit Bedfordshire, there is a brillant long weekend vintage festival in August, Twinwood. www.twinwoodevents.com
    It may interest you.

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  28. You made it in a day... on a strange sewing machine... including grading the pattern?! Project Runway stand aside - Debi is coming through! That is amazing! And beautiful too.

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  29. *swoon* it all looks amazing. Beautiful dress and fabulous location

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  30. Great job, the dress looks fantastic. I love the pattern. Giveaway? Count me in!

    The event looks like so much fun, ladies, you all look stunning!

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  31. What a pretty dress, and pattern. I love seeing how people combine their fabric choices to make great frocks. I never would have picked that combination, but it is stunning.

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  32. Ah, sweetiepie, you look stunning! I'm so proud of you, and glad you were able to go. I'm also happy you were able to meet three more of your blogging friends!

    The dress looks amazing - you pulled it together nicely, as you always do. The bracelet idea was a stroke of genius! Very inventive.

    Missing you. Have a great time!
    Oh, and don't enter me in the drawing - I don't think I could pull off the frilly sleeves.

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  33. what an amazing event, your dress is lovely, I would love to have a go at my own.

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  34. what a wonderful post! The dress fabric you choose made it exciting and cheerful! Very nice! Your talent for detail is always wonderful =-)

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  35. STUNNING! That may be one of my favorite pieces you've sewn so far! Absolutely adorable and perfect for the setting. The weekend looks like it was phe-no-me-nal. I LOVE the picnic photo and the photo of all you lovely gals by the car. Swoon! So cool! Looks like you had an amazing trip!

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  36. Debi, This is so much fun. I hope one day I could try to make this event. All of you look absolutely amazing. XX

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  37. This is a fantastic dress and the event looks like so much fun! Great pictures and thanks for sharing and making me dream a little!

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  38. i'm so glad you went with this pattern! your version is absolutely perfect! you look stunning, m'dear :)

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  39. Debi, this dress is so lovely, and the event looked like great fun. The photos are just beautiful - the ladies, dresses and scenery!

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  40. What a fabulous pattern!! And the dress looks stunning on you! :)

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  41. What a wonderful time! You look amazing- and I love how your dress turned out! Great contrast, perfect fabric! Yum!!
    You ladies are all so talented!

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  42. WOW! That looked like so much fun! And the dress looks great!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  43. Perfect for the occation. Summery, light and lovely and it looks great on you. I love the 30s styles!

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  44. Oh, Debi!!! You are just stunning. Seriously. You look like you had a marvelous time at the event!! (And I would totally take that pattern off of your hands. And make it in green. And then run around Chicago. You could come visit and wear yours!)

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  45. I love that dress and it is my size as well. The red and white combination you used is quite grand and those sleeves are so fantastic.

    haller.gp@sasktel.net

    Patricia

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  46. You look beautiful in this dress. I think my favourite part is the button at the front and the waist yoke. If I was lucky enough to win this I think I'd modernise it by changing the skirt to more of a pencil style whilst keeping the yoke detailing.

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  47. wow looks like you had a great time:) I love your dress!

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  48. Your last-minute-sewing story reminds me of the time I was desperately trying to finish a pair of mittens for a wedding gift--the morning of the wedding. It was close, but they got done in time and all was well. And the pattern was only slightly wonky.

    Please enter me in the drawing!

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  49. Wow I love that pattern and it is in my size too! I love the different sleeve versions, it's a treat! I'd love to win it!

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  50. I love your dress Debi, it's an awesome pattern, and it looks perfect for the event! What fun it would be checking out all the other dresses there too.
    I'd love to be part of your pattern pass-it-on!

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  51. This dress pattern is so sweet! And your interpretation of it is absolutely fabulous. I'd love to partake of the pattern-pass-it-on!

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  52. I tweeted to my followers about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/#!/tinapickles/status/114784950133334017

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  53. I also posted this to my Facebook! (Tina Crossgrove)

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  54. I am amazed at the speed with which you managed to put together this dress. Wow! And it looks lovely. Glad to hear you had such a great time at Gatsby. Looks like a lot of fun!

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  55. Your creations are always so lovely! I love the red and white combination on this dress! ...and what a fun event!!! I would love to have chance to win this pattern. :-) (I also posted this on my facebook)

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  56. Beautiful. Red and white is one of my absolute favorite combinations. That looks like a great time, and something I should coordinate with my next visit home ;)

    I'd love a chance at this pattern >fingers crossed< Thanks!

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  57. YAY this is my size!! Hope I win so much! *cross fingers*

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  59. I am so impressed you managed to make that the day before the event! It is a stunning dress- and I really love the belt! Oh I'd love to win this :)
    So I have tweeted and facebooked this for you too :)

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  60. Ooh, I'd love to be entered for this please! You did such a great job, and so swiftly! Looks like the picnic was really fun too

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  61. OMG! I don't think I could have pulled off such a tight deadline. I take my hat off to you lady!
    The dress is a beauty.
    Please include me in your giveaway.

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  62. This event would be worth a trip to California! I really like your interpretation of the pattern, so summery! I would love to take a crack at it as well as a present for my sister who loves swing dancing.

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  63. I love your fabric choices for this dress! To die for! I'd love to give it a go myself. Thanks for the opportunity to win the pattern :D

    bri.l.reid ( at ) gmail ( dot ) com

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  64. Your dressed came out simply smashing! I love it! {I just discovered your blog, love it!} I must say, I live on creating outfits for an event the day before. I may, or may not do that with all planned projects. ;-) Oh, well.

    Do enter me for the giveaway. I love 30s patterns, but that is one era my pattern collection is lacking. And this one is just my size.

    ~Ashley
    bramblewoodfashion{at}hotmail{dot}com

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  65. Debi this is just gorgeous! I saw it over on the Sew Weekly and fell in love, but to read the story...oh, my! I can't believe such an amazing dress came together so quickly. Major talent. And totes love the save on the belt, it's a great detail.

    (you can find me over at threadsquare {at} gmail {dot} com

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  66. Perfect, just perfect! I don't know how I missed this post before, but I'm glad I scrolled down! Looks like a blast, maybe if you're here next year we can meet up for it!

    xoxo
    Solanah

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  67. I just found you and wow...this day looked so very fun and the dresses. You ladies look amazing, the grounds wow wow I would love to see something like this. God bless your New Year!!

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

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