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Jun 26, 2010

Ix-Nay on the Ipes-Stray: The Continued Saga of the 20's Dress

I'm sorry, but Jean Paul Gaultier stole my harem pants.   That's for my lawyers to deal with, however, not us, not today.

Friends, I so appreciate your willingness to indulge me and forgive my somewhat capricious nature.  Which brings us back to the Twenties dress.

You'll recall that after the paisley-ish fabric faux pas, I went back to the $2 yard sales pile and picked up three yards of black and white striped chiffon.

Followers and lurkers, I had every intention of whipping up the dress in those stripes, honestly I did.  But a voice inside my gut that sounded eerily like MPB reader and commenter (and never one to mince words) Brian Linger told me those stripes were wrong.  Or maybe it was just gas.

Regardless, I realized that while a little bit of stripes can be a good thing...

...too much is, well, too much.  It also gives me a headache.

So back to the bargain bolts I bounced.  And I purchased this.

It's the color of strawberry sorbet with small dots that thankfully don't scream "polka."  It's a dainty and soft poly chiffon and a very good color for Cathy.  Moreover, it passes the cheap beads test:

By the end of yesterday the fabric was mostly all cut (chiffon is hard, Barbie!), underlining included, and hanging on my bodyform to stretch for the night.  You can already get a sense of the shape of the dress.

Now I like the look of a contrasting front yoke...but what to make it out of?

The cream chiffon underlining is too strong a contrast imo and too opaque.  I know it sounds crazy but I may return to the fabric store (it's just half a mile from here) and pick up a yard of something closer to the pink or more sheer or something.  I think doing it all in the dotted pink chiffon is a little boring.


Also -- if the top of the front (beneath the yoke) is gathered, do I also gather the underlining, or should I (as I suspect) gather the fashion fabric and then attach the underlining?

How should I finish the fragile edges of the neckline: bias strips, facing?

I wouldn't say I'm losing sleep over this dress, but it has taken quite a bit of focus.  Last night I tried to distract myself with the Meg Ryan version of "The Women" on DVD (thankfully borrowed from the library).   I discovered it is The Worst Movie Ever Made.  I couldn't take more than ten minutes and I usually like bad movies.   This was unwatchable.

Have a great day, everybody.  Any bad movies you can recommend?  ("Susan Slade" is on its way from Amazon, btw -- in a set that includes "Parrish" AND "Rome Adventure"!)

Oh, the Drama!


  1. Typically both the main fabric and the lining are gathered, otherwise your seams won't match up as your lining will be larger.

    I like your new fabric choice. Love a good stripe, but a whole dress may have been a bit much.

    Good Luck!

  2. I think I would probably use the pink for the yoke but break it up with piping and then some doodad like the picture has. Then again that might be too "school girl" ... I'm just not sure. You're right though, the cream is too much of a contrast.

    I'm having my own fabric issues :( I have several pieces of GOOD fabric (silk and linen) purchased for your magic price of $2.00 a piece and cannot figure out what to make them into. It's killing my sewing mojo.

    As for terrible movies, I'm a huge Meg Ryan fan but Hanging Up was horrible. It's guaranteed to induce depression in even the happiest of people... and it was listed as a COMEDY!

  3. I agree with Kathryn on the underlining, and I would gather both together rather than independently, otherwise the two gather on top of each other will be too thick
    And I agree with Mom2five as well on the piping or trim (MJ Trimmings visit opportunity!) rather than a contrast. If you are going to have beads as well then that might be enough stuff going on.

    I am sure you will make something FANTASTIC out of the stripes one day anyway

  4. Okay, I finally think you got it with the pink. It's like peach except better. Except in sparkling water.

    Watch anything with Tom Arnold. I think he's highly underrated.

  5. "The Worst Movie Ever Made" needs its own blog! So many should watch "Stardust" to clear your head; a fun little fantasy with some lovely costuming (and Robert DeNiro's role is pricelessly entertaining!). As for the 20's dress, I like a lace overlay for the yoke. Some texture would be a nice contrast for the chiffon. I think the new fabric is a wonderful sure to add a pinkish flower to the cloche, to match! Looking forward to the next Cathy photoshoot.....

  6. Beautiful fabric. I vote satin for the yoke.

  7. I think you made a great choice on the fabric. It's a delicate color and print to coordinate with a delicate silhouette.

    I'm not sure how your instructions tell you how to do the neckline, but if you ignored them and figured the steps out yourself you could easily have the neckline as a seam with the SA between the layers hidden. With a small stitch length and maybe a close second row of stitches you could trim the allowance down to 1/4" or less so it doesn't show through the fashion fabric.

    I do agree the yoke needs something to highlight that there is a seam there. Perhaps you could be lucky enough to find the same color chiffon in a solid?

    In it's current state I see Golden Girls 1980's fashion. Once sewn up with the cuffs, bows and cascade I think it'll turn out more true to the 1920's.

  8. I'm sad to hear The Women was so bad. I've been wanting to see it. Have you seen the earlier versions? The Joan Crawford version is the best, but I have to admit that I'll watch almost anything with June Allyson. Ever seen State Fair starring Jeanne Craine? A lot of people don't like it, but I honestly crave it each summer. But then again, where I'm from the 4H fair is the highlight of the summer.

  9. I think the Pooh Bear on the floor is just the right touch. But I also really like Vintagegal's lace idea. That could be really pretty.

  10. Yoke:
    I agree the contrast on the yoke is too much and something less contrasty is the ticket. If you could find a matching(ish) pink in a different texture (compatible weight satin/sateen, etc.) that would be awesome.

    Can't weight to see how Cathy accessorizes this!

    An underlining is supposed to be handled with the dress fabric as if they were 1 layer. Underlinings are typically basted to each piece and then the garment constructed with them together.

    I thought "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" was a good bad movie. And the yellow bias cut gown whats-her-face wears when she officially loses the guy is memorable.

    I loved the completely unbelievable "Brick" but I don't know if it is a bad movie or not.

    And I think "Push" counts as a bad movie worth watching. Dakota Fanning has some really hilarious lines and scenes in an otherwise pedestrian sci-fi flick. It is set in Hong Kong so that makes it a bit more interesting.

  11. I'm just here to second what lorrwill said about underlining. It supposed to be treated as one layer with the fashion fabric. Totally different from a lining, which is it's own thing.

  12. You could also eliminate the gathers on the underlining pattern (use those drafting skills!), gather the outer layer only, and then treat the two layers as one. Quite good if you have boingy fabric and want to reduce bulk.
    For the yoke neckline, I would face it with another yoke piece - ie double yoke, if it is not too see-through. Not sure about contrast...

  13. I agree a matching solid would be nice! And matching satin solid marvelous, if possible.

    THANK you for ditching the stripes! This version is shaping up nicely :)

  14. Two Questions
    1. Do you ever wonder who Dorothy Hausberger was?
    2. Have you ever seen 'Autumn in New York' with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder? Oh boy it is So Bad. But at lest it's not only cliche ridden but laughably, watchably bad.

  15. Good choice on the fabric! I can't wait to see what contrast fabric you pick out.
    My favorite bad movie is Exit Speed. Unfortunately it is modern, but still good. Also, Earth Girls are Easy and The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension (although, being older than I, you might be familiar with, or even have like those last two when they came out.)

  16. Debbie is right: "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is very watchable and it's terrible.

  17. Xanadu is the best bad movie ever. Earth Girls Are Easy is a close second. But Xanadu. Man. I always forget how bad it is until I watch it again and cannot believe how truly terrible it is. It walks the knife edge between hilariously horrible and legitimately unwatchable.


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