1930s Dress Completed! Meet Miss Norma N. Carol

Hello to all my WordPress friends and blog subscribers.  I am very happy to introduce you to Miss Norma Naomi Carol, the name I selected for the dress I’ve finally completed for the 1930s Sew-along with Norma.  I love selecting a name for an outfit I have completed.  I chose this name as a way to say thank you to the three WordPress bloggers who have seen me through this year long learning experience.  Norma started it with the challenge to sew a 1930s style using techniques appropriate to the period.   Carol generously provided material from her research which she posted at her blog and some which she emailed me during the early stages of the sew-along.  Naomi gave me ongoing support and encouragement as I worked my way through the stumbling blocks and challenges that come with going outside one’s usual repertoire of sewing techniques.  I hope you will accept this homage as my way of saying “Thank You Very Much!”

I will let the photos do the rest.  .  .


I decided that since this is an interpretation of a Depression Era style, accessorization should be very simple and kept at a minimum.  For that reason I chose a simple pair of pearl earrings with a bow made of rhinestones that works with the orange-yellow buds in the print of the fabric.  The other accessory is a reinforced belt with fabric covered buckle and snap closure.  Thread loops were created in the color of the belt to downplay their presence on the dress.



Here she is, Miss Norma Naomi Carol












1930s Sew-along with Norma: line sketch of the dress

Naomi of Spare Room Style brought up a good point about the photos of the completed dress.  All the details get lost in the print of the fabric.  At her request I’m uploading a pencil sketch I hope will make the details clear.


Details of front of the dress

Bust darts from center of front shoulder to 1″ above apex of bust.
V-neckline with interfacing and facing on inside, bound with bias trim slip stitched into place.
Bodice extends about 2-3″ below widest part of the hip line.  On the Misses Size 4 this is a length about 13″ below the waist.

Details of back of the dress

Center back seam.
Slot zipper application (hand sewn with running stitches).


Cut with center front and center back on lengthwise grain.
Two flares each side of center front and center back.


Fitted sleeve.
Vertical dart running from wrist up to elbow.
Sleeve finished with hand sewn bias binding at wrist.
Somewhere between 5 to 9 buttons to be placed along vertical dart line.


In planning stages.

Pattern Notes

A basic chemise pattern is used for the bodice of the dress.
–Slight shaping was applied from underarm down to end of bodice.  This is not a straight, tubular shape.
–The width at the hipline is widest to accommodate movement and the need for enough fabric so that the dress can be comfortable when the belt is worn.
–The wider the hip line is creates a need for the flares to be slightly wider.  The flares for the size 4 will have a little less depth than the flares for a size 6, 8 or 10.  It is a matter of preserving the overall proportions of the dress.








1930s Sew-Along Fabric Selected: Need advice for belt and bow

I’ve selected the design elements for the 1930s Sew-Along with Norma of SheSewsYouKnow, as well as the fabric. Here they are.

The floral print rayon fabric has a soft drape and I think will work well with the blouse. The navy blue skirt fabric is a lightweight poly gabardine that is soft enough to fall smoothly over the hips and has enough body to hold the flare at the hem. I also have a poly navy blue lining I’m thinking of using to make a partial lining from waist to abdomen inside the skirt. I also have navy poly organza for the blouse interfacing.

The blouse will be based on the bodice of this 1930s dress. It will be an over blouse complete with the bow and the belt. I’d LOVE for some advice as to what color the belt should be and what color the bow should be. I was thinking of navy for the belt and red for the bow. It’s always more fun to get input and another person’s ideas, so please add them to the comment section of this posting.

The skirt will have six gores with the center of the panel running on the straight vertical grain. It should fall something like the gold colored skirt in the illustration. Since an over blouse will be worn with it, I will finish the waistline with a facing.

I’m so glad we’re doing this at a very leisurely pace. It’s much more enjoyable and does not feel like work. I have enough of deadlines with other parts of my life. It’s very satisfying to let a project develop gradually and watch it take a life of its own.

Since I’m calling this outfit Carole after 1930s film star Carole Lombard, I’ll be putting Carole in the subject lines of the posting as well as a link to Norma’s blog at the start of each poting.