May 10, 2013

Homage to the Great Gatsby Era from a 1960's Loving Gal

"The transformation from constricting, corset-like bodices, which most likely decreased fertility rates (double-dipping in style and contraception) and stifled hunger, to dresses with dropped waists was one that coincided with the female sexual revolution in the 1920s." - Ellen Duffer
Without a doubt the drop waist is the first silhouette that comes to mind when I think of Gatsby. This got me pondering the correlation to the reappearance of the trend in the 1960's; due to the fact that I am a 60's loving gal.

"While the ’60s marked a whirlwind time of trends and change, it also marked a return to favor for the drop waist. Thanks to production power and the rise of department store fashion, girls and women can buy drop waist cotton and machine washable frocks in a variety of designs and patterns, like gingham, chevron stripes or oversize floral, some of the more popular patterns of the time.

Not all American women purchased their drop waist dresses in the ’60's, however. Vogue and McCall magazines released sewing patterns with every issue, which mothers and their daughters would use to sew their own clothes. So the trends of the day just weren't a reflection of what was in the stores — but what was in your mailboxes to be made at home, too." Sammy Davis Vintage

I love vintage patterns and I have 1960's patterns! And I knew just the one to use for the
The Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge my beloved Vogue Special Design 6120 with a nod to the Garçonne look. This pattern has been on my to make list for quite some time and the amazing themed challenge, hosted by the lovely Miss Crayola Creepy, equated to the perfect pairing.

I used stash fabrics, a crinkled rayon fabric and an acetate lining. I added 1/2" to the side seams of the pattern  from under arm to hem as well as sleeves for a loose fit. I was afraid that with no zipper and my broad shoulders I would not have been able to get into the dress. I also cropped the sleeves to end where the drop waist began. Also I removed about 15" vertically from the outer skirt. Lets take a look at the skirt construction directions:
Oh my land! The math involved in shortening/ removing layers in this skirt. And then the construction, I removed and restitched so many times to just get my layers to lay correct. All is well that ends well, I could Charleston all night in this skirt. Here is a little dance:
Giving you my Carey Mulligan face 


  1. Very pretty on you! That skirt construction is crazy! And the scarf fits so well with the dress. I love what everyone has done on this challenge!

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Lorie.

  2. Hey! Jumped to your blog to admire a project post on burdastyle... and while I am so impressed and inspired (and a little frustrated that I have only been sewing for two years - looking at your amazing wardrobe makes me want to fast-foward to when/if I will have half of your sewing ability!) - this particular dress just - WOW! Amazing! Such a great pattern and fabric choice, and the fit is incredible and you look beyond gorgeous! Thanks for showing a somewhat impatient and occasionally incorrigible beginner just what might be possible - I'm so impressed with your fitting skills and how effortlessly sophisticated you always look!

    1. Taryn reading your lovely words made my day, I can not thank you enough for perking me up. I wish you all the best in all of your sewing endeavors, from impatience comes knowledge, occasional incorrigibility can lead to great results, and lastly you can not be a beginner forever.


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Happy sewing!

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