Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Stars' for 2011 (in a Gown)

I have been inspired for some time to create a gown from this Erté art (credit Sevenarts, Ltd.):

I am modifying it slightly with a silk ribbon halter strap.

It fits perfectly into my 'Luxe' theme for 2011, so it will be the new multi-size pattern ready for release in February.

The appeal is its overall simplicity, yet the texture of the bodice front which entails some engineering. As shown in a muslin iteration, the over-bodice front is shaped and stabilized with rayon covered millinery wire inserted and overcast into each dart:

I plan to make the final gown in coarse silk net I picked up last year. I have found a number of precidents for 1930's styles in coarse silk net:

A la Mainbocher's skirt, photo courtesy of

and 1930 pattern art:

Friday, December 10, 2010

1935 Afternoon Frock and Coat pattern is ready

Earlier this year, my e-mail list customers had two patterns between which to vote for the next new multi-size pattern I draft from original German designs of 1935.

They chose this one and it is now ready for purchase:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EvaDress Pattern Gift Certificates

Many of my customers request EvaDress patterns as gifts.

I have made gift certificates available in a number of U.S. denominations.
Click here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Little bit of Luxe to come

I drafted pieces from the French master for this delightful circa 1913 dinner gown. I also started putting the pieces together so I can get it to the first muslin stage.
It fits so well into my 'luxe' theme for the patterns next year, I just couldn't keep it all to myself ;o)!

There are three layers to the 'waist' (not shown is the darted bodice lining):

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010


I am modifying the 1933 glove pattern to style gloves for my Victorian Bat Costume. I am making them in my favorite fabric-a silk double-sided satin! The pieces included in the bat costume pattern are the same modified version of the glove pattern I am demonstrating here.
Just a little note about the size and turning to have the seams inside the glove. It is worth experimenting with the size as depending on the fabric you want to use for the gloves and how much space that fabric will take when putting the seams inside vs. outside. You may need to enlarge the glove pieces on a photocopier to get the room you need.

I am adhering to the original pattern's recommendation to refrain from cutting the fingertips and slashes until I have done work on the lower part of the glove and can then remove the pattern.

This means sewing the thumb on first, then stitching the nips.
I am departing from the original pattern's instruction to sew all seams of the gloves on the outside. I will sew and turn them so seam allowances are inside because my silk satin will shred, but I leave this to one's personal preference. I used a very small stitch, 12 per inch to be exact.

I custom-shaped the thumbs as I sewed.

Overcasting all seam allowances is a must, but it goes quick.

Shows how I pinned the thumb to the glove for easiest stitching under the machine:

To keep the bottom of the glove from shredding while working, I turn under the top edge of the cuff and top-stitch it to the glove.

The side seam is then sewn and one approaches the forks.

I stitched from points 5 to 6 along the line of the blue pin, but stopped stitching at both ends where the white pins are shown (approximately 1/8" from raw edges).

Stitching the forchette to the glove. Make sure the curved edge of each forchette is joined to the front side of the glove (shown below). Then, one sews the straight edge of the forchettes to the back side of the gloves.

Sewing the forchette along the front edge at index finger:

Sewing fork along front edge at little finger showing excess to be cut away (at far right):

I shaped the cuff of the gloves after all the stitching work was done in order to determine the best fit:

Images of finished gloves:
(Just a little shaping needed to touch up the thumb in this one)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Images of Inspiration - Pattern Artwork

Looks suspiciously as though it is from Simplicity:

Perhaps another Simplicity? The skirt lines are the same as one of my favorites from 1934:

Love the use of asymmetry in this skirt:

And to think I have boatloads more...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A little extra in patterns this month

I have been wanting to share this pattern with everyone for some time now. I am happy to say that it is ready in multiple sizes:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Some of the best things come in candy boxes

A little preview for 2011:

'Luxe' is the theme for my 2011 patterns and one long-planned concept I will put forth regards the luxe of ribbon frocks.

Today I received ribbons from Carole at  The Ribbon Store in Las Vegas, NV as part of the winnings I received for my entry in Threads Magazine Fancy Fabric Challenge. They are appropriately packaged as the confections they are!

I put the 1930 leaf evening frock (photo below) on the back-burner this year for suffering from 'Dressmaker's Block'. I could not decide how best to materialize the feature 'waterfall' of leaf designs down the back and the shoulder straps.
I resolved to make individual leaf designs using Carole's wonderful German satin deco moire ribbon in Scarlet and Emerald (shown lower left in image above) using three different widths to create the leaves in a variety of scales.
I will create them using the instruction from this blog post:
You see a test below:

The pattern is nearly complete, so I now plan to have it ready for release and the silk sample gown complete for February, 2011.

I have also thought about using ribbon in sewing from an inspiration I had years ago when I found this great late-30's cotton net (photos below) evening gown.

It satisfied part of my desire to 'make' my own fabric in that the cotton net is embellished with strips of grosgrain ribbon. When the net was cut on the bias and the gown pieces sewn together, the strips of ribbon create the chevron effect so well known during this decade.
I have been working up a modified version of this late-1930's McCall pattern from my collection which I will cut from silk net organza.

I will sew upon it strips of soft, millinery petersham ribbon and cut the gown on the bias to create a very similar effect. I plan to wear it to the Gatsby Summer Afternoon next year.

On another fun, little note, here are some shots of the time I 'Gatsby-ed' in 2004. I particularly loved they way these chaps dressed;

We stayed at the Golden Gate Hotel in San Francisco. The original 1911 elevator was in service:

Friday, August 27, 2010

1887 Bat Costume Pattern is Ready!

Quick snapshots of the silk sample shown here without the gloves (gloves process blogged here) and polonaise. Also, the fichu is not yet stayed to the back of the corset and a band on each arm from which to hang the wings has yet to be applied.

The bat costume sans wings: Finalizing the drape of the skirt polonaise:

My daughter fashioned this little bat in paper and fabric mâché.

Front view taken Oct. 6, 2012 at Prescott's Citizen's Cemetary Tour (click images for larger view):

I will post the process of making the gloves separately.