Watercolor, Feathers, and a Drop-Waist Dress
Jamie Lau, one of the authors of BurdaStyle’s newest book Sewing Vintage Modern, wrote to ask me if I’d make a dress from her book. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, even though at that point I only knew that the patterns were classic designs from different eras in the 20th century. Jamie explained that my choices of patterns were a 1920s drop-waist dress, a 1940s men’s shirt, a 1950s gathered-waist dress, or a 1960s stirrup pant; she also let me know that I was free to modify the patterns as I wished. I ended up choosing the drop-waist dress since I’d been intrigued by the 1920s style ever since I learned about the Gatsby-themed party that happens each year here in San Francisco. Jamie sent the pattern right over.
It was only after I’d started the pattern that I finally got a sneak peek at the book. It came at the perfect time – I was just trying to plan my modifications, and I was eager to see what had been done in the book. The Louisa Drop-Waist Dress actually only has one major modification described in the book: the 1960s Jackie Dress. I wanted to stick with the 1920s style though, so I passed Jackie up and starting toying with simple modifications. First, I contemplated making a V neck line, but then I didn’t want to lose any of the beautiful watercolor flowers on the silk charmeuse from Mood that I bought for this project with my Mood Sewing Network allowance. I also debated turning the skirt into a single tier, but I decided against that idea because of the fabric yet again. I liked how the tiers played up the silk’s abstract print.
Ultimately, I didn’t make any big modifications to the pattern. I did swap the facing-lining combination for a full lining and the belt for a row of feather trim along the top tier. Simple little changes that were again guided by the fabric.
All in all, I couldn’t be happier. The pattern and fabric came together into a great dress. I love how the silk shimmers and dances through the tiers as I walk. I finally have the 1920s-style dress that I’ve coveted—one with a very “vintage modern” attitude.