Little 1920s Jersey Dress – In Progress

Last week I thought I’d put together a simple little 1920s frock, made from a bold floral jersey fabric given to me by Vintage Dancer.

I devised a little plan, after looking at some inspiration.

Musee McCord dress – this is an evening gown, but has a similar construction to what I was going for

I didn’t want to bother going out for a pattern, so I tried the single piece pattern indicated on this original catalog page.

The dresses in the top left and top right, with the tiny pattern diagrams…
My sketches

I had quite a lot of trouble with this supposedly simple pattern, particularly through the gathers at the sides.  How, exactly, do you achieve these side gathers and have this area hang nicely?  I tried cutting at an angle, cutting straight, you name it; no matter how I fiddled with it, I just couldn’t get it right.  In the end, I didn’t have enough yardage to accommodate such a huge pattern anyway, so I went with plan B…

I cut the side gathers off into their own pieces, and made them trapezoids instead of straight rectangles, for added flounciness.  The front piece is cut on the fold, but the back piece had to be seamed at CB due to yardage restrictions … not perfect, but it works.

The gathered, inset panel at the side.

At the moment, its working quite well.  Despite the straight line silhouette through the bodice being historical, I’d like to wear this dress outside of costuming events without looking too weird, so I’m going to carve out a subtle waist through the side seams.  I also bought some black jersey in the same weight to extend the skirt for both visual weight and because it’s just a tad too short at the moment.  The black jersey will also make the hip belt, and possibly a neck tie.

Somebody needs to clean her camera lens, yeesh!  This is the dress without any hip belt or waist

Onward!

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