Monday, May 30, 2011

1925 Fringe Front Dress

1925 Fringe Front Dress

From the Stash:
1. 2.5 yards black silk charmeuse in 4 different pieces, from the GBACG Open House raffle
2. Fabric flower

1. 1/2 yard burnout velvet
2. 1 yard 6 inch black fringe
3. 1 yard beaded trim


From the stash:
1. Purple taffeta ribbon
2. Green taffeta ribbon for leaves

1. 3 silver ribbon roses

The Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild hosted a wonderful event, Dinner in Valentino's Tent at Menara Moroccan Restaurant in San Jose. The theme was a studio party for the 1920s film, Son of the Sheik, starring Rudolf Valentino. I decided to do mid-1920s evening wear.

I used the 1925 Fringe Front Dress Pattern from Decades of Style. The pattern went together easily and is very simple. My difficulties with the pattern came from my fabric choices. I didn't have large enough charmeuse pieces to make each patten piece out of a continuous cut of fabric. I chose to have two seams on the front piece, one in the center under the front drape, and the other at the low waistline. If I did it again I would put the seams on the back. The asymmetrical front drape is not intended to be made of sheer fabrics because the front panel on the wearers right does not go all the way to the shoulder seam on the entire piece. Because of this I had to line the top half of the burnout velvet in a piece of silk. If I did this again I would alter the front pattern piece to extend the full length of the shoulder seam at the top.

Since my hair is already curly I decided to pin curl it to give it an even shorter curl and decided to make a ribbonwork hair decoration. Ribbonwork was very popular in the 1920s. All sorts of roses and other flowers covered lingerie, day dresses, evening dress and hats. This illustration from a 1920s hairdressing manual has some recommended hair decorations for various bobbed and long hairstyles.

I have a reprint of one of the volumes of Ribbon Art, a 1920s vintage manual of ribbonwork intended to be done at home.
The illustrations and instructions are simple and easy to understand but not very detailed. If you have a basic understanding of have to do ribbonwork you will be able to accomplish most things in the book. Because I was short on time I stopped at a craft store near me that sells a lot of vintage findings and was able to buy 3 silver ribbon roses. I then used the instructions from Ribbon Art to make leaves out of taffeta ribbon from the stash and sewed those on to purple ribbon from the stash. I completed the headband by sewing the ribbon to a small piece of elastic, also from the stash to make an adjustable band. The whole thing stayed on my head very well for the whole night and is the easiest vintage hairstyling I have ever done.

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