1930s Sew-along with Norma: Fabric ordered. Now to notions…

I’m still tweaking a few details on Toile Version 3.1 of my dress for the 1930s Sew-along with Norma. Here are the latest developments…

Fabric Ordered and Belt Buckles Under Consideration

The flares for Version 3 were just right. I ordered a rayon challis print that looks very good when flared. Since I ordered a 1/4 yard cut for the sample I had enough to play with on the dress form. When the print is flared the tiny flowers look ok. At first I had thought such a print would not match up at seams. But no worries with this pattern. It’s too small to require matching up.

The fabric is very soft and feels nice against my skin. I’ve decided to make the belt buckle the focal point of the dress. I have two belt buckles I bought at a trimmings shop in my neighborhood. I’ve photographed each against the fabric for the dress.

I like the look of the gold buckle. If I use it the dress can be accessorized with a gold chain necklace and earrings.

I’m leaning towards the green buckle because it is very attractive against the print. I also think it has a retro look to it.

Bias Binding Slip Stitched to Sleeve

I followed Norma’s advice and slip stitched the bias binding to the sleeve. This required slip stitching from the outside and then the inside. It worked out beautifully. Thank you, Norma for sharing this new found technique. Here I have found the solution to working with bias binding. It does not pucker when applied this way. It also does not stiffen up as it does when machine stitched.

Since it’s very hot I still haven’t put the sleeve in to test the fit and the hang of it. This next step will take place after I deal with the V-neckline of the dress.

Stay Tape

On Version 3 of the toile I used a strip of muslin selvage stabilize the V-neckline. This worked out with mixed results. I found the neckline a little too heavy in feeling. It lacked the soft quality that I now see on the finished sleeve. I’ve read that the selvage of organza is the best to use as a stay tape. I’m still not sure it is the solution I need.

I ordered a roll of Dritz nylon stay tape to try on Version 3.1 of the toile. I will then test it on a scrap of the dress fabric to make sure the two work well together.

Eliminating the Ties
I have decided to eliminate the ties for several reasons. Among them are:

**The placement looks awkward on the dress form even though it has a small bustline (32″ inches).

**A set of ties right below the v-neckline takes away from the bias binding finish of the neckline.  The second set of ties would be located at bust level or below. It would look odd on a woman with a well defined figure.

**The ties at the sleeve would distract from someone seeing the belt buckle as the focal point of the dress.

**I considered sketches from “Paris Frocks at Home”, the 1930 book from which I took inspiration for my dress. Whether the dress with the ties is worn by a tall or short woman they will only look good if she is very slender and angular. I’m making this conclusion based on how I envision the dress with ties would look on the women around me. Most are curvy and it would not look that good.

**Instead of ties I’m considering buttons in a shade of green that matches the belt. There will be one at the neckline in the back and three buttons on the seam of the sleeve. These would close with a thread loop made in green silk thread.

**To accessorize the dress I’ll look for dangling earrings with crystal beads or stud earrings. A necklace 16-18″ long with crystal beads is also a possible accessory. I’d love to find beads or crystals in colors similar to the floral print of the dress fabric.

How the dress with ties would look on a tall vs. a short woman

These sketches are from “Paris Frocks at Home” published by Butterick Pattern Company in 1930. I have searched online but cannot find a photo of this dress to better judge how the ties would look.

Dress with ties on a tall, slender woman as imagined by the illustrator.

Here is how it is supposed to look on an average or petite size woman.

What’s up next

I will be looking for a very lightweight zipper. I plan to do a slot application using Claire Shaeffer’s couture method. I want to see if there is a zipper with a light tape. The kinds of zippers I usually use are, I think, a little too heavy for the dress fabric.


One thought on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Fabric ordered. Now to notions…

  1. I agree with you about the ties – I often take them off ready made stuff. My body will offer its own shape to a drapey dress.
    I love the green buckle: it looks spectacular and is sure to enhance the dress. Beads or crystals to match sounds lovely; there must be someone selling the right thing. I have just been out with my mother-in-law and noticed that green is very much the thing for the next season.
    Glad the bias binding trick worked.


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